Sunday, March 6, 2011

Marching Along

On March 3rd we had a meeting at the BARC site. I was joined by Marisha Auerbach, permaculture designer and Shannon Clay, environmental studies grad student at Evergreen. Cold rain was coming down at the site, so we didn't stay there too long and returned to our home for warm soup, tea and muffins. We discussed the orientation of the two arcs of Eden Reframed, and I received helpful advice from both Marisha and Shannon. We decided that the Food Forest arc should face south to embrace as much sun as possible.

Here are issues that we need to address in the coming weeks:

1. We need to make a list of things we want to plant in the Food Forest arc. The plan is to have things growing all year long. So far we discussed strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, kale and lettuces for spring, summer and fall. We discussed fava beans and radishes for the winter. We need to decide on what flowers to put in. Marisha said she would make us a timetable of when to plant what and make sure to highlight any maintenance concerns. We will be transplanting currants, blueberries, salal and some other edible plants from Emet's garden, as well as the apple and cherry tree that have survived the winter intact.

2. After staking the site on March 13th, we will need to make a timetable for digging up the Food Forest bed. It is unknown whether we will need heavy equipment to break through hardpan or not. If we can assess that need, I will make arrangements to rent or borrow the equipment needed.

3. Deston Denniston, another permaculture designer, needs to give us a sense of when he is available to help supervise the process for creating the "brush drain" pit and for sheet mulching. This work will need to be done during the last two weeks of March before I begin my travels. I will need to coordinate volunteers to dig based on Deston's schedule.

4. Shannon needs to find out the costs of soil testing for the other arc. We are talking about dividing the arc into 6 slices, each with different recipes for the remediation process. Shannon feels we will need 18 tests - we have to find out if we can afford that. We will not need to dig a bed for the soil remediation arc, but we will need to do soil testing there before the end of March, and eventually we will need to till the soil lightly for the mushrooms, mustard, etc.

So my next few weeks are going to be quite busy. I'm going to put off collecting more stories about gardening until after my April trip. In May, Shahreyar and I will be very focused on building the deer fence, benches and story hives, and if I feel I need more stories then, I will harvest some.

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