Berry Terraces


Although the previous owners, Ken and Peggy, had planted red and black raspberries on the property (which are delicious by the way), we want to plant even more berries. We started the first step in September 2022 by constructing terraces which we then sheet mulched to help nourish the soil.

First we needed to mow down the cover crop that was already growing onsite. Next we needed to rake away the debris and mark where the terraces would be built.

Want to learn more about our methods?
Want to know more about cover crops?  Click here.

Want to know more about sheet mulching? Click here.

Next we started digging and placing logs for the retaining wall.

We needed logs cut to size so Les, Cindy, and Jenny were on it. We even had to make an excursion into the Black Hills National Forest to harvest some dead aspen trees because we did not have enough material onsite.

Then we started the sheet mulching by laying down the following layers of organic materials:

  • Compost
  • Hay (which is made from dried grass and legumes)
  • Cardboard
  • Compost
  • Straw (which is made from grain stalks)
  • Woodchips

Each layer needed to be thoroughly watered before the next layer could be put down. It is a long and tedious process, but it works well to help smother weeds and build organic rich soil.

Now that the terraces and beds are built, we will let the sheet mulch layers break down into soil for the next couple of years. Once that process is complete, we will plant raspberries, blackberries, saskatoons (aka serviceberries aka juneberries), gooseberries, and honeyberries (aka haskaps). We will continue to update this page as the project progresses.