Posted by: wolfcampcollege | January 11, 2010

Winter Is: The Most Important Time For Gardens

Today was a warm January day, perfect for the first in our Sustainable Pioneering & Herbal Gardening series. Many thanks to Moni for contacting us earlier this week and getting us going on the series, which we advertised late in the week and ended up with 7 wonderful attendees!

At 1:00 we sat down for a discussion about permaculture design, taking a look at some books published on the subject, going over the 10 principles and 5 zones of this concept. Attendees received hand-outs, including sample permaculture design maps.

at the future herb garden within our permaculture design map

At 2:00 we observed our property, walking the Zone 1 line around the  house, and then broadening our circle to the edges of Zone 2 where we discussed including a vegetable garden bordering wetlands to the east, and a raised herbal garden to the west inside the driveway circle. We also looked out upon Zone 3 where we decided that an expansion of our blueberries, fruit and nut trees would be perfect.

Gathering Spruce Needles for Nutritional Tea

At 3:00 we discussed the nutritional and herbal properties of Hawthorne berries still clinging to branches which we had previously trimmed back to make way for parking, and then we took a look at catkins hanging from our Hazelnut shrubs.

Putting Spruce Needles Into Boiled Water; Remove from Heat; Cover & Steep

Finally, we harvested spruce needles, boiled water, and then attendees steeped them (covered, off heat), before enjoying the tasty tea! While waiting for
the tea to steep, everyone got to know each other better around the kitchen table, and we drew in the permaculture zones on our parcel maps.

At the end, we took suggestions for the future, viewed our future compost bin (in an old cast-iron tub) at the edge of Zone 1,
discussed starting work on the herbal garden plus when to delineate the wetlands around the veggie garden, and made plans to take soil
samples in each area. Fun day!

See you for the next in our winter series on permaculture design, entitled “Time to Lay Down Roots in the Lowlands” taking place Sunday, February 7, 2010, from 1-4 p.m.

Check out our list of HERBACULTURE WORKSHOPS once-a-month on Sunday Afternoons during the Academic Year.

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