Mid-Summer Tales from an Urban Oasis

Never in my 37 years of living in western NC, have I come close to experiencing the prolonged, high heat of the past month! At Barefoot Permaculture, we have never come close to feeling we needed an air-conditioner.

Around Asheville, our nights cool down to the 60’s, yet several recent nights in a row had me rummaging in the attic for a larger fan to supplement our ceiling fan. That, and sleeping naked on top of the sheets, allowed a comfort that kept me from considering an a/c.

Our mid-summer figs ripened beautifully, 2-3 at a time. All 60 made it without animal loss. The catbirds, in particular, flew into and out of the fig trees several times, yet didn’t appear to realize these greenish yellow fruits were not going to darken with ripeness.

Mid-Summer Medicine in the Making

With only 1/10” of rain for 4 weeks, and temperatures in the upper 90’s, I set up “weeper” hoses for the Blueberries and Blackberries. Most of the other plants I watered by hand.

In spite of 20 years of adding organic matter to our growing areas, the plants were holding their own while growing in what appeared to be organic matter —flecked concrete. Amazing!!

Blackberries are Yum! And still coming in. Blueberries are green, just beginning to think about darkening. A small number of bushy-tailed tree rats are parasitizing our Moonglow Pears, as well as Goldrush Apples.

Honeybees are rocking, and Cope’s Grey Tree Frogs have produced 3 different egg clusters over 1 &1/2 months time. The males outside our window are still singing enticements at night.

Broom Handles

It’s broom making time. I am down to just several sweepers, and the October Southern Highland Craft Guild show is a deadline not to be ignored. (it sounds as if I have plenty of time, yet all the stages of making a top notch broom take time: finding, cutting, smoothing and sanding the handle; grading, sizing, clipping, and soaking the broomstraw, weaving the softened stalks, drying for 3 days, then pressing and sewing the “head” into the familiar, flattened, functional form).

Beginning The Weave

Freshly Woven Broom Heads

My  year fills up, with events scattered throughout, and surprises always appearing. I have to take the broom time whenever I am able. Once I actually begin, I deeply love working the wood and weaving the fibers into such functional beauty!

                                                                    Upcoming Permaculture Design Course Plans (2013)
Jamaica (for Jamaicans) in January
Southern Belize in February (more later)!

Human-Scale Access to Belize PDC



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About goodheart

Education: Warren Wilson College (BA Environmental Studies) 1987: University of Wisconsin Stevens Point (MSc. Natural Resources) 2005 Permaculture Design Certificate (The Farm, TN) 1994 Presidential Volunteer Award: 2005, 2006, 2007 Experiences: National and international Permaculture teacher and practitioner since 1995; Sustainable land use and permaculture consultant; International consultant for small plot sustainable agriultural projects; Home orchard consultant; Endangered species observer for sea-turtle and whale projects; Field biologist and naturalist; Gourmet natural food chef and teacher; Home baker (artisan breads) brewer & fermenter; Home orchardist; BeeKeeper; Ecological gardener; Broom-maker in the Southern Highland Craft Guild, and general bio-philiac...
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