We’ve recently finished building a double chamber fire pit that we plan to use for many of our Farm Dinners. We were inspired to build this by attending the MALT Pozzi Ranch dinner earlier in the summer where Chef Sean Baker used an in-ground fire pit to cook whole lamb. It was wonderful. We are using brick because of our sandy soil, but the pit can be partially filled with soil if the chef is looking to gain some of the character that soil brings.
We found further inspiration from Rick Bayless, who has put out a couple of really nice videos on cooking traditional Mexican cuisine in the ground.
by Photo credit: L. Butler
Here we see Jake preparing to cook a whole Hedal. I’m not sure how good that hat is going to taste….
–posted by Steven
Nearly done with the first row, but at 7 days, it’s going a bit slowly. Linda’s posing so you can get an idea of the depth.
I was hoping to be able to maneuver the tractor into the bed to help speed up the process, as right now, we are using a wheelbarrow to fill all this in. The problem with getting the tractor in is I have to remove a lot more dirt – and where do I put it? Chances are this is mostly going to get finished by hand.
–posted by Steven
Thank you @seanatgather for the kind words. We just connected our blog (lindencroft.wordpress.com) to our @lindencroft twitter feed.
We are going to be planting new asparagus beds soon. Here’s what it looked like last time we did it. [Really, I’m just using this as a way to test the link to twitter….]
Not a great shot, but here we are at Day 2. I’ve roughed out the full length of the bed, and Felix and Chuy have put down the 1/2″ hardware cloth and are starting to fill the first row with sifted soil and compost. We use these OSB dividers (you can see them a little better in the next photo) to separate the growing rows (42″ wide) from the aisles (20″). Rocks and such go into the aisles. After spending all day on about 12 feet of finished row, we decided that we will only sift the top foot of the bed, and just rake out rocks and roots from the lower 2 feet. This should cut our labor time by about 2/3. We are using a frame with 1/2″ wire for the sifting.
Here’s a better shot of the sifted soil:
We are starting to develop a new bed on the ridge. On Day 1, we cleared off the various piles of compost I had parked there, and started to dig out the bed. We are digging 34″ down. What you see here, along with my friends Felix and Chuy, is about 1/6 of the final bed. It will be an irregular shape, but roughly equivalent to an 80′ by 30′ rectangle. I rough it out with the trusty Kubota, and Felix and Chuy work their magic by cleaning up the sides and bottom. You can see part of the mountain of dirt that we pulled out on the right.
One interesting observation – this is the first bed on our farm where the dirt is actually, well, dirt. Our original beds are in pure white sand, and the next beds down on the ridge are completely shale. This stuff seems pretty nice. It will be a new experience for us growing in it.