Our mission is to enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.
The patio common space (and bridge) was surfaced with crushed rock, and edged with some smaller leftover boulders. The new durable surface really sets it apart from the mulched areas and is a nicer surface to gather.
You can also see some fresh woodchips around the garden beds if you look closely and the new cedar compost bins, too.
The both the upper and lower spillways needed work done after the record rainfall early this summer.
The upper portion was fixed and enhanced along with increasing flow capacity under the first bridge, about the same time as the raised beds were done. Erosion continued on the lower spillway, in spite of some limited armoring work and plantings.
Additional boulders were brought in to stop continued erosion. Elderberry shrubs will also help to hold soil in place as they mature, especially along the edges.
Over a dozen new benches were also added with salvaged logs. A lot went for seating in the patio space (seen above) for community building events, a quick rest with friends, classes and more.
It's hard to believe that only a year ago today we broke ground on the Primary Healthcare Eastside Clinic Healing Garden.
Various reclaimed materials were used for ecological and budgetary considerations, as well as the inherent beneficial qualities they offered.
Piles of leaves, arborist wood chips and logs
A lot has changed on the site, with a lot more planned as well. The water catchment and runoff management has been built,
In progress, with lots of rain
most of the young fruit trees are in, and the walking paths are ready to use.
Bridge over the lower swale spillway
Walking path's lower loop
The raised beds (with log cores) for annual crops have been built and a modest fall planting done. Also, various squash and melon vines took advantage of the sunny space in the young mixed orchard this summer.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 15 Regenerative Agriculture Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!"
Last Fall I had the opportunity to train to become a Prairie STRIPS consultant at the FFA Enrichment Center on DMACC's Ankeny campus. STRIPS stands for Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips.
The STRIPS project began through a multidisciplinary group from Iowa State University and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The STRIPS team, comprising scientists, educators, farmers, and extension specialists, conducts research on the prairie strips conservation practice.
These strips of prairie, should consist of a diverse mix of native perennials, and be placed at the base of a slope with another (or more depending on the field) higher up on the slope. Together making up 10% of the field, these practices will reduce soil erosion by 90% and nitrogen loss by surface runoff up to 84%.
Here's a quick video for more information about the program-
Preserving the Balance: Prairie Conservation Strips - Vimeo
My hat has gotten a little "weathered" since then, but the certificate is crisp and new!
If you are looking for ways to reduce nutrient loss and soil erosion on your farm, contact me and we can start planning a customized strategy to implement prairie strips on one of your fields. Prairie strips are a great way to assist commercial growers help the land and waters of Iowa.