Life – by Jessica
A good design is key. The food forest of Boodaville, which was planted only 14 months ago, has turned into an oasis. Sometimes I wonder if someone dusted some magic powder over it. Must have been Kate, our designer.
A dense layer of green grows up to my waist, in some places even to my shoulders.
The place is buzzing with life. Butterflies, bugs, grasshoppers, bumblebees, aphids and their natural enemy the ladybug. Ants and spiders. A bird. As the land around me sits quietly, life is buzzing here. And that is exactly what we were hoping for.
We want to live. Biodiversity. Insects. Because the more there are, the easier it is to keep the balance, to keep this ecosystem healthy. More life means more profit and less work for me. That is where the path I walk leads to. It sounds too good to be true and it is true!
Sunlight as a limiting factor in a country like Spain. Where’s the path? I dig through the leaves and stems until I come across the tree trunks that mark the edge of the main path. I cut the vegetation down at the tree trunk, then in front of me, then I search for your tree trunk on the other side. It’s like sticking peat. Afterwards, I trample the plants l so they can serve as mulch. That’s how I slowly work my way through the main paths. The side paths are more difficult, they are only marked with bamboo twigs. I seek and seek and seek, gently moving the green to try to see through it. The first day I only find 3 of the 15 side paths.
I’m a few days in and I have found most side paths. Now, I’m looking for plants and trees. The winner of the sunlight competition has been vetch, bending little trees over and smothering other plants. Underneath I find horizontal growing fennel and cabbages, mini gold flowers and pathetic stumps of chard. The drought and sun-loving lavender is dead, but the lemon balm appears to live 90 cm deep in the vetchpatch. I planted that lemon balm there last year, I love it, but the others didn’t give me much of a chance because lemon balm likes wet conditions. I am lucky, because it has certainly been wet here! I have not yet found the row of garlic that I planted last fall. The path I planted them on is still hidden somewhere.
I harvest artichokes the size of small cheeses (see, there’s the dairy farmer in me) And beans and peas from the longest pods (30 cm) I have ever seen. The narrow plantain reaches 140 cm high. Many plants have become a kind of giant version of themselves. This is beyond anything. This place magic!