I'm thinking it might be useful to have a list of available tools and skills that new gardeners could draw on. Is there something like that already? Here is my example of what I'm talking about...
We are just getting started with an organic gardening project on the side of our house. Just uncovered the previously grassy area we had covered with cardboard for the last couple of months and we are now ready to work the soil. Is there anyone in the Bellingham area who has some kind of small/medium sized tiller (maybe motorized?) that would be rentable (maybe for Life Dollars) so we can really work our soil prior to late planting?
If you have suggestions on how to avoid a motorized effort (that won't damage our aged backs) that would be useful too.
Here are some thoughts. Don't make raised bed frames just mound up the beds with the soil that you dig out from the paths and additional compost or amendments. Then never walk on the beds or rototill. Rototilling makes the beds look good at first, but actually kills the soil in the long run creating hard pan and minced worms. Instead use a broad fork or U-bar to aerate the soil. Easy on the back and the soil. U-bars don't take gas and there are no moving parts to break. Lighter then a rototiller and not as stinky or noisy! more info can be seen here.
and more here
Hope this helps!