Last year’s tree planting and gardening at Pine Ridge has led to expanded plans for this year! Our plans include three food forests at Pine Ridge this year, with three different organizations on the rez. We will also help install gardens and give classes on the techniques we’ll be using. We’ll be there from late April to mid-May, . Planting will occur Apr 29, May 1-4 and May 5-9.
We still need volunteers! We have a Kickstarter campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/892430421/pine-ridge-reservation-food-forest-2012-0
Pine Ridge reservation is a “food desert” in the extreme sense of the word. There are almost no organic foods being sold on the reservation. People often have to drive two hours or 100 miles to get organic or fresh vegetables or fruits. Diabetes, heart disease and other diet-related diseases are at epidemic proportions on the rez. The infant mortality and early death rates are some of the worst in the world. Food security is a major issue. The land is harsh – with severe, drying winds, hail in July, and freezes in June and August sometimes. Insect pests are ubiquitous. It can be challenging to grow things on this land.
Food forests are a way of working with nature to create stable ecosystems that grow lots of food. We mimic how a natural ecosystem of trees would behave in this zone. Because this is open prairie land and the main trees are pine forests, we will be experimenting to some degree to create a good microclimate for fruit trees. There are a number of successful orchards around that we are learning from.
Forests create milder temperatures (cooler in summer, warmer in winter), windbreaks, water capture, erosion control, and many other benefits. One can have a small food forest in the backyard, or a larger one on a few acres. Agroforestry is another version of using trees to produce food. There are many advantages to all of these approaches and they can be integrated in the existing ecosystem in ways that enhance the ecosystem.
The Lakota are known for buffalo hunting, but they also traditionally appreciated the wild plant food that grows in the region. We’ll be including native edibles traditionally used by Lakota in our food forest, as well as other fruits and nuts that are of interest.
Food forests provide a food system that mimics the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tradition of the Lakota. We are creating demonstration/experimental forest gardens this year and will continue to document progress, make it publicly available, enhance the forests, and help plant new ones in years to come. This is not a one shot deal!
We need donations of trees, seeds and plants, irrigation piping and equipment, rain catchment containers, and funding for travel and food expenses for experts who will install and educate while there. We also need volunteers to help with planting, and are looking for skilled volunteers to help install irrigation, water catchment, and other systems.
Two members of Grow Permaculture (formerly Permaculture Guild) Koreen Brennan and Bob Lawrason, will be headed to Pine Ridge in late April for approximately three weeks, from the Tampa Bay area. We are looking for other volunteers to come up from the Tampa area to carpool and share travel costs. There will also be volunteers coming from Oregon, Wisconsin, California and elsewhere.
Please consider a tax deductible donation via our donation Pay Pal button.
If you have donations of materials or would like to volunteer, please contact us via the web site!
We consult, design and install sustainable systems in your home, business, or farm, that can help you save money and live healthier, all in environmentally friendly ways. We address the four necessities – food, water, shelter and energy. We can consult in just one of these areas, or all of them – we offer a full range of services, from advice, to design, to installation.
Many of our clients benefit from a 1-3 hour consultation that helps them focus on how they should set up an edible garden. “What soil should I use? What plants should I plant when? What plants will work together? How should I water and feed them?” We go beyond organic gardening by working with nature, not against her. Our plant palette includes many highly nutritious and unique plant species that are easy to grow in Florida, need little care, are drought tolerant, and provide abundant food in a short period of time. We will bring unique solutions to your gardening challenges that will make your garden easier to care for, more productive and more attractive.
After a one hour consultation with Koreen, I put in a fantastic vegetable garden using waist high containers over the summer and am hooked on growing my own veggies now. Also I am using the Bokashi method of composting and LOVE it! I then got a grant from our local water and power company to convert my lawn in front to native garden and I’m doing that now! I’m having SOOO much fun with this new game. So, I owe Koreen a big thanks for turning me onto a whole new world. My plant kingdom is truly flourishing! Barb Dakin
We were impressed with the amount of useful information Koreen was able to impart to us in one day of design consulting. We had some ideas and plans for our 5 acre homestead but also a lot of questions. She was able to answer all of them and shared a lot more with us that we did not know was possible or would not have thought of. We love the integrated cob bench design, the detailed plant information, the energy savings ideas, and the water systems suggestions. We are excited about moving forward and can’t wait to try out some of these ideas. Scott and Leslie Brown
Edible landscape or garden design and installation
We design landscapes to be both beautiful and functional. An edible landscape is:
- Natural – we design gardens to work with natural systems, rather than fighting them
- Easy to care for – less work than conventional gardens
- Beautiful and interesting – flowers, colors and textures
- Healthy, providing nutritious food year around
- Economical – skip the fertilizer, and reduce your grocery bill with fresh, healthy food you grew yourself
Our sister company, The Edible Garden (theediblegarden.us) offers an unusual selection of attractive plants, both native and non-native, that grow well in Florida conditions and can provide abundant food in small spaces. We can also give you great advice on what to plant, when, and how, if you want to do it yourself but need some help getting started. We routinely save clients at least the amount of our consulting fee and can provide you with a lot of quality information in a short period of time. Interested in selling your food? We can help with that too.
We focus on increasing your yields in unexpected ways; we look for the edge, find ways to stack functions on your farm, save energy, and tie it all together. We recommend gradient changes that make sense and will create resiliency. We guarantee that our recommendations, if implemented, will save you more than our consultant fee.
Rain catchment, irrigation and water filtration systems
We help you design your irrigation needs via rainwater catchment, so that your plants are getting the purest water available to them.
Enjoy the aesthetics of a backyard pond that is a naturally balanced system. When you have all the elements of nature present, there is very little care needed. Let us help you ensure those elements are there.
SHELTER and ENERGY
Solutions for more sustainable living in your home – we offer energy reduction analysis, consultations on planned renovations, and partnerships with green architects and builders to maximum energy savings, aesthetics and integration of the built environment with the food systems and water catchment.
1 hour gardening consult – $65. Travel additional if site is more than 15 miles. Client receives a short questionnaire to narrow down interests and priorities. I will walk your site with you and give you specific plant, design and structural recommendations. This is great for people who want to design their yard themselves but would like to get some feedback.
3 hour consultation – $175 – Client will receive a questionnaire which is filled out ahead of time. This allows me to spend maximum time assessing the site and providing more in depth feedback. I will discuss your options with you, and prepare a short written report that will summarize the key points. This is recommended for people who want to go more in depth, but are not yet prepared to do a full design implementation on their site, or who already have much of the design work done but would like to go in depth on plant selection or other details.
Full day consultation – $400 – Client fills out a questionnaire ahead of time, and I will walk the site with the client and go over detailed options, point by point. A full day allows us to delve into the design process, integration elements on the site, key elements and their likely placement, and specific details such as plant selection, sequences (what not to do first), and other time and money saving input . It doesn’t give you a full permaculture design which takes 3-5 days. It does give you a great start on your project and can save significant time and money. I will submit a several page report summarizing key factors, and including further recommendations, after the visit.
These services routinely prevent costly errors and provide clients with options that they were unaware of that allow them to achieve something closer to their ideal, reduce costs and time, and provide more abundance.