I got my first permaculture design project, unpaid of course
This site is a long 8 acre lot with a small 1960’s ? ranch style house. Most of the lot is forest. When the previous owner died, the property was given to a nearby church. The church decided to give the lot to their Boy Scout Troop on a temporary basis, and if they are good stewards, they will get it permanently. So my brother is the current Scout Master, and my Sister in Law asked me if I would like to design a garden for the property. So I went to Florida last week, and looked over the land, made plans for a garden and a supply list to get them going. I think the front 1/2 acre would be ideal for a annual garden and a bunch of fruit trees. So far it has been fun to get to design a real site.
The Front lawn is large, with good sun, so we agreed that a vegetable garden would work out well there. After looking at the soil, I observed that it is very sandy, so to conserve water, I think the best way to proceed would be to dig out about 8 inches of the soil and fill the space with rotting logs from the back of the property. This would serve as a sponge to hold water. Then put a soil mulch mixture on top- as deep as possible- 12 inches would be great, then mulch on top of that. Plant the seeds in the soil/Mulch mix. My SIL got a grant from Seed Savers and received a nice package of vegetable seeds, which should be enough seeds for the entire troop to grow vegetables. They also have a Scout father who is a plumber, so I suggested they install a sprinkler system to water when they are not there. There is already a spigot at the garden, and the Church will pay the water bill.
There is also a Bee keeper in Pensacola who will give you a bee hive… and maintain it for you…so I said go for it.
There is bamboo on site, so I think trellis’s made of bamboo and lashed on the front of the sad little brick house would do wonders to hide the look. Then plant Kiwi and in a year or so, they would have a wild jungle look that is more in keeping with the Boy Scout mystique than red brick.
My nephew known as the “Yellow headed Kid” and I did the “Jar Test”… you collect some soil from your site, and put it in a straight-sided jar, fill it with water, shake it up to mix, then let it settle for a week and observe the layers of sand, silt and clay. The preliminary results are mostly sand. The Jar Test came from Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier’s 2 volume book Edible Forest Gardenshttp://www.edibleforestgardens.com/files/image_bookset.gif
I am working on a drawn design, I will post that when it is complete.