We started with two 4’x4′ flood trays and piled rocks and growstone in a plus sign. The four open squares in the corners of the tray were filled with pro-mix and sprinkled with “beauveria bassania plus” from Build-a-Soil (henceforth ‘BAS’) which is a cool fungus that helps deter fungus gnats.

In each tray, into two sides of the plus-sign of rocks, we put a 2′ section of 2″ PVC pipe that would allow us to pour water into the rocks and allow it to spread evenly through the four squares of pro-mix acting as wicking spots. These pipes we cut at an angle on the bottom so they wouldn’t sit flush with the tray below and were tall enough to stick out through the soil that we were about to put on top.

Onto these irrigating trays we set up 4’x4′ fabric containers (with little holes to let the pipes through) which each hold 12 cubic feet of soil, so we had to make 24 total… here’s the (Coots-ish) mix!

15 cubic feet of Nectar For The Gods #4 Soil Mix was our base as it’s (in my book) a pretty good Coots Mix in a bag…

6 cubic feet of Pumice went in to aerate the soil and provide gated communities to my bajillions of soil microbes.

2 cubic feet of Vermiblend (I feel like maybe this stuff is a little to rich to add to so much rich soil already but I had it and really wanted to add it in!)

3 cubic feet of Coast of Maine (Henceforth ‘COM’) Quoddy Blend Lobster Compost

1 cubic foot of COM Penobscot Blend Blueberry, Mussel, and Salmon Compost Mix

2 cubic feet of Fixit Farms Worm Castings…

Then we ammended with:

8 Cups of Kelp

8 Cups of Neem/Karanja cake mix

8 Cups Milled Barley

8 Cups COM Fish Bone Meal

12 Cups COM Lobster Meal

12 Cups Neptunes Crab Meal

16 Cups Glacial Rock Dust

16 Cups Volcanic Rock Dust

16 Cups Gypsum

We then sprinkled on BAS 12-Seed Cover Crop Mix on and misted it a bit and filled up the resevoirs below with water containing (ALWAYS CONTAINING) a more than generous helping of EM-1.

Then we blopped 1,000 red wigglers into each and let them settle right in… it took about 12 seconds for them to all disappear. It turns out they aren’t huge fans of 1000-watt lights, but they had plenty of space to hide… still though, next step is to find some straw to mulch with!

So, this soil in the fabric pot is where the food is and where the plants rootzone will be (mainly, at least) and it will pull it’s water up from the tray below, like a wick, and because of that it’s never ‘too wet’ and it gets evenly saturated… or so we thought.

To be continued…