From Source Weekly to Your Backyard: Shakti Farm Design’s Greenhouse Impact

From Source Weekly to Your Backyard: Shakti Farm Design’s Greenhouse Impact

Discover Shakti Farm Design’s journey from a Source Weekly feature to revolutionizing organic gardening in Bend, OR. Explore our sustainable greenhouses and enroll in our comprehensive online course for organic gardening.

The Journey from Vision to Reality:
Shakti Farm Design was born out of a dream to reconnect people with the natural process of growing food. Inspired by the simple beauty of nature, we embarked on a mission to bring sustainable, efficient greenhouses to every backyard.

Why Greenhouses are Essential for Modern Gardening:
Greenhouses are not just structures; they are havens where plants thrive year-round. They protect against unpredictable weather, extend growing seasons, and are a cornerstone for sustainable organic gardening.

Tackling Climate Challenges:
Our greenhouses are designed to stand strong against the whims of nature, ensuring your gardening passion is not hindered by weather challenges.

Boosting Local Food Production:
With each greenhouse installation, we take a step towards enhancing local food sustainability. We envision communities where fresh, organic produce is just a backyard away.

Shakti Farm Design’s Unique Approach:
Our greenhouses are not one-size-fits-all. We specialize in creating custom solutions that align with your specific gardening needs, focusing on sustainability and efficiency.

The Impact of Our Greenhouses – As Seen in Source Weekly:
The recent feature in Source Weekly captures the essence of our impact. We’ve seen clients transform their gardening practices, embracing a more organic, sustainable approach.

Join the Green Revolution – Our Online Gardening Course:
To further our mission, we offer an online organic gardening course. This course is designed to empower you with the knowledge and skills to excel in greenhouse gardening.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The basics of organic gardening.
  • Sustainable greenhouse management.
  • Techniques for year-round cultivation.

Connecting Community Through Gardening:
Our course is more than just a learning experience; it’s a community of like-minded individuals passionate about sustainable living.

Conclusion:
Partnering with Shakti Farm Design means joining a movement towards a greener, more sustainable future. For a deeper insight into our mission and impact, read our feature in Source Weekly here. We invite you to explore our greenhouses and enroll in our online gardening course. Together, let’s cultivate a healthier, greener world.


 Call to Action Ready to transform your lifestyle and your backyard?  sign up for the no-nonsense Organic Gardening Online Course designed for you. Let’s make your garden grow, even amidst the chaos of daily life!

“Busy? Easy Online Course for Your Garden Revolution!”

“Busy? Easy Online Course for Your Garden Revolution!”

Introduction

Hey there, fellow green-thumbs and time-jugglers! Let’s face it, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, the dream of cultivating a thriving organic garden seems as far away as a quiet weekend. But guess what? It’s totally possible, and I’m living proof! I’ve been where you are — squeezing gardening between meetings and meal preps — and I’ve got the dirt under my nails to prove it. Let’s dive into how our Organic Gardening Online Course can be your best ally in turning your garden dreams into reality.

Furthermore, in a world where we often find ourselves disconnected from the natural world, there’s a profound sense of fulfillment that comes from nurturing your food and flowers. Moreover, the satisfaction of watching a seedling you planted grow into a flourishing plant is unparalleled. In essence, our course is designed to fit into your busy life, not the other way around. Hence, let’s explore together how you can green your space and mind, one plant at a time.

Understanding Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening: A Quick Snapshot

Organic gardening is all about growing without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. It’s a dance with nature rather than a battle against it. And the best part? It’s not as time-consuming as it’s made out to be. With smart techniques and a bit of planning, you can cultivate an earth-friendly oasis on a tight schedule.

Moreover, organic gardening is not just about avoiding chemicals; it’s a holistic approach to working with nature. It means fostering biodiversity, improving soil health, and conserving water — all of which are essential components of a sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, by embracing organic methods, you contribute to a larger movement of environmental stewardship, which is something to be truly proud of.

Busting the Time Myth

Remember when I thought I needed to dedicate my whole weekend to my plants? Turns out, my veggies didn’t need a helicopter gardener. They thrived with just the essentials — kind of like how we throw on a cap and call it a hairstyle on busy days!

Besides, there’s a myth that organic gardening requires a significant time commitment. However, I’ve learned through experience that it’s about quality, not quantity. Just as importantly, selecting the right plants and tools can make gardening a convenient part of your routine, not a time-consuming chore. Consequently, with our online course, you’ll learn how to create a low-maintenance garden that suits your busy lifestyle.

Why Choose Our Organic Gardening Online Course?

Learning at Lightning Speed

With our Organic Gardening Online Course, you can absorb wisdom faster than your plants can soak up that spring rain. You set the rhythm, squeezing in a lesson while your coffee brews.

In addition, our course is structured to give you quick wins and immediate results, so you stay motivated. Whether it’s choosing the best spot for your vegetable patch or picking the right composting method, you’ll see progress in real-time. As such, our bite-sized lessons are packed with actionable tips you can implement straight away.

Community and Expertise

Imagine having a gardener’s expertise in your pocket. That’s what an online community feels like. Got a question at midnight about composting? Play our video on the topic and it’s like having your cake and eating it, too!

Plus, you’ll never be gardening alone. Our online email connection is a treasure trove of inspiration and support. Whether you’re dealing with a pest problem or looking for harvest tips, there’s always someone to turn to. Additionally, our experts are not just knowledgeable; they’re passionate gardeners who love to share their insights.

What to Look for in Our ‘Organic Gardening Online Course’

The Full Scoop

You’ll want a course that covers the A to Z of organic gardening — one that digs into soil health, pest control using companion planting, and even the best way to manage your leafy greens. Trust me, understanding the ‘why’ behind the ‘how’ makes all the difference.

Moreover, our comprehensive curriculum is designed to empower you with knowledge about every aspect of organic gardening. From soil science to seed selection, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how to create a thriving garden ecosystem. Additionally, we delve into innovative techniques like permaculture design and vertical gardening, ensuring you’re well-equipped to tackle any gardening challenge.

Tools for Success

Our course gives you more than just lectures. Videos, high-definition images, can make learning as engaging as binge-watching your favorite show.

What’s more, we provide resources and planning tools that you can refer to at any time. This means you’ll have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, ready to be applied to your garden. Plus, our visual aids and step-by-step guides ensure that even the most complex concepts become clear.

Time-Saving Tips for the Aspiring Organic Gardener

Plan Like a Pro

Every minute counts, so plan your garden with precision. I’ve found that investing time in a good plan at the start saves hours later on.

To add to this, we teach you how to create a garden that practically takes care of itself. By choosing the right plant companions and using mulches effectively, you can drastically reduce weeding and watering time. As a result, you’ll have more time to actually enjoy your garden, rather than toiling away at it.

Choose Wisely

Some plants are just naturally low-drama — think perennials like chives or hardy kale. They’re like the friends who only need a check-in now and then.

Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of plant selection in organic gardening. By choosing disease-resistant varieties and native plants, you can ensure a resilient garden with minimal intervention. In our course, we guide you through the process of selecting plants that are well-suited to your climate and soil, leading to less fuss and more growth.

Smart Tools

In my first year, I tilled my garden with just a shovel and a lot of enthusiasm. Big mistake. Do your back a favor and invest in a few ergonomic tools. Your future self will thank you.

Additionally, the right tools can make all the difference in your gardening experience. We introduce you to methods and designs that make gardening a breeze. With these tools, tasks like pruning, planting, and harvesting become effortless and enjoyable.

Setting Up for Success: Preparing to Start

Set Clear Goals

Before you start, ask yourself, what do you want from your garden? Fresh salads, fragrant herbs, or a salsa garden? Your goals will guide your learning, so keep them clear and achievable.

Besides, setting goals helps to focus your efforts and measure your success. Our course helps you set realistic and exciting goals, whether it’s growing a certain amount of produce or creating a wildlife-friendly space. We’ll support you every step of the way in achieving these goals.

Dedicated Learning Space

Create a nook for your study time, even if it’s just a corner of your kitchen table. Make it inviting, and you’ll want to return to it.

Moreover, we stress the importance of creating a dedicated learning environment. This space should be free from distractions and equipped with all your gardening course materials. We provide tips on organizing your learning space to maximize your comfort and concentration.

Get Your Gear Ready

There’s nothing worse than starting a lesson and realizing you don’t have what you need. Before you hit ‘play,’ make sure your gardening gloves are at the ready!

Additionally, we provide a comprehensive checklist of essential gardening gear to get you started. From gloves to trowels, we cover everything you need to have on hand before diving into the course. This ensures that you’re fully prepared to take action after each lesson.

Maximizing the Impact of Your Online Learning

Daily Doses of Garden Wisdom

Incorporate small lessons into your daily routine. While you have listened to a lecture on soil health while repotting your herbs, it will be a game-changer.

Not to mention, our course is designed for integration into your daily life. We encourage you to apply the lessons in real-time, transforming your routine tasks into learning opportunities. This practical approach helps to reinforce the concepts and techniques you learn.

Engagement is Key

Don’t just passively watch the videos. Be that person who asks questions, gives feedback, and shares their own experiences. Community interaction is the secret sauce of online learning.

Further, the interactive nature of our course means you’re never just a spectator. We foster a dynamic learning syllabus where your thoughts and questions drive the course. This collaborative approach enhances your learning experience.

Step-by-Step Progress

Apply what you learn week by week. I started with soil prep and by the time the course ended, my garden was all set for planting. It was like following a recipe for success.

In addition, our structured modules are designed to build upon each other, allowing for steady progress. You’ll start with the basics and gradually move to more advanced topics, all at a pace that suits you. This methodical approach ensures that you fully understand each topic before moving on to the next.

Beyond the Course: Continuing Your Organic Gardening Journey

Level Up Your Skills

As you grow more confident, start integrating more advanced practices. My second year was all about companion planting, which is like matchmaking for your plants!

Moreover, as your confidence grows, so will your ambition. Our course equips you with the skills to experiment with advanced gardening techniques, from biointensive methods to full grown companion planting haven. We encourage lifelong learning and provide resources for continuous skill enhancement.

Keep Growing

Your garden and your skills are living, breathing things. They’ll grow and change.

Call to Action

Ready to transform your lifestyle and your backyard? Click To sign up for the no-nonsense Organic Gardening Online Course designed for busy bees like you. Let’s make your garden grow, even amidst the chaos of daily life!

 

Greenhouse Gardening for Children: Three Rivers School

Greenhouse Gardening for Children: Three Rivers School

Greenhouse gardening is helping students at Three Rivers School harvest much more than food and flowers.

Gardening is hard to beat for promoting well-rounded development in children. Whether the garden is in a greenhouse or community patch, kids who grow fruits and vegetables are more likely to eat fresh, healthy produce. 

Recent research shows that kids involved in hands-on school growing programs developed an increased snacking preference for fruits and veggies. In addition to improving their health, engaging children in the growing process helps them develop curiosity, learn to be more resourceful, and grow their own self-confidence.

That’s why we used our Central Oregon Health Council grant to build a 20×20 greenhouse for Three Rivers School in Sunriver. We chose Three Rivers School to create an opportunity for local children to develop the skills and creativity needed to grow their own sustainable food year-round.

Here’s the step-by-step process of how we built our sustainable year-round greenhouse for Three Rivers School.

Phase one: Construction

These are the steps we take to create a solid foundation and sturdy structure. 

We use machinery to make sure the depth of our foundation is uniform. 

Then we use commercial-grade cement to ensure a stable foundation.

The posts are pitched to ensure integrity. 

We make to-size bows and arches onsite. From there, baseboards are secured to strengthen the structure and ensure the integrity of the foundation poles. 

The arches and bows are then secured. The height from the center of the bow to the ground is 14 feet. This structured style ensures that snow slopes off easily during the winter season. 

Then we reinforce the center framework to provide additional strength to the greenhouse. The mountain-like shape ensures extra safety and security, increasing the structure’s ability to withstand heavy snow loads before it slides off.  

Brace bands are then added on the sides to withstand and counter the pitching effects of heavy winds and transfer the momentum and wind force to the base structure, stabilizing the greenhouse against heavy winds. 

Once the framing and end walls are erected, we installed poly 6 mil plastic membrane walls. 

Fans are installed for circulation.

Phase 2: Soil Foundation

It’s important to take great care with laying a soil foundation. We start with laying cardboard and Organic Alfalfa Hay to create an environment for the microbes, healthy bacteria and fungi, and earthworms to thrive underneath the logs. 

Then we stack wood logs neatly to create the base foundation. 

We use wood chips to fill out air gaps within the logs.

Next comes the layer of our trusted compost, then our topsoil.

The pathway is layered with compost to encourage the growth of our edible mushrooms on the path. 

This is followed by a nice healthy layer of wood chips for the mushrooms to thrive.

Irrigation is done diligently to create an ecosystem of healthy growing mediums. 

Once the irrigation is laid out and micro-sprinklers are installed, we add our unique blend of microbes, beneficial bacteria, fungus, and other healthy and organic soil builders and minerals. We top this off with organic alfalfa hay, which serves as food for these thriving microbes. 

The center island area in green will be used to plant avocado trees, and different colors on the side beds represent different companion planting areas. The area shaded brown next to purple on the right side is designated for seed starters. Edible red wine cap mushrooms will grow on the pathway.

Here is the final foundation, ready to be planted!

We created a flower bed on all sides outside the greenhouse to bring extra joy and beauty. Our clients’ smiles and joy make this a job well done in our book.

The final phase is to give education and support on how to grow sustainable year-round food so our clients can enjoy their harvest to the fullest. 

 

We are happy to share our progress on this project from Jan  2023 to Sept,2023 as shown on our local news channel KTVZ21. The children at the school are enjoying, learning and taking the first step towards sustainability from a young age.

The following news segment confirms our success! Local credit unions have opened their doors for loans towards the installation of Shakti Design greenhouses.

Here’s a Review of the final project:

“Shiv has been erecting a greenhouse on our school site. The product is of excellent quality and we have been nothing but pleased with how things have come along. I’d highly recommend Shakti Farm to others.”

– Tim Broadbent, Principal at Three Rivers School in Sunriver

If you’re ready to explore the vast world of greenhouse growing and how to start an organic greenhouse, you can book your 15-minute free consultation via our contact page.

We’re truly excited to help you plan, build, and enjoy the greenhouse and organic crops of your dreams.

Book your free consultation here.

How to Start an Organic Greenhouse: Frequently Asked Questions

How to Start an Organic Greenhouse: Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about how to start an organic greenhouse?

You’re not alone. Organic growing is rising in popularity, and for good reasons.

Our organic greenhouse tips will help you start your own family-friendly organic garden that produces delicious, healthy food for your family, friends, and meals year-round.

What are the benefits of organic growing?

Growing food with organic systems uses 45% less energy and doesn’t contribute to the accumulation of toxins in waterways. Organic greenhouses foster a healthier world by encouraging soil health and supporting natural ecosystems. 

Growing organically also cuts carbon emissions by 40% compared to conventional farming and growing methods, lowering your growing cost for years to come.

Unlike non-organic goods, organic foods go from farm to table without synthetic ingredients. This means that you’ll avoid exposure to substances linked to health issues like a weakened immune system. 

Since organic growing avoids chemical additives, organic foods are also more environmentally friendly and support local biodiversity. Chemical pesticides are often fatal to helpful pollinators like bees, so organic farming and growing provides much-needed support to the honeybee population.

Organic vegetables

What makes an organic greenhouse “organic”? 

Organic greenhouse farming excludes synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and growth regulators. Instead, organic growing favors natural methods. These methods rely on crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, organic wastes, legumes, green manures, and even mineral-bearing rocks to feed their soil and supply their plants with the nutrients they need to thrive.

Can my greenhouse be certified organic? 

Yes! Your greenhouse farming operation–in this case, your greenhouse–can be certified as organic. Organic greenhouse vegetable, herb, and flower production is actually a widespread practice by certified organic farmers and market gardeners. 

You might find a few organic growers at your local farmer’s market or start selling your own organic crops at one. 

The National Organic Program (NOP) provides certification standards and rules organic farming operations, including greenhouses, need to follow for USDA organic certification

For instance, your soil needs to be free from prohibited substances like chemical pesticides for at least three years. You can use artificial lights in your greenhouse, but you’ll need organic or untreated seeds. 

Here’s how to get USDA organic certified:

  1. Find a local accredited organic certifying agent.
  2. Create a stable organic system plan. (We can help you with this.)
  3. Follow the rest of the USDA organic certification process with help from your agent.

How do I start developing my organic greenhouse vision? 

Each greenhouse and each grower is unique, so developing your vision is a great place to start. 

You can start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Which fruits, vegetables, and herbs do I love to eat? 
  • Which plants spark joy when I see or smell them? 
  • Who do I want to share this experience with? (Friends, family, neighbors, or any other members of my community?)
  • Where would I like to place this greenhouse?
  • How much time and money am I ready to invest in my dream? 

It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers yet. Our team at Shakti Farm Design has years of experience designing and crafting organic greenhouses alongside our clients, no matter how big or small their vision may be. 

If you’re excited about organic greenhouse growing, speaking with a professional can help you chart and navigate your path to the greenhouse of your daydreams. 

How do I start an organic greenhouse now that I have my vision?

Now that you have your vision, you’re ready to consider the following:

  • Do I currently have my own equipment, tools, and materials?
  • How much experience do my community or I have with any greenhouse growing?
  • What kind of help do I need to make my vision come to life? 

Shakti Farm Design can help you make your organic greenhouse dream a reality. 

Our designs and gardens are crafted to evoke a meditative quality when you move through your organic oasis. We’re here for you from start to finish, including the design, building, creating permaculture inspired soil foundation, and year around growing process. We also provide you with a fully customized book of information on your specific greenhouse, its maintenance needs, and detailed notes on what to grow at different times of the year based on your favorite herbs, vegetables, and flowers. 

If you’re ready to explore the vast world of greenhouse growing and how to start an organic greenhouse, you can book your 15-minute free consultation via our contact page.

We’re truly excited to help you plan, build, and enjoy the greenhouse and organic crops of your dreams.

 

Book your free consultation here.

Organic Greenhouse Adventures: Ed’s Tomato Dilemma

Organic Greenhouse Adventures: Ed’s Tomato Dilemma

 

Organic Greenhouse Growing:

Ed called us about his tomato plants, which were yielding smaller, fewer fruits after years of pesticide use. Here’s how we helped.

Our vision is to create a sustainable, enduring food-growing experience for our clients and our planet.

But while most greenhouse builders know to include a sturdy structure, weatherproofing, and waterproofing, many stop there. That means that once the structure is built, there’s little support on what a greenhouse owner should do next. 

The general trend is to start the planting process immediately: investing time and money in soil and seeds and getting to work. 

While this method works for a season or two, you might notice a sudden drop-off in harvestable food and that your plants are nutrient-deficient or disease-ridden soon after. To combat this, people often try pesticides and fertilizers, only to find a temporary increase in plant health and another drop-off in plant health right before harvest.

So, is adding fertilizers again and again and using chemical-rich pesticides the only way to keep your greenhouse plants thriving? Thankfully, there’s another, more sustainable way to grow. 

Greenhouse owners who want to take the organic route and avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides are often left in the dark about improving their growing and food quality without synthetic chemicals.

Creating Your Own Compost

While this option is effective, it takes a lot of care and attention to maintain the correct temperature in the heap and to continuously add organic matter. If it’s done incorrectly, the composting process invites insects and flies into the area, creating a hygiene problem. Here’s how to do it right. 

Ed’s Tomato Dilemma 

Ed had an excellent greenhouse structure in place. But when I met him, he shared concerns about his soil. Ed showed me his tomato plants, which yielded smaller and fewer fruits than in previous years. Outside his greenhouse, he’d made a small garden. Unfortunately, there was no longer any sign of the morning glory flowers he loved and planted with so much care and joy this year. 

Naturally, we stepped in to help.

Nourishing Soil 

Soil is a living organism, and like any organism, it needs nourishment and nutrients to sustain the complex biodiversity which lives in it. Billions of bacteria and microorganisms live in our bodies, keeping us healthy and alive. Likewise, these microorganisms and bacteria keep the soil’s structure and complex biodiversity alive to keep the whole system healthy. 

Ed was happy to hear that Shakti Farm Design takes an organic approach, avoiding short-lived solutions like pesticides and chemicals that would further hurt his soil and plants.

When to Fix Your Soil

We started this project in November to prepare his greenhouse and outside garden for the spring. Winter and fall are the best times to start a soil-building project. The extra time allows the foundation to settle and microorganisms to flourish under the right temperature and conditions.

Building Ed’s Soil Foundation

To build the soil foundation, we use aged wood logs and techniques inspired by Hugukulture. If you visit a forest, you’ll often see that fallen logs support life on the fallen branches and trunk where another tree or shrub grows. That’s because a fallen tree’s trunk provides essential nutrients to many living organisms, helping nurture life and healthy growth. 

This is the time-tested, forest-inspired organic philosophy we use in our soil structure. Once the growing mound is complete with logs, compost, and topsoil, we introduce our unique blend of microbes and mycelium to create a natural habitat and environment for the soil to flourish and grow. 

What’s Mycelium? 

Mycelium is the growing body from which mushrooms fruit, just like a tomato plant is the growing body from which a tomato fruit blooms. Underneath the earth, the mycelium network is the largest kingdom of growing organisms, and scientists are learning more about fungi all the time.  

Mycelium is vital for a plant’s health and the general well-being of your soil. Since mycelium doesn’t have its own chlorophyll for photosynthesis, it creates a symbiotic relationship with plants. These mycelium networks provide nutrients from breaking down logs to the roots of the plant in exchange for sugar, which the plant produces through photosynthesis above the ground. 

This relationship keeps Ed’s plants healthy and disease-free while keeping his soil structure alive and thriving in the long run. 

Living Plants Need Living Soil

Alongside fungus, we also introduced healthy microbes and our favorite European night crawlers to keep Ed’s soil healthy and provide additional nutrients to his growing plants. 

As with all of our clients, we advised Ed to keep feeding his topsoil with organic hay and/or cover crop. We include this and additional information on the fine details of growing in the plans we give each greenhouse client. Feeding the soil is essential for healthy plants since these living organisms thrive in equally living soil. 

We also provided Ed with a manual on how to grow sustainable year-round food in his greenhouse. 

Companion Planting

We also included layout plans for companion planting, with intensive research showing which plants will grow well together. When we grow plants that are compatible to grow with each other, there is less competition for a specific nutrient that a plant needs to grow. Companion plants help each other to fight off diseases and pests, along with nurturing a healthy growing plant. 

Before we stepped in, Ed was venturing out in every kind of weather to water his plants every morning and night. To give him some time off, we created a complete automated watering system for his greenhouse. These days, he spends less time watering and more time doing what he loves. 

We also provided Ed with more information about his system’s automated thermostat heaters and ventilation fans to keep his plants and his greenhouse thriving. 

Here are some photos from before and after Ed’s project:

Let’s begin with a five star rating, with five being the highest. In this case, we’d consider seven stars from the very start to the very end. It’s been a magical journey, from the project’s conception to Shiv’s knowledge of sustainable, year-round food growing, to permaculture designing with companion planting. It was truly magical, because it only took 17 days until the first germination of winter seedlings!
These people are great to work side-by-side with, and we had fun!
Thank you for the experience,

– Ed

We are looking forward to spring, when Ed and his plants will flourish and glow with joy, naturally and organically. 

Book your free Greenhouse consultation here.