Sunday, April 15, 2012

Anastasia sparks "Ecopy" project!

Boy oh boy have I been dropping the ball in keeping this blog updated!

I kind of got kicked in the old rubber parts at the beginning of last season (2011) when there was a very strange and stubborn destructive event that wiped my spiritually permacultured urban treasure chest right off the map! It happened while I was helping other family members throughout the region get their own gardens started during the week just prior to Memorial day, and when I returned, the entire garden had been dismantled and bulldozed compost pile, hoses, tools, fencing, tires, tarps, and all sorts of innovative little pieces and parts of the previous years garden awaiting to get reassembled...

Especially nice is the fact that I'm a service-connected disabled USN veteran and everything they cleared was 100% charity motivated and a personal 'thank you' to my community for contributing to taking care of MY OWN needs by hopefully providing a little bit of self-sufficiency, security and dignity along with some avenues for community building and involvement and skill-set/knowledge base sharing and mentoring.

Before anyone fumes about it, my spirits were so high from helping and being with my family when I heard the news, I never once felt any anger about the ordeal. In fact, in my first correspondence afterward, I merely asked: "Since I always have had and still do hold the valid permit for a community garden, can I start over without it getting bulldozed again?"

Apparently the city was so embarrassed by the 'accident' that they sent 3 people to personally apologize (including the initial inspector that wrote the work order) and offer the sale of the lot AND the additional sale of the adjacent lot for a mere 500 bucks each, all title recording fees and a bunch of other stuff included AS WELL AS offered to reimburse me for anything I could scrape up a receipt for, so I gues stuff happens for a reason, eh? };^/?

The picture is a before/after comparison, but I DID REBUILD and I will continue to build it even greater because now I have full-use of the soil, AND TWICE AS MUCH!

Not only that, but the incident should give me a bit of 'pull' with the people who approve the permits and there is another lot close by that I've had my eye on because of it's perfect position for 'showcasing' a collaborative effort that I HOPE (fingers crossed) can demonstrate how efficient and functional, as well as eye-catching neighborhood maintained urban permaculture gardens can become. I've joined forces with few different local organizations, some 'well rooted', others mere seedlings searching for anchor points, and the location seems to be attractive to number of them!

Not even a block from the Pennsylvania St. entrance of the Public Market and right across the street from my house and garden(s) so I can easily supply stuff for it and be there as a central contact point.

I have 3 more 75 variety heirloom produce seed sets along with culinary and medicinal herbs, and 15 pounds of certified seed potatoes (3 varieties) on their way, and the kick-off will be on April 29th at 9am just before the Occupy Your Health Fair up the street at 11 am at the old Vietnam Vets Thrift store on East Main in the new Greenovation organization's space! Can't wait!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A whole growing season come and gone!

I COMPLETELY forgot I even had this blog! LOL

Not like there seems to be a lot of people paying attention, but I could be wrong!

This was a very 'experimental' year, I got to try some topsy-turvy troughs, some used tire stack potato towers, and some attempts at grafting to an old crab-apple stump to name a few of my adventures };^D>

Here's a pic of the basic construction of the trough supports and the materials used and tools needed... and another showing how I used old tarp material and grommets to custom build the 'hammocks' that suspend from the trough frames.

The troughs were then affixed along the tops of the stockade fencing nice and level, with a considerable space between for plants to dangle. Then slits were cut into the hammock and two different varieties of either tomato or pepper were inserted root-ball first from the bottom and soil added from the top, then climbing beans and snap peas were planted in the trough itself and trained to grow downward (which worked, but ended up being rather laborious)

The tire taters seemed to be working well, but found out at the end of the season that my medium was too rich so I got lots of leaves, but few spuds =( Live and learn... next year, the tires get straw and/or leaves only after the first tire.

Tired now... will update more later...


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The humble beginnings of this garden has prompted me to come up with a name that is befitting to it's creation. While attempting to generate a name that included it's location, the obvious choice was to use the street names somehow, so given Central Park and 2nd streets, and the use of recycled materials, and the "make-over" effect it seems to be having on the neighborhood, I've decided to call it "2nd chance park".

Some time has elapsed since these pics were taken, but the plot next to the tire WAS a bunch of mounds with taters ready to grow... until the squirrels found them all and whisked them away, but there's still kohlrabi and a few other survivor plants... I think it was too early to do potatoes anyway, and this way I'll get to build a squirrel-proof, stackable set-up out of tires and chicken wire... more on that later on...

The blue tarps are my attempt to capture the ripening mulberries, which worked swimmingly until the first torrential rainstorm... i was able to harvest quite a large amount of them and froze them, but wasn't able to set up any meaningful distribution for them (yet). The experience has given me some creative ideas for future harvests, as well as using the entire rear fenceline for a rainwater collection system that can double as a berry catcher. Perhaps then, I can set up something to inform people to come get them and eat them!

I'm basically going to just keep posting pics now...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just more pictures...

I have not planted a single veggie into the ground yet, but from these pictures, you can see some of the progress I am making. Using lots of "recycled" materials, I am constructing planters, a huge, 2-stage composting bin, walkways, and a rainwater reclamation/recycling system so I don't have to use the heavily treated city water supply and pay the large water bills.

I'm going to re-route all of my gutters to drain into 55 gallon drums which will then be piped through soaker hoses to all of the different sections of the garden. I have some ideas for using wind power to create stores of compressed air to be used for pressurizing the water to assist wherever gravity won't cut it.

I've started dozens of seedlings using Anastasia's recommended methods, but since there have still been threats of frost, they are still growing in plastic bins and old microwave entree dishes under artificial fluorescent plant lighting. The city has provided me with free truckloads of compost and mulch which neighbors have been helping themselves to (uninvited), apparently under the assumption that it was placed there for everyone's use.

I did not wish to get upset or cause discontent in the community, so I placed multilingual signs attempting to explain that they were basically stealing from charity, but the "thefts" continued anyway. Fortunately, the parks and recreation department was very understanding and just delivered more (much more), so there will continue to be peace (at least in regard to the garden) in this violent, drug-infested neighborhood, and no squabbling over a miniscule thing like soil. After all, who can get upset over someone simply wishing to beautify their own "spaces of love"?

Plenty of work, sweat, toil, and love ahead in this project, and I'm looking forward to a "fruitful" community project :)


Sunday, May 10, 2009

My Community garden project

To get things rolling, I'd like to share a bit about this daunting task of transforming a couple of city-owned empty lots next to my home (shown in the background) into a permaculture garden.

I have lots of stuff to cut and paste from another site that I've been talking about this on, but for now, I'm just going to publish this post as is, to see how it looks on the page :)


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Welcome Friends of Anastasia one and all!

I've been working with another attendee from the Ringing Cedars Seminar back in March 2009 to come up with a central point for sharing our thoughts and progress in the creation of our Kin's Domains... the first one was a google group that seemed sort of cold and primitive, while this venue looks to be possibly a bit more favorable?

As a test, i'm going to attach a picture of the lot I will be tranforming into a community garden here in Rochester, NY

Fingers crossed..