One of our big concerns once our food forest was planted, and knowing that we would be leaving the country for an unknown amount of years, was how would our little fruit trees and bushes survive the encroaching grass, blackthorn and volunteer plants.
We had no idea at the time. There was no design element that we could think of, other than expensive, non natural sheet mulching techniques. We didn’t give that a second thought. Here’s where I believe design can happen organically, not necessarily at the offset, but when an idea comes to mind due to necessity.
Winter was fast encroaching and so was my 35th birthday. I am in China. I thought everyday about how our mulberry, cherries, apples, pears and sea buckthorn berries needed tucking in for winter. A cosy, thick bed of mulch to keep them roots warm and stave of the early grass growth of 2013.
I plucked up the courage and boldly requested my family to help with the “M” of OBREDIM – Maintenance. “If we can get a farmer to drop off 20 big bales of straw I’m sure it can be done in a half day” I asked squeamishly. Mum was keen and she asked that I email through some detailed instructions…
On my birthday, December 17th, I woke in China to check my emails. Not only had Mum written a great account of their “beautiful day” at the Patch but Clare had attached a whole photo album of the proceedings. We were so happy to see that the food forest had been mulched but more importantly Mum, Dad, Clare, Ethan and Phoebe confessed that they had had a really fun and enjoyable day.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR ENTHUSIASM TOWARDS OUR ONGOING PROJECT AT THE PATCH. PLEASE FILL YOUR BOOTS WITH FRUIT IN 2013
The Family on their way…
Clare checking out the walnut
Ethan on the pile of bales
Keen niece and nephew
Greetings from a far
Couldn’t ask for a better birthday present
Dad handing out instructions
Phoebe loads a bale
Relaxing in the sun
They’re on it now!
Mum shifts the bales around
A beautiful day at the Patch
Hot elderberry cordial
Bit of maintenance on the tanks
A well earned rest
Nice and thick!
A winter bed…
Mum mulches the native hedge
In full mulching swing…
Clare looks satisfied
Spread it about!
Native hedge mulched
Ethan relaxes (in mulch)
Phoebe joins him
Perfect, thank you so so much
Posted in Appropriate Technology, Diploma, Environment, Food, Health, Permaculture, Travel
Tagged apples, Birthday, Blackthorn, China, Clare, Dad, Design, Ethan, Family, Food Forest, Fruit, grass, hay, Maintenance, mulberries, Mulch, Mum, Norfolk, OBREDIM, pears, Permaculture, Phoebe, remote maintenance, seabuckthorn, Spring, Straw, The Patch, volunteer lants, winter
After a much needed knees up at the festival in Bulgaria we headed north into Romania where we were to hole up in Transylvania and prepare some material for our first Permaculture Design Course as a member of the facilitating team.
Nina sorted the AirBnB host list in order of price and we were fortunate enough to find Iulian and his family at the top of the list. We just couldn’t have expected a more beautiful experience than the 6 days we spent with the family.
Home baked sourdough bread is there speciality. All accompanied by fresh oraganic vegetables from the garden and as many fresh apples as we could eat. Spring fed water, home made wine and local buffalo milk made staying with Iulian and Lumi a real treat. I would recommend their hospitality to anyone. Thank you all.
Posted in Environment, Food, Health, Travel
Tagged AirBnB, apples, buffalo milk, Iulian, Romania, Sourdough, Transylvania, travel