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Some more progress was made the last couple weeks since the healing garden anniversary update.
Log benches on the patio space


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.
Rain!
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.


Both my chainsaw and I got a good workout in!


Finished Log Bench
 - natural and heavy - 

Until next time!

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Last month one of my yards was featured in Waukee Living magazine!

You've seen glimpses of its progress on social media before, and I hope to get a full write up done for it soon.


The city of Waukee provided assistance with the rain garden, which was modified to not only hold and clean stormwater but to use it throughout the landscape.






But for now you can read a bit about it and how the homeowners enjoy their new backyard.



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It's hard to believe that only a year ago today we broke ground on the Primary Healthcare Eastside Clinic Healing Garden.

Before



Grading begins

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.


Volunteers came out to put in hundreds native prairie plants donated through People for Pollinators at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.

Let's Plant a Garden - YouTube

To learn more about the garden and more pictures visit



Now is the perfect time to get a design started for your project.  
Be ready to go next Spring!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
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I got an email this week that made me smile :)


"I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Abundant Design has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 15 Regenerative Agriculture Blogs on the web.

https://blog.feedspot.com/regenerative_agriculture_blogs/

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!"

There are some BIG names on the list like Regeneration International, Kiss the Ground, Food Forest Farm and more!

If you like blogs and want your favorite topics highlighted in a single email check out feedspot.com



If you generally use Facebook try the Regenerative Agriculture group, or regionally Midwest Homesteading & Permaculture group.
Have a great week!
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Here's a quick video detailing the Monarch Butterfly's life-cycle, enjoy!

Lifecycle of the Monarch Butterfly - YouTube



Once an egg is laid, it should take 3-5 days to hatch.

Over the next two weeks (11-18 days) the caterpillars grow in size eating milkweed leaves.  Monarch caterpillars can eat almost 200 times their body weight in this time!



When grown they will form a chrysalis, where they will spend the next 8-14 days.

During this time they metamorphose into the adult orange and black butterfly!


It's been a great year for Monarchs and Pollinators in general read more here, or contact us about installing pollinator friendly plants for you!



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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



Prairie strips can also provide potential habitat for biodiversity, including wildlife, pollinators and other beneficial insects.



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.

Have a great week!


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