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Permaculturing my Mother in Law!

Written on: Wednesday October 8th, 2008

A journal entry from: Permaculture Alberta

Well Michelle and I have been busy like Canadian Beavers and have already started on three permaculture designs up here!  In addition we are holding our own permaculture convergence in Olds Alberta!  We have found 5 permaculturists in the province and we are going to meet up and get to know each other.  I have decided that the problem is the solution when it comes to this province, instead of it being a province full of backward thinking red necks, we have concluded that we have a clean slate to work on and that gives us a lot of opportunity!  If any of you would like to come to the convergence let me know and I will send you more details. 

The first project that Michelle and I embarked on was to convert my mother in laws house into an edible food forest and veggy garden. Her home was built in the 70's and they opted to not install any trees on their lot when the moved in.  This was great as it gave me another clean slate to try out some of my mad skill that I had gained from the Bullocks course.  I organized a sheet mulch party which was a total success as we had close to 10 people show up.  We sheet mulched over 1000 sq ft of "grassoline" half of which is now covered in trees, shrubs, and ground cover.  The other half was just mulched in preparation for next seasons perennial vegetable bed and annual veggies.

Here are the stats

- 10 amazing volunteers for 8 hours

- 8 cubic yards of locally sourced, free, horse stable litter
- 8 cubic yards of locally sourced, free, wood chips
- over 1000 sqft of  free appliance cardboard.  Nice big sheets
- 1 bag of rock flour
- 2 boxes of blood and bone
- 1 box of kelp meal
- 2 bottles of plant success tabs from Fungi perfecti ( Nicole, I told everyone about you and Paul, watch the sales go up from Alberta!)
- landscaping stone
- Trees included (Apple, Cherry, Ure Pear)
- Shrubs included 4 seabuckthorns (1 male, 3 females), 8 currents, 4 saskatoons, 4 gooseberries and3 hazelnuts for privacy
- Plethora of ground cover and insectisary plants.

So the party was a success and everyone was surprised that the grass does not have to be removed and loam installed!  Next I will be installing solar thermal panels on the house, re insulating the walls, basement and attic and installing a grey water system to irrigate the front yard with all the fruits trees, shrubs and ground cover!

 

Thanks to all the Volunteers who came out and helped on this great project!  It was a success and I look forward to helping you with your own yards when you are ready!

Anywho, without further ado, here are the photos!  The remaining grass that you see in the photos are areas that I have not figured out what to do with yet.  One of the solutions may be to have a kid or two to play on it??

 

 

 

From Annette aka the grateful M.I.L on Oct 8th, 2008

I can't thank Rob enough for all of his and Michelle's work on this project! The group that came out were superb and I'm extending invitations to future harvest parties! And Rob, every woman should have a son-in-law that she can go have fun shovelling shit with it! Milles merci to the rest of you who came by and willing shovelled,planted etc. The neighbours have been plenty intrigued and complimentary with their comments on the new look. What an awesome project and I would hope this inspires others to follow Rob and Michelle's lead with other landscaping projects of your own. And yes Rob a grandkid or two might be good to have around to play on the grass and help eat all of this fruit! Another future project for you two!

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