I'm furiously planning my garden here in Atlanta, in between applying for jobs. Hugelkultur, sheet mulching, and Charles Dowding's "no-dig" theories are all floating around on my mind.
Last weekend, I attended a Seed and Scion Swap put on by the Wylde Center of Decatur. Tor Jansen of the Seed Savers Exchange talked about their heirloom collards revitalization and the need for new stewards or heritage plant genetics. According to a 4 year study and tour of the south conducted by Ed Davis and John Morgan, every single southern collard-seed-saver was over the age of 65. It's imperative we prevent extinction through seed saving AND preserve our human right to save seeds: choosing, home-grown-genetically refining, perpetuating, and independently growing plants are all KEY to our ecosystems and our future as a species. For example: eventually heavily-monocultured-and-pesticided Russet potatoes will get a bug or disease that no amount of genetic manipulation, poison, nor technology can save, and the fast food industry will crash.
I've laid down cardboard and leaves on most of the plot and created 2 hugelkultur beds as well. Fallen branches and sticks collected around the neighborhood, plus compost and coffee chaff sit underneath upturned clay soil. Eventually I'll have the funds to buy garden soil and will form beds on top of the composted, mulched, weed-suppressed yard. I know a rainy dirt parking lot doesn't look so hot right now but it will. And look! There are puddles!