In Permaculture Projects

BeforeFirst you make the decision to transform your lawn from resource-draining grass to productive and regenerative food system. Then you get a friendly permaculture designer to help you with the design. Then a whole community of eager volunteers drops by to make it happen. But then what?

In May 2011, Holly Minor had the inspiration, the design, and the team of volunteers to transform her urban lot. Check out how things have progressed in just one month:

In the garden, there are lots of plants coming up from seeds (radishes, spinach, and lettuce thinning are making for some wonderful salads), and the beddingAfter plants are taking off now. The swale has handled all the rain we’ve had – approx 6 – 7 inches in the last 2 weeks. I have one out of three downspouts off the house roof, coming down into the garden swale. I need to make a filter or strainer as the spruce needles, cones, and other debris from the roof gutters are being deposited into the garden. Harvesting rain water is such a great feeling! 

The cover crop of field peas (Apache Seeds – Edmonton) are up about 3 inches – I will be chopping and dropping those in the next week or so. I’m amazed at how much the alfalfa hay mulch has broken down in only one month. It’s definitely helping the soil. The compost (from Bow Point Nursery) was wonderful for planting into – it’s so well aged that no loam is necessary, but I did put some loam in with the bedding plants when I remembered. I’ve had to adjust to the garden area being covered with mulch – but I now pull back the hay and plant some seeds before moving it back into place. It doesn’t look as neat and clean, but I think the seedlings are happier having some sheltered cover. And the garden soil is far more fertile, with very few weeds. I planted 3 fruit trees and have them espalied against the west fence in the garden – 2 plum (one Pembina and one Brook Gold) and 1 pear (Ure). I also planted a honeyberry bush in a corner of the garden. I think I need another pear tree to enhance fertilization.

I love being able to be out in the garden in all weather. Now I look around the backyard and see more swale opportunities!

Stay tuned for more updates into the summer! 






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