Happy Anniversary! One year ago on Feb. 1, 2011, I signed a contract with landscape architect Roger Boddaert (760-728-4297) to create a permaculture garden. For twelve years I’ve had this sloping property that was covered in weeds and worthless Washingtonia palms. Not only do these 2 acres slope down to a barranca, but it was filled in due to catching all the rainwater that runs from the street and properties above. I have to give credit to friend Gary B., who brought up the subject of permaculture in a conversation the year before. I’d heard the term and thought I knew what it was about, but months later when I was researching what to do with my property I remembered him mentioning it, and looked it up. I found what I was looking for. I’ve been an organic gardener for many years, have owned chickens for their eggs, have refused to till the soil so as not to kill microbes, have worked naturally with animals and plants, have created habitat, composted, recycled, collected rainwater… and all of that was permaculture. And so much more. How can one not be attracted to the term Food Forest? Certainly not a foodie and gardener like myself.
What happened on the property starting the week of Feb. 1 for the next six months altered the land so that it is truly two acres of habitat. It is useful, it is natural, and it is beautiful. Roger’s team led by Juan built beautiful walls of urbanite, planted and hauled, worked in scorching sun and frosty mornings and made what was dreamed into reality. An integral part of the garden has been diverting the water from erosion points and into rain catchment basins and natural ponds, and that is where Aart DeVos and Jacob Hatch of Aquascape (760-917-7457) came in. They also installed the irrigation. Dan Barnes did the rough and the precise tractor work (760-731-0985) and I can’t recommend his experience and skill enough. Fain Drilling dug the well (760-522-7419) and the wonderful sheds were built by Quality Sheds of Menifee (http://www.socalsheds.com) .
Along with some volunteer help from Jacob, I am the sole caretaker of the property. I am planning the plant guilds, weeding, improving soil, moving problem plants and trees and, did I mention, weed? Oh yes, then there is weeding. On Saturday May 12th, the garden will be on the Garden Tour of the Association of University Women of Fallbrook, and hopefully many people will be inspired to go organic, to create habitat, conserve water and grow extra food for the Fallbrook Food Pantry. We’ve come a long way, baby!
The following photos are comparisons between the precise location last year at this time, and today.