this land-1.jpg

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

press to zoom

Author | Journalist | Speaker

  • Ken Ilgunas

I've made a farmer friend, who's accumulated a giant heap of seaweed. (There was a storm a few years ago and the beach needed to be cleared of seaweed.) He's encouraged me to borrow some to apply to my garden. This is all so much easier than going to the beach and hauling bags by hand and foot. Plus, it's already half-rotted, so it's much more garden-ready than what I get from the beach.

The benefits of seaweed in your garden according to a Guardian article: "As seaweed breaks down into the soil, it encourages microorganisms whose activities help convert unavailable nutrients into forms that plants can use. It increases chlorophyll production and contains many micronutrients important for soil and plant health, as well as acting as a growth stimulant: it is rich in cytokinins, plant growth hormones that work above and below ground, improving root growth." - "Want to boost your soil? Get some seaweed," The Guardian, Nov. 2016.

One year ago, we bought our first home. I always imagined myself living in the wild or in some rural area with lots of land. But I found myself living in a Scottish village with a very tiny garden.

The setting wasn't ideal, but I also found the challenge energizing. How best could I rewild and reawaken this tiny bit of land? The goal was to produce as much food as I could while also welcoming birds, insects, and other living things.

I'm no professional gardener, but my guiding principal was to start with the soil. I aimed to revitalize old soil and bring in healthy new soil. Most fertilizers were hand-gathered, and what other fertilizers I used were organic. I wanted to create a vast network of earthworms and microorganisms to do a lot of gardening work for me.

There's still much work to be done, but this video shows our first year of progress.