Thursday, June 11, 2009

First, an apology... and then for something completely different!

I want to apologize to some of you who have left comments on the blog. I've actually tried to respond to them, but Blogger has nixed my posts. It was annoying to say the least... especially after the elaborate answers I gave to your questions/problems. Perhaps I'll give it another go once I get over my grumbliness towards Blogger, but don't think your comments have gone unnoticed!

In other news, I'm not doing the B St. internship again this summer... which means I'll be doing little or no gardening this summer (although, I'm supposed to start some landscaping work for a friend this coming week). I didn't take the B St. internship for a couple of reasons; first because new students need the training I've gained over the past 3 years, and second because my ideology has pushed me beyond the bounds of traditional farming... even of the organic variety.

Nope. In the name sustainability, I'm switching gears toward forest gardening. Forest Gardening: Cultivating an Edible Landscape is by Robert Hart, quite possibly the father of forest gardening. Forest gardening mimics natural forest ecosystems, while providing foods that are edible for humans. Personally, I like going into the woods and finding stuff to eat, so the idea of creating a woods-like area where everything is edible is doubly appealing. But, forest gardens also provide a lot of natural benefits by naturally mulching and composting, as well as stabilizing temperature by regulating sunlight and wind. Also, special crops called accumulators have deep roots that help bring up nutrients from the lower levels of soil and are then composted to release those nutrients.

The guiding principle behind forest gardening is to work with nature by working in layers. The first is a canopy layer of fruit and nut trees. Between these are berry and other bushes. Below these are the herbs and accumulators. And then we have the vine or crawling "layer" that climbs the trees in search of sunlight.

Now my goal is to research forest gardening more and find plants that will work together well here in Oregon. I'm hoping to find an eager homeowner that would like to have their suburban property forest landscaped, and then to find plant donations and expert advice to put it all together. I'm already developing a list of plants that I'd like to incorporate, such as oca and walking onion. Ultimately, the homeowner should end up with a fairly year-round supply of food (oca is harvested in about January) and shade and wind blocks that should lower heating and cooling costs. Not to mention the fact that they'll have a beautiful landscape. And this way I can develop my understanding of this developing field.

Hope you've been inspired by forest gardening like I have! If you'd like to help with my project, just contact me. I'll be building a list of people that would like to donate plants, etc. and I'll be in touch as I develop a more in depth plan.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...