Thank you to Marian Finucane & RTÉ Radio 1 for having Mary & filmmaker Vivienne DeCourcy on to chat about Dare To Be Wild, due out in Irish & UK cinemas on Sept. 23. You can listen in here!
it would appear to be very autumnal out there…all of a sudden halloween is around the corner and whoosh – there went the summer…
looking back at this forest garden project, and where i left it last time, It’s pretty amazing how its changed and what can be achieved in just a few short months. we’ve come on in leaps and bounds since i last wrote in february. if you remember, the pigs had eaten the grass and churned up the soil and we were back to bare earth and a blank canvas. we had sowed some dynamic accumulator / nitrogen fixing plants through out the space, and i had planted some hedging around the whole perimeter, which could only really be described as 250 twigs with roots and potential…. throughout the summer we have been in the garden chipping away at it and slowly but surely putting a shape on all of the structures. its a pretty dramatic transformation when i look back on the snaps in february….
paths was job one. marking them out a metre wide…digging them out down 10cms…putting a permeable membrane down then some hard stone on top with a mixture of that fine dust stuff ‘8mil down’ which makes it nice and hard and compact after a while…we had 3 paths that joined the huggler and the wishing space, so it took a while…
we also had to make a scarecrow to keep the birds from nicking all the dynamic accumulator seeds that we sowed across the whole site. strings of old CDs helped with that job too..joe dug in two biggish pipes for drainage under the base of our big huggler before we marked it out proper and started with the wood pile…the dogs of course, needed to inspect our work as we were going along. there were many rodenty smells I’m sure within this big pile of wood, far too many for the average jack russell to resist….
the idea is that we will be growing all our annual veg and salad crops on these huggle structures. this week we just finished putting the soil on top of the big huggler (we also made two mini ones too). we have mixed in some nitrogen fixing seeds into the soil from seedaholic.com (landsberger mix) so that they should germinate now and there will be some dynamic accumulators growing on the structure which will ready the soil for next year for planting crops.…could even be the year after that, but we needed to get some seeds on it before the grass takes over. i couldn’t resist throwing a handful of wild flower seeds into my nitrogen fixer dynamic accumulators too. they wont hurt and ill like the look of them. we’ve then covered this structure with straw to give it a fighting chance against the robbing birds and opportunistic weeds…we had help from the dogs of course. they like to come out and stick their snouts into most things..
this is me and mary both tackling our tonne of top soil each..we shifted a lot of dirt that day….. I’m getting the hang of this bare exposed soil = not a good idea. makes sense.. i also had some snout-like help when i was putting in some stepping blocks and flat stones so that we could actually get in and out of the space!
the first thing that i grew was a cauli…oh no…sorry, thats a collie..