One thing I am looking forward to doing in retirement is a decent attempt at vegetable and fruit gardening. In the past I have had irregular results, mostly for having odd work hours and neglecting upkeep. It should be better when I am around more.
I am intrigued by African keyhole gardens and plan to try one. These combine a compost bin in the center of a circular raised bed with a cut in side to reach the bin, like a keyhole shape. They are a great help in very dry climates, like Africa. I am very interested in the raised bed because getting down on hands and knees is more difficult every year. A convenient compost pile which automatically leaches nutrients and moisture to the plants would make things easier. The deep beds allow plants to be placed much closer together, like French intensive method, but no double digging. There are lots of examples to be found online.
I have a list of fruit trees I’d like to try, since I will actually have enough room for a small orchard. Also plan a number of blueberry bushes, but will need to figure some way to keep the birds out. Sharon and her dogs have spotted deer and rabbits wandering through the meadow, so those are other unwanted guests to keep out.
As you can see in the picture, Sharon has a large fenced area to keep her dogs in, but maybe we’ll need one to keep other critters out of the garden. The cottage site is out beyond the bench.