I’m going to introduce myself first, then go on a bit about the garden. In the future, I’ll try to keep things close to the ground.
But really I should talk about the garden at least a little bit. To give an idea where things are at currently, since my arrival a week ago, we’ve installed a new rabbit-proof fence around the entire vegetable garden; gotten almost all the plants in the ground; built bean and tomato trellises; put in a new trellis archway to make a rose-tunnel. A new weeding regimen is in place, with a directive that weeds are to be “chopped and dropped,” rather than uprooted and thrown in the compost; there has been much discussion of the discomfort we feel at the messy look of the beds. Strawberries and snowpeas are ripe, which is good for snacking. You forget, the rest of the year, how good strawberries can be.
Next week, I hope to be able to interact more easily with garden, to be better equipped to recognize and solve problems. I’m also hoping to start to be able to work on the food forest, which is a garden model that has a lot of instinctive appeal to me, and that I’m hoping to be able to work on relatively extensively.
Anyways, I’m Alex, I’m from Oregon. I was an anthro major in college (2 years ago now), studying mostly indigenous, rural Latin America, and am currently thinking about how to continue that studying. After finishing a social service job in the Bronx, I wwoofed a couple places last fall, then was at the Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute for a month earlier this year. I’m at Songaia as much for the co-housing community as I am for the permaculture; the best living experience of my life was in a big co-op house in Minnesota, and since then I’ve lived in various other sorts of communal spaces, and always loved it. So I’m here because I want to pursue permaculture and community, both as objects of study and also as my daily life.
That’s a basic rundown anyways. That’s the situation, who I am. I should be here for the rest of the summer.
The main thing this week, for me, has been getting to know the garden. And I believe I am on sound permacultural footing in saying this, but starting to learn my way around the community is as central as learning my way around the raspberries and the keyhole beds. Even in this short time, it’s been clear how the garden is tied up in the community – not only in the flow of labor, money, and vegetables, but also in the ways that the garden’s form and direction are shaped by a negotiation of individuals’ ethics and esthetics.
Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.