Author Archives: Gabrielle Price

Thursday Work Party, April 17 [Photo Set]

Last Thursday, the rains started and as of this writing, the clouds are still producing misting rain. This weather always reminds of the porch on my grandmother’s home in mountains of Virginia, and the smell of Scotland.

Spring showers didn’t keep us from getting outside to work behind DeKist 2 house, where I reside at Green Acres. It is still lacking a name with some creative flourish. However, plans for this space are certainly going to be creative in coming months!

Ann asked me to get in some photos with my good camera. I snapped these in the short windows between rain showers. The first three will give you a scope of the work to be done here, with plans for a sauna and eventual space for outdoor music performances!

Below, Ann is adding sticks and limbs to the Hügelkultur raised garden beds — an old German horticultural technique that uses compostable biomass to help hold moisture. Justin happily stomps them down until we get some fill dirt on top of them. Rebecca and Alex are digging out limbs and raking up stray ivy in the background.

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I got a few shots of what we believe to be Turkey Tail fungus on a rotting stump.

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Solan looked underneath them but I think he was undecided about whether we should harvest and there was other work to be done.

I did a little research online and found this from Bay Nature MagazineTurkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is a species of fungus that closely resembles — you guessed it — turkey’s tail. As a bracket fungus, named because of its shelf-like form, its job is to break down either the lignin or cellulose in rotting wood. As a polypore, turkey’s tail holds its spores in tubes, so its underside should display tiny holes visible to the naked eye.

We’ll have to take a second look and report back!

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Solan cutting bamboo for kindling in the workshop.

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Amos watching over the hen house — chilling like a Zen master.

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Larger view of the back garden with gazebo. L to R: Rebecca, Justin and Ann.

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Alex and Rebecca clearing the back fence line.

It was time to put the camera under the dry gazebo and move bamboo stalks for Solan to cut in the workshop, then stack them near the fire pit for kindling.

Until next time ~ love and rocket stoves!
Gabby

Thursday Work Party, April 11 [Photo Set]

Thursday saw a beautiful morning with very mild weather. Perfect conditions for getting some food in the ground! Many of the flats we planted, if not all of them, began from seed in the greenhouse as early as January.  After last week’s ‘hardening’, most are now ready for their new homes after a bit of weeding and soil turning with the broad fork.

Dan, Alex, Solan and Max visiting

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Solan [above] and Justin [below] planting lettuce

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Thursday was also the first work party for Rebecca since she returned from her camping trip out west. We’re elated to have her back with us, as well as Hank and Amos!

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Max gets into the cat mint and stalks Hank

Dan takes seasoned bales away from the fig tree to line up near the fence. I may be experimenting with some straw bale planting, if we don’t need them for mulch.

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L to R: Dan moves bales, Rebecca and Andreas prepare the bed for planting

At Overhill House, Ann begins planting gladiolas, while Shadow oversees

Some of the beautiful pansies and flora that grace the front of Overhill House.

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It felt great to get our hands in the dirt and work together on a fine spring day. The breeze picked up which brought a nice cooling respite from the sun.  I headed to DeKist 2 to help Solan and Dan plant beds with bush beans and lettuce while listening to some great tunes. Our early peas weren’t too happy in the raised bed, so Solan made the call: We’ll have more beets!

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Photography by Gabrielle, Outreach Coordinator for Green Acres

Thursday Work Party 04/04 [Photo Set]

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Andreas welcomes Ann home from her trip west

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Ann addresses the work group about her experiences at convention [read more about her trip on exopermaculture.com!]

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Justin waters plants

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Daisy’s flower babies!

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Dan and Shadow

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Alex creates our task list for hardening the plant starts this week

With the warmer weather upon us, it’s time to start ‘hardening’ the plant starts. Solan explained that all the plants in the greenhouse have been babied and must be put outside on different rotation times throughout the week to get them ‘hardened’ to exposure to wind, rain, heat, etc.

Daisy, Justin, Alex and Andreas start new herb seeds now that there is more room on the heating pad table. Dill, parsley, oregano, chive to name a few!

While the rest of the crew were planting herbs in the greenhouse, Dan, Solan and I head outside to plant the first two beds of potatoes. Dan checked the soil temperature before turning it with the broadfork. Solan spread bone meal while Dan proceeded to make some divots for each potato start. It was time to put my phone down and get my hands in some rich, dark dirt!

Thursday Work Party ~ Community Dinner 03/28

Our Thursday morning work hour began with pod-mate, Solan sharing a personal and heartfelt message with us. Afterward, the feeling of friendship and teamwork seemed to expand as we worked on potting up a few plants and mixing new soil. Our work time ended in vibrant and thoughtful discussion.

Shadow puppy came to see us and enjoyed his people time with Dan

Potting up Hungarian hot peppers. I’ll be excited to welcome these future additions to my grandfather’s hot stew recipe!

Justin enjoying the soil mixing and ‘making it count’

L to R: Dan, Andreas, and Solan. The plan was to plant beets where the peas didn’t do well but the soil temp was too low. Maybe next week!

Great candid photo from Solan. L to R: Dan, Justin. Seated: Andreas, Alex and myself. Shadow in foreground.

With notable news about the growing law suits against Monsanto that morning, it started interesting and thoughtful conversations about the vital work we do at Green Acres. Each and every one of us is capable of doing this work — anywhere there is soil to heal and there are good hearts to plant seeds.

Unfortunately, the only two decent photos from Thursday dinner at Maple House are below. Next time I plan to bring out the big camera! It was a lovely evening with mild temperatures and a warm, inviting atmosphere. Fresh flowers were a nice touch from Daisy and neighbor Jenny brought us a wild flower from her yard called a Siberian Squill. Early conversations were about seasonings while looking at recipe books, talk of family traditions, baking, candied flowers — there seemed to be a dessert theme!

Jenny, Jelene, Wanda, Eva, and Sophia joined us early. Andreas arrived with Annie soon after and Aaron stopped in later with his sweet dog, Masha. Many lively discussions! The spread wasn’t big this night but the connection was nourishing.

 

Neighborhood Tree Planting Project 2019

Who wouldn’t love free native trees?

Last Wednesday, Green Acres took delivery of about half a dozen different kinds of trees and shrubs to disperse to our neighbors who participated in The Neighborhood Planting Project. We took orders over the course of two weeks via email, and in person at community dinners.

From the flyer: The Neighborhood Planting Project is a group of neighbors on Bloomington’s westside committed to supporting local growing, food autonomy, ecological restoration, and public beauty.

I came to the project a little late in the game but after reading about it, I was all in. Hugh did such a great job facilitating, it was a breeze. Admittedly, I was somewhat frantic the day before and day of, expecting small trees with sizable root balls and hoping for enough space in the second greenhouse. Turns out they were just whip starts. No trucks or extra folks needed to lift and carry! Free trees and plenty of smiles from the delivery crew!

L to R, standing: Thanks Mick & Kevin and the rest of the NPP team. Thanks also to Hugh!

Kevin grabs the gooseberry starts to show us how to plant one on site, complete with a soil amendment — included with each order

Dan and Kevin find a spot near the fence line of the main garden to plant the gooseberry

  

Hickory, Paw Paw, Hazelnut, White Pine [and a special request for Dogwood — to surprise my mom]

Thanks to @IUonStrike for the NPP nod and a Green Acres mention on Twitter. Here’s an archive to the local EcoReport on WFHB.

Learn more about this project and watch for Green Acres to participate again next year!

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