The third week at Songaia was rich in events. With Patricia and Helen we went to Raising Cane Ranch, a Raspberry farm located in Snohomish County. I was proposed to visit the place since my main interest lies in growing berries. Raising Cane is a U-pick farm where people come with their kids and wander through the rows of raspberries and blackberries. The patch we toured was a little over 200’ by 200’, which we learned is an awful amount of work to maintain. Nick, the owner, had alternated the varieties of raspberries along the rows, to see which ones were the most resistant to bugs, since we learned that several infestations had occurred on his exploitation and often had resulted in several plants being irreversibly destroyed.
The next event worth attending was the conference given by Jenny Pell, in Seattle. The main point her conference was that permaculture was possible everywhere, including in the city. She showed us a slideshow with pictures of how people used small spaces in cities to the fullest. One of the many interesting examples was a vertical bed of lettuces; instead of lining them up in a traditional bed, the idea is to stack several smaller beds on top of each other. Each bed would be set up at a slight incline, with a part of each bed extending under the bed above, so that the water would trickle down through all the beds and excess runoff would drip onto the ground. This system also eliminates the threat of slugs, and therefore as well the frequent labor to walk around the garden to pick them up.
Up until recently, the art of making compost eluded me. The orientation given by Doug in this topic unveiled the last surrounding mysteries regarding the organisms at work in this complex system. The key, as with everything in this world, is to observe carefully the machinery at work; how all the different parameters interact among themselves, and working on recreating a small-scale version of it.
The more we study about solving problems, the more ideas germinate in our minds. Way to go!
Garden bloggers are community members, volunteers and interns at Songaia.