Today I visited an interesting garden near our farm. It's planted within a mediation community of 15 families based on the Indian Ashram model. My friend Isabella, who runs an antique shop near us is one of the original community founders (25+ years ago) and today introduced me to Olga, who is their new gardener and a community member. Since they are about 50 people in total, they go through a mountain of food and are doing what they can to be more self-reliant.
Since we are starting more seeds than we intend to plant, I went today to both meet with Olga and offer all our extra plants to put into their garden. She is also growing a synergistic garden based on the work of Emily Hazelip. She was inspired by the work of Masanobu Fukuoka and his seminal book, One-Straw Revolution. Here is a nice video (albeit somewhat long) explaining the synergistic approach.
As I toured the garden today I was reminded on the wonderful garden Steven Wynbrandt has in LA and it was really fun to sit down in the middle of the mediation community and be able to share Steven's garden with Olga here on the other side of the world. As she looked through Steven's picture (which if you haven't seen them, do yourself a favor), it was fun to see her connect with what Steven has done. Another thing she did in her garden that I though was clever was to put down wood, and bamboo as the core of the mounds upon which the food is grown as she heard the wood retains more humidity. Seems logical to be.....
All of this makes me think we should convert one of our 'old fashioned' flat beds, to a synergistic bed and see how we like it.
One of the other things that I want to study more is companion planting. I was poking around the site a couple of days ago and ran across this garden:CompanionPlanting CowGirl. I thought to myself, great, a companion planting expert. Upon further investigation, I discovered that this expert is in fact 12 years old, and already has a great grasp of why certain plants benefit others. Thank you for becoming a member Emma Rose!
Finally, I think I have convinced Olga to put up photos of her garden from last year. I'll point to it when she uploads it. She doesn't speak English but others in the community do and I think it'll be fun welcoming them to our community. Enjoy!