Life in Green Acres Permaculture Village, May 22, 2020

Our regular twice-a-week, two-hour work party began at 10:30 this morning, and everybody who could joined in, one or two at each task, all directed by Cherisse (Rebecca), our Farm Manager for seven years. Plus, this morning, a young man, Daniel, joined us. Here he is (on the right), directed by Andreas, who himself had no idea when he arrived — what was it, three years. ago? four? — that he would not only still be here, but that his sensitive, powerful hands, besides performing classical music so beautifully on the piano, would now also be loving to dig in the dirt.

Daniel, who lives in a nearby neighborhood, said he kept walking by until he finally stopped and asked if he could join us so he could learn how to grow plants. YES!

The Covid-19 era seems to have already begun to transform the values of this town. We’ve never ever seen such interest from the public in buying seedlings from us. Average ten customers per day over the five days we’ve had two signs out, one on a busy corner a few blocks away, and the other at our Overhiill/DeKist corner.

Luckily, we started PLENTY of seedlings this year.

Also. noticeable, the sheer numbers of people who walk by with their dogs during this Covid Era. Never seen so many dogs!

Generally speaking, it feels as if Americans are finally waking up to what is important in life. And LOCAL FOOD is one of them. Our little template here, for a transformed suburban landscape that incorporates humans and their structures, shared planting, paths, and patio spaces, all in a “back to nature” manner, seems to have finally “come of age.”

We’re no longer the weirdos. We are the wave of the future.

My inventor son Colin Cudmore has noticed the same thing. His Garden Tower Project sales are booming nationwide. Here’s a back yard sight that shows one of his towers in the background, newly planted.

A few sights from this morning:

I’ve been spending my time at work planting flowers, something I never used to do, thinking flowers were superfluous. Can you believe? Beauty superfluous? My have I changed. From my “beautification project”:


This hugel culture has been largely left to itself. Notice how the stump is beginning to show. I did plant some petunias in it this year, just for a bit of color.

This hugelculture bed will hold perilla again, except for the edge, planted in flowers. The perilla is just starting to come up. Since this medicinal herb, valued in Asia, is so prolific, and nearby states have labeled it an ‘invasive,” I’ve agreed to just give it one bed and remove it everywhere else it comes up. Notice that the kiwi plant has now fully recovered (on the structure over the porch) from the killing frost.

Dan has been working an hour or two every day on a so-called “chip drop” (it actually included way too many stumps to qualify) that arrived last weekend. After only four days, he noticed mycellium steaming under the logs and called me out just to see it. 130° he announced, having put a thermometer into the alchemical pile.

Amazing! So we’re going to possibly see if we can grow mushrooms with what will be left of the pile. It will be our third attempt at growing mushrooms. (The second attempt, last year, yielded mushrooms, but not where they were supposed to be. . . now mushrooms are sprouting up all over the garden, but are they the ones Solan got going? Dan’s going to send him a photo and ask (He and Daisy moved to Colorado about a year ago).

Dan’s both using a wheelbarrow to distribute chips to garden paths as well as spending many hours chopping and hauling for the wood pile.

Marita figured out how to get accumulated debris moving down into the gravel field rather than plugging up the hole in the floor of the greenhouse. YES!

At. the last work party Cherisse gave me the job of placing bean seeds 1/2 inch apart. “I will cover them,” she said. Okay.

BTW: all our beans this year are from last. year’s crops. Four different types of beans. We are finally saving seeds . . . YES!

Cherisse and Gabby in the main garden.


Unfortunately, the deer have now discovered us. Took the tops off the pea plants. So we’re going to install a gate where they were coming through and if they persist, put up a wire above the top of the entire fence. Hopefully that will do it. For the next few days, Cherisse is going to get up early and sic the dogs on them if they appear. That might help too. But who knows? Cherisse says that once they discover a place it’s hard to discourage them.


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