After one year, Solan has itchy feet, and will now travel to visit other intentional communities, larger and more rural, for the foreseeable future. An Aquarian, he loves group life, but this tiny place just feels too small for him — at least for now! We wish him well. And here’s our farewell dinner last…
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.
I got a few shots of what we believe to be Turkey Tail fungus on a rotting stump.
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 Magazine: Turkey 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!
Solan cutting bamboo for kindling in the workshop.
Amos watching over the hen house — chilling like a Zen master.
Larger view of the back garden with gazebo. L to R: Rebecca, Justin and Ann.
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.
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
Solan [above] and Justin [below] planting lettuce
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!
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.
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.
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!
Photography by Gabrielle, Outreach Coordinator for Green Acres
Ann addresses the work group about her experiences at convention [read more about her trip on exopermaculture.com!]
Justin waters plants
Daisy’s flower babies!
Dan and Shadow
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!