Winter at an Urban Oasis

 

2015 has just slid in, under the closed front door; liked the woodstove’s gentle warmth, and decided to stay awhile…

Each December, at Barefoot Permaculture, we  have a 2 weekend sale and open house : “Clay & Straw”, during which we have on display and for sale, Chiwa’s clay art and my brooms.

Lumanaries at Home Show Opening

Lumanaries at Home Show Opening

Each weekend has it’s own energy generating attraction. We have an opening celebration the first night: first 30 people receive one of Chiwa’s wine cups.

Shrines, and Shields: some of Chiwa's work

Shrines, and Shields: some of Chiwa’s work

On the second Saturday, I make from-scratch cinnamon buns and a huge pot of organic coffee.

Early Interest on Cinnamon Bun Morning

Early Interest on Cinnamon Bun Morning

This is Home Economy in action!

Since my last entry, we were gifted with a used “Grow Camp”: an 8’x4’x2’ above ground garden bed with it’s own self supported greenhouse. Since voles —root eating, below ground-living rodents: looking like a mouse, but with a very short tail— have moved into the role of major plant predator in our orchards and gardens, this Grow Camp, set on top of hardware cloth (a small mesh, metal barrier) makes a vole proof, four season garden bed.

Banana Stem Hugelkultur

Banana Stem Hugelkultur

To fill the bed (almost 64 cubic feet of soil), we followed Permaculture’s guideline of Stacking Functions,  and started with a home-spun Hugelkultur of banana stalks (8”-9” diameter), corn stalks, and small diameter woody debris, followed with partially composted leaves.

Cornstalk Second Layer

Cornstalk Second Layer

 

Compost/BioChar 3rd Layer

Compost/BioChar 3rd Layer

Above this foundational layer, we added our own compost and BioChar, as well as topping it with almost 32 cubic feet of off- site (but still local) Biodymanic compost.

BioDynamic Compost Top Layer

BioDynamic Compost Top Layer

With our (so-far) mild winter season, the kale, collards, and cilantro “starts” we planted have begun to grow. This may be about to change, with an upcoming Arctic high pressure headed our way. Within 4 days, we will be experiencing single digit  (F) lows).

All Tucked In For A Winter Blast!

All Tucked In For A Winter Blast!

These young plants, in their greenhouse microclimate, should do fine.

Our zone 6 Dunston Grapefruit is going to be challenged with such low temperatures, and will receive a triple fabric wrap to help buffer the freeze. We shall see…

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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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