Friday, January 30, 2009

Around the camp Vol 3

Since the switch off from the dome, due to lack of earth bag material, I have been putting some work in the garden. Mainly this has involved working with direction from the current garden maestro, Iain who hails originally from Australia but now calls the UK home during the summer and Sadhana forest home during the winter. Comparing the British wreather to Minneapolis, it does not seem too bad, but its not a stretch to say that southern India has better weather during the winter months.
The main garden structure can be seen in the fencing photo at the top. The garden area is laid out with vertical stakes and lined with sticks and twigs on the inside. Once the barrier is complete, earth is placed in the center, which holds the sticks in place and provides the raised bed area for planting.
The thing that keeps all of this working properly, with enough water to provide sustenance for life, are the buntings found all over SF (seen in the second photo). Buntings are made by moving earth and placing it in a manner that keeps water from leaving the land it falls on during a rain storm. Here at Sadhana they were started at the highest point of the property, necessarry to avoid a snowball effect that would destroy lower bundings. The earth piles are combined with trenches and dams to allow the soil to hold more water and slowly distribute it to the plants. Originally when Aviram and Yorit arrived here there was none of this and the water, even during monsoon season, would simply run over the land into the canyon nearby and the ground would be dry quickly, leaving no hope for plant life to grow.
Now, you can see the tomato and garlic bed that I have worked in for the past few days, pulling off side shoots and mulching. they were only planted about one month ago and already there are tiny green tomatoes popping up all over. Its an exciting thing to see hard work come to fruition and be able to taste it too. I can't wait to get home and start potting some vegetables and flowers to grow in the yard this year. Thanks for reading

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