Sunday, April 29, 2012

Highlights of April Permaculture Work

As I look back at What's Happening at Adventure Farm I realize just how much we've gotten done from that list and more. It's nice to take a few minutes as we near the end of the month to take the time to reflect on how far we have come in just the last month. Not only are we getting a lot done around here, but we are meeting and working with many wonderful like-minded people.  This little space we call Adventure Farm is truly enriching our lives in many ways.  

Here's a little April photographic summary of the permie part of Adventure Farm. There is a lot going on with the experiential education side too. Guy has promised to post the same sort of report later this week. 

The month began in the front yard. We finished not one swale project, but two.  Phase 1 of the "Tackling the Front Yard" project was to include replacing the grassy front hill with native grasses and lavendar plus installing some steps up the side lawn.  That project was finished as planned and withstood quite the rain storm like a champ.  We were so proud of how well that worked and motivated to do more. As so often happens, opportunity presented itself in the form of a deal Deanna couldn't pass up for 50 strawberry plants.  Since the second phase of the front project was to replace the south facing hill with strawberry plants we suddenly found ourselves with an unexpected project.  Deanna started digging while Guy ran off to a tree climbing event. When he returned, together they finished the project. We were a little short on mulch, but the next weekend one of our great volunteer helpers, Ryan, helped haul several loads of leaf mulch and wood mulch to finish the strawberry project and begin  the spring mulching of the back yard paths. The same day Ryan and I worked to haul organic material for his garden. It was very satisfying to help Ryan and his partner, Becky, get set up to grow some food at their apartment. It's wonderful to be building a community of support, a big part of permaculture. 

A picture of the two hill projects.  

By the way, we had another crazy hail, wind and rain event the evening after we had finished mulching the second project and all held up nicely.  It will be interesting to see how it looks in a few months when it's a little greener. 

We had another book club meeting with three permies in attendance. It was a nice evening and we decided on another book and date.  If anyone is interested in joining us, the next book date is June 12 at 6:30 right here at Adventure Farm.  The book we are reading is This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow.

We found homes for hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, kale, peppers, eggplant and basil plants that started out in our basement back in February. 

We took possession of two more colonies of bees in partnership with our dear friend, Karen Gold. They are living at Karen's house since we don't have enough room here to accommodate more than one hive. Sadly, we later lost our colony here at the Del Norte site.  Next spring we plan on starting another hive here, unless we happen to stumble upon a swarm opportunity this spring.  

Karen gathering equipment.

We named the hives Daisy and Zinnia. Here you can see some of the bees for hive Daisy taking their time finding their way to their new home. Queen Daisy is inside, so they will quickly find their way home. 

We set up a chicken wire covered frame donated by Deanna's brother, Ed, on a raised garden to keep out some pesky rabbits that insist on eating our green beans.  I'm going to get my green beans this year!! 

You can see debris on top from the hail storm.  The trees lost a lot of leaves in the storm event. 

This guy can just stay in these hardy natives and eat till his heart's content.
Finally, we worked to get our row of five rain barrels installed on the shed.  With the help of a wonderful volunteer crew we were able to get guttering on the shed and two of the five rain barrels complete. By the end of May we should have a complete multi-barrel working system.

Most of our wonderful rain barrel crew. From left to right: Maria Stoica, Jason West, Rachel Levi and Deanna English.  Guy was manning the camera. 

The lead rain barrel that has the spigot and overflow was hooked up.  After the recent storm you can see that is has filled all the way to the top.

We are looking forward to another full month of adventures.  In the next day or two keep an eye out for a list of upcoming events here and around town.  



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