Team Mulberry! We didn’t collect the olives, they won’t be ready for another 2 weeks.. so we’ll be coming back again. We planted 2 small trees, lots of seeds, broccoli and put down mulch, mulch and more mulch!! A great weekend 🙂 Thanks to Javi, Fer and Maja.
At the Riberola Festival on 7th October Boodaville ran an Intro to Permaculture workshop and we did a practical planting seeds of 3 different types of trees, which have properties such as – drought resistant, fast growing, providing food for animals, (Jujube is edible for humans too), fixing nitrogen, resistant to high and low temperatures, don’t have loads of pests. The trees are Honey Locust, Jujube and Italian Buckthorn.
We left the seeds in vinegar for a few hours (ideally it would be overnight) and we scratched the surface of the seeds.. this imitates the natural process of the seeds being chewed by animals then in their acidic stomachs for a while.
Here is the picture of the seeds on the 10th November.
Honestly I have no idea whether anything growing there is the beginning of a tree. I mean I can see what is grass, but the other little things sprouting… I’m not sure!! What I did notice before I pulled out most of the grass is that the one pot with a bit of straw mulch, upper right of the photo you see? That pot had 5 times as much grassas the others. (yes.. i should have taken that picture!!)
¡¡¡THE GAME!!!! : SPOT THE DIFFERENCE! between the three pictures 🙂
And here’s an explanation of what’s going on in these pictures. The level of detail to which we plan every step of the design is incredible to me. There’s so much to think about… I mean it took me weeks to find out which trees would be good to plant and to then collect the seeds. Luckily other permaculturists around have given me some seeds and helped out with that bit – Gerald gave me Honey Locust pods to take out the seeds, Alessandro told me about the Italian Buckthorn on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Richard gave me a bag of Jujube fruit he had collected from a tree about 10km from Boodaville.
The next step is leaving the seeds to grow over winter. They need water, they mustn’t freeze, and some sunshine would be good. Here are some of the things I thought about when I set them up like this
Near the thermal mass wall of the house to prevent freezing
Leave the crate a little bit away from the wall so none of the trees stay dry under the overhanging roof
Leave the crate directly on the ground so there is drainage and they won’t get flooded in a storm
No straw between the wall and the crate as the wall is the warm bit
Relatively wind protected location
Location that gets sun from 1pm until half an hour before sunset
Overhanging tree will also help prevent frost
Stones to help keep straw in place
The changes I made between photos 1 and 3 in your spot the difference game were the last things I adjusted.
GOOD LUCK TREE SEEDLINGS!!!!!
Thank you so much to Gerald in Albinyana for teaching me all of this!! and any comments, suggestions to people who’ve managed to read this far are very very welcome!!
One Sunday in September I went up towards the eco-community at Can Masdeu on a mission. It was before the open days had started for this season, and even after my best attempts at persuasion, Kira and Bernat weren’t that keen to come with me, so they got off the metro early and went to the Labyrinth park. I carried on, went quickly and sweatily up the track to Can Masdeu to collect cuttings and seeds from the Italian Buckthorn trees up there in the food forest. I didn’t see anyone, did the job, then went to find the family in the park. I can’t say it was a bad day.
At home the next day I put some lentils on wet kitchen paper in a tupperware and left them to germinate.
A few days later I arrived at Boodaville with happy tree cuttings in water, sprouting lentils, and a link to the youtube video that shows you exactly how to mix them together so those lentil sprouting enzymes can help the cuttings grow into new trees.
Sadly the volunteers on site weren’t so happy. There had been arguments, expressed and unexpressed differences of opinion, and everyone seemed tired. I couldn’t offer them more than material they needed to work, youtube videos, a list of how to run the site, and to be on the end of the phone. That was just a few days before all the volunteers left, leaving site empty for the last two weeks of the season. Those cuttings are now dead in their pot and the story of this year is that although many amazing jobs did get done, there is so much left on the list…
Even with care and lentil enzymes would those cuttings have survived anyway? Who knows! And that is the pattern of a project like this, up and down, but with passion and soul behind it to keep trying, keep learning and know that permaculture is the right path.
Today I’m going back to Boodaville, with family, Maja and other friends, and we will stay in a warm and welcoming house rented from a local in Calaceite. We will harvest the olives, keep going with the unfinished planting jobs, enjoy the richness and complexity of nature and of this ongoing, incredible, soul-filling, rollercoaster of a project.
I’m not sure of the exact date, but it is almost a year to the day that I saw OJ for the last time. I miss him.
I am filled with gratitude to all the people who have stepped in when things got tough this year, especially in recent months Kate, Rob, Kerry, Bernat, Maja and Oriol. And we are looking for people who have passion and love Boodaville to join us for more adventures next year and into the future!
Our last event of the year was a permablitz implementing Natural Farming methods with Kate Curtis and an awesome party in the dome afterwards. Our best event yet! Helen wrote a blog post about it here .
el sábado hacía fresquita con viento y empezamos una sesión lite y relajado con té, mantas.. y toda la familia boodaville que incluye el gato y Kira // It’s a windy, surprisingly cool Saturday afternoon here so we’re tucked up having a pre-course permaculture conversation with Oriol Ferrando Please notice the presence of tea, cat and child #permaculture #family.
el domingo sesiones teóricas sobre diseño de permacultura y bosques comestibles // Sunday we had theory sessions on permaculture design and food forests
una excursión para disfrutar al máximo un puesto de sol impresionante // then an excursion to fully enjoy an incredible sunset
day 2 – following the design to create as much garden as possible in this open area // siguiendo el diseño para crear jardines en todo el espacio que podamos en esta zona
jardines marcados, la idea es que cada pulgada del espacio tiene una función (o más que una!). Puede ser para humanos, o plantas! // Marking out the gardens, the idea is that every inch of land has a clear use – either for humans or plants (or animals later on!)
Día 3 – poniendo estiércol y acolchado para empezar el nuevo jardín // day 3 putting down manure and mulch to start off the new garden
usando el nivel de agua para marcar un swale – uno mas grande que vamos a crear con un excavador en 2017. // using the water level to mark a swale – we will build a large one and get in a digger to do the work in 2017. This will bring water from the track onto the bottom terrace where we are starting the food forest.
el nuevo swale nos traerá agua del camino hacía la terraza abjo donde estamos empezando el bosque comestible.
cortando barilla para clavar y marcar bien el swale. // cutting rebar to plant in the ground and mark the swale
We built a dome!! An amazing 9 day Erasmus+ program, working with a fantastic team and a wonderful group of young, and not so young participants. Thank you so much to Jordi Cavaller Badia, Chuchi, Carlos, Bernat, OJ, Alberto and Kate for making this happen and to all the participants for their energy, positivity, ability to adapt to basic living and very hot conditions (41º on 2 days, but don’t get me started talking about climate change) and their openness and great collaboration.
Guest writer – Claudia, one of our participants from Portugal has written about her experience:
Hey this is Cláudia (pt) from Boodaville Summer 2016. We are in our last day before departure, trying to make everything beautiful for our final presentation with some guests here in our place.