Happy Earth Day!

I’ve often noted that for me, every day is Earth Day, but I do enjoy spending some extra time and effort honoring Gaia on and around her special day. This past weekend, I attended an intensive Permaculture Design Course, which included hands-on training. Yesterday, we planted fifteen fruit trees! I was surprised how easy it is to calculate root requirements. Hint: dig the hole twice as deep and twice as wide as the roots. Shovel in some compost, mix it with topsoil, water, add more compost/soil mixture, spread out the roots, water more. Continue until just below the graft or to the soil line of a true tree. That’s it! We also put plastic guards around each tree to protect them from deer or other nibblers. It felt good to plant so much life that will continue to grow for decades.

planting trees

A couple weeks ago, I made a seed inventory and started about twenty plants indoors. Below you’ll see a portion of the seeds I have on hand. Some are for Fall planting; others for late June. I’m just getting organized for Spring right now:

Seeds 2013

Seeds 2013

I’m particularly excited about my Medicinal Herb Garden seeds and can’t wait to get some of those in the ground:

Medicinal Herb Garden 1

Medicinal Herb List

I ordered some other medicinal seeds as well. Things like Yellow Maca, Meadowsweet, Munstead Lavender and Hyssop will also grace our lawn. I don’t know that I’ll get all these seeds in this year, since I continue to observe where sunlight hits, as well as design more permanent locations. This year I will be happy to get our four raised beds assembled for a Four Season Vegetable Harvest:

Cubic Foot Gardening

Cubic Foot Gardening

I bought three of these Cubic Foot Gardening tiered raised beds, and we’ll also be creating what I affectionately call a “Bed Bed” from the black frame of an old Sleep Number Bed. From what I’ve researched, using black raised beds increases growing time by at least one month on either end of the traditional gardening season, because the soil remains warmer due to the black gathering heat. I’ve got some special seed blends for late season plantings, as well as a gourmet greens variety that I can start as soon as we have the beds assembled and filled with the Square Foot Gardening recommended mixture of 1/3 compost, 1/3 vermiculite and 1/3 peat moss.

I’ll plant plenty of wild flowers, zinnias, marigolds and sunflowers to increase the aesthetics of the black plastic. I’ll also mulch around the beds and plant a sunflower backdrop. Our landlord just began putting in a wooden fence along the Western edge of our yard, and he’s already cleared me to use nylon trellises to train watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and squash up the fence.

Our front yard has a preliminary hugelkultur started — basically a big pile of sticks mixed with dried leaves, pine needles, compost, watered and then mulched over with wood chips. I’m creating a blueberry-friendly spot, since pine needles and leaves are quite acidic, and the branches hold water. Blueberries like moist, acidic soil. I’m not sure if I’ll finish that project soon enough to get the three bushes I want in there this Spring, or if this will remain a next year project. Some initial fruit trees and hopefully Aronia berry bushes will go into the yard this Fall.

Meanwhile, my specific Earth Day 2013 activity after today’s sessions will be continuing to create pathways through the yard. I’m using cardboard and mulch to tone down the weeds and create winding paths to the soon-to-be-constructed raised beds and around our rain garden. Once the soil warms up and I’ve cleared the giant mulch pile in our front yard, I’ll plant a sunflower “fence” with a bee friendly blend of flowers in front of it. I’ve already spent so many hours out there moving mulch and explaining my plans to curious neighbors that we’ve noticed some of our neighbors have begun preparations for their own gardens. Their first ever!

And so, while the rest of the world continues to wrestle with the dragon throes of coup/counter-coup, I’m getting back to the garden, right where I want to be. In our permaculture class this weekend, we discussed how everything can be solved with a garden, and I really believe it’s true. Gardening provides more than food sovereignty — although local, organic food security remains such an important issue these days! Permaculture gardening also allows us to observe Nature and to participate with Nature in the creation of mutually beneficial systems of Life. Flowers feed bees and butterflies; plant guilds support each other and wildlife; and those with awareness also get to engage the Otherworld of faeries, elves, devas, Nature Spirits, gnomes and otherwise invisible partners eager to heal and cherish the Earth as well.

From sunshiney Goshen, Happy Earth Day! May you find at least some small way to honor our Mother on this, her special day.

6 responses to this post.

  1. awesome!! the new garden of eden. xoox!



  2. xoxo!

    From Wikipedia about the Land of Goshen:

    “According to the Joseph narrative in the Book of Genesis, the sons of Israel who were living in Hebron, experienced a severe famine that lasted seven years. Since word was that Egypt was the only kingdom able to supply food, the sons of Israel journeyed there to buy goods. In the second year of famine,[3] the Vizier of Egypt, Joseph,[4][5] invited the sons of Israel to live in Egyptian territory. They settled in the country of Goshen.[6] Goshen is described as the best land in Egypt, suitable for both crops and livestock.” Seems like as good a place as any to garden! 🙂 ❤



  3. Posted by jess on April 23, 2013 at 1:43 am

    ❤ ❤ ❤ 😉



  4. sounds good to me. one might think you actually know what you’re doing 😉 lol! faeries know



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