[permaculture] 2004 urban forest garden diary

Robert Waldrop rmwj at soonernet.com
Sun Mar 21 22:14:32 EST 2004


Here is the first installment of this year's
Forest Garden Diary.

Robert Waldrop, Oklahoma City
www.oklahomafood.org
www.bettertimesinfo.org
www.energyconservationinfo.org

2004 Forest Garden Diary

1524 NW 21st, Oklahoma City, at the southeast
corner of North McKinley and NW 21st Street, an
on-going experiment in urban permaculture

http://www.bettertimesinfo.org/2004garden.htm

"Properly speaking, of course, there is no such
thing as a return to nature, because there is no
such thing as a departure from it. The phrase
reminds one of the slightly intoxicated gentleman
who gets up in his own dining room and declares
firmly that he must be getting home." - G.K.
Chesterton

March 21, 2004

"It is the main earthly business of a human being
to make his home, and the immediate surroundings
of his home, as symbolic and significant to his
own imagination as he can." -G.K. Chesterton, The
Coloured Lands

Last year's garden diary wasn't kept very
diligently, fading out at the beginning of June. I
will try to do better this year. This year I am
looking to add around 100 perennial edible plants
(bushes and cane fruits, plus 6 canopy trees,well,
eventually they will be canopy trees, right now
they are bare-roots). Plants being added this
year, together with their Latin names and expected
size, and a url for further info are:

Bushes and canes:
Saskatoon Juneberry, amenlachier alnifolia, 12',
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Amelanchier+alnifolia
siberian pea tree --Caragana arborescens, 18';
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Caragana+arborescens
sea buckthorn - hippophae rhamnoides, 18'
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Hippophae+rhamnoides
nanking cherry - prunus tomentosa. 6',
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+tomentosa
Schubert chokecherry, prunus virginiana schuberti,
10'
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+virginiana
clove currants - ribes odoratum, 6',
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Ribes+odoratum
sand cherry - prunus besseyi, 4'
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+besseyi

Trees:
black cherry - prunus serotina, 50',
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+serotina
plum - prunus americana,
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+americana
apricot - prunus armeniaca, 45',
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Prunus+mandschurica

The bushes are going along 300' or so of the
perimeter of our property. I have figured out
where to put 4 of the 6 bigger trees, but am still
studying on where to put the other 2. I am
planting them so they will eventually shade
important parts of the house, without plunging the
annual area of my garden into perpetual shade.

What's blooming now? Apricot, peach, plum trees,
clove currants, Oregon grape, sand plum, bush
cherry. Whites and pinks mostly, with touches of
yellow from the clove currants and Oregon grape.

What's sprouting? I spotted the first spring peas
popping up today. Last fall I planted 365 garlic
cloves, they are in beds and scattered around. I
also planted a bed and a half of multiplying
onions and shallots (4' x 8' beds). I planted the
peas among those growing plants, and also around
the trees and bushes scattered around the yard. We
still have some garlic left that we harvested last
year. The peas around the trees and bushes will
grow up into them, for the others, I used poles
harvested from the Maximilien sunflowers. I don't
clip them in the fall, but let the seed heads and
stalks remain on the plants for the winter. Birds
eat them all winter long. In late winter, I trim
the stalks. By then they are perfectly dry, and
are fairly sturdy reeds.

Last fall I discovered by accident that the
Egyptian onions, which I had been cutting for
green onions, also make a nice dried onion. I had
thinned some of the bunches, and left a basket of
them in a corner of the porch and they were
forgotten about for a couple of months. When
found, they had cured nicely. There don't have a
big bulb, of course, it is small, but very highly
onion flavored.

Comfrey and horseradish are coming up, also lemon
balm, self-seeding lettuce, fordhook giant chard,
dandelions. The elderberries and rose of sharon
are growing leaves. Last fall I harvested a quart
and a half of elderberries, which I put in the
freezer when I harvested them. A couple of months
later I put them in a 2 quart mason jar, and added
enough ever clear to cover them. Then I let them
steep in that for a couple of months, drained the
berries, crushed them, added the remaining juice,
and capped it tightly. It is a very strong tasting
elixir, but it has a surprisingly nice after
taste - once you get it down the throat. Good for
what ails ya.

The big development this year is the planting of
our hedge. It will be composed of sand plum,
Siberian pea tree, chokecherry, Nanking cherry,
Saskatoon juneberry, sea buckthorn, and
dewberries. I'm thinking it will be very
attractive as well as functioning to help alter
the microclimate in a beneficial way. And the
berries and fruits will be tasty and nutritious
too.

Last year we harvested quite a bit more food than
we had in previous years. We had fruit nearly
every day from May through the first of August,
although not very much of that fruit made it into
the house. We got a few cobblers out of it but
most of it was just picked and eaten right in the
yard. Big peaches, so juicy I had to bend over
when I bit into one because the juices would run
down into my beard. The juice always found my
beard anyway, but there are worse fates, than
having fresh peach juice in your beard. Much
worse. As fates go, it's not really so bad. They
sure didn't taste like any peaches I have ever
bought in a supermarket.

Anyway, we also harvested lots of greens, well
into November and December, and had good harvests
of turnips, purple hulled and black-eyed peas too.
Plus herbs. The June 2003 garlic harvest has given
us garlic all winter, and we still have some left.

We expect to do even better in 2004. That's the
thing about forest gardening, it's like putting
money in the bank on compound interest. Each year
builds on the work of the previous year. It's like
digging in your backyard and discovering gold.

Found a lot of worms planting peas a week or so
ago. The soil under the winter mulch was very dark
and friable, in various degrees in different parts
of the garden. We had a fairly mild winter, and
the spring thus far has been very warm. I am
hoping our good luck holds and we avoid any late
hard freezes. Our average last freeze date is
about April 7th, so "it could happen."

About 1/3 of the logs surrounding our garden beds
were stolen this winter during some of the colder
months. This is the second year in a row for that,
and so we are changing the way we define our beds.
>From a producer member of the Oklahoma Food
Cooperative, we are getting poles (about 10 feet
long, 3 to 4 inch diameter). We will stack them
two up and drill a hole through them and use rebar
to anchor them in the ground to define our beds.
The hedges should also eventually create a "living
wall". Like a courtyard wall, it will provide
privacy, muffle the sound from the street, and
furnish some needed summer shade (these are
additional benefits to the berries, of course, and
the berries taste good and are nutritious).

And so it goes, on these first daze of spring. Don
't worry, it's not too late! Plant something
today! And then, plant something else tomorrow!
You deserve good food. Below is our plant list for
2004.

BETTER LIVING THROUGH BETTER FOOD!!!

Robert Waldrop, Gatewood Neighborhood, Oklahoma
City

"There cannot be a nation of millionaires, and
there never has been a nation of Utopian comrades;
but there have been any number of nations of
tolerably contented peasants." - G.K. Chesterton,
Outline of Sanity

Bettertimes | Justpeace | Energy Conservation Info

"Men are ruled, at this minute by the clock, by
liars who refuse them news, and by fools who
cannot govern." - G.K.Chesterton, The New Name,
Utopia of Usurers and Other Essays, 1917

99 total, 3 biennials, 24 annuals, 72 perennials

TREES 12 varieties
mature pecan tree
immature pecan tree
semi dwarf peach (Elberta semi dwarf, hansens)
semi dwarf Apricot
apple (dwarf Jonathan and Gala semi dwarf)
semi-dwarf plum (Superior and Toka,)
full size plumManchurian apricot
black cherry
Oklahoma redbud

BUSHES 12 varieties, all perennial
bush cherries
sand plums
elderberries
Mature mulberries
Oregon grape bushes
Siberian pea tree
Nanking cherry
Sand cherry
Saskatoon juneberry
Sea buckthorn
Schubert chokeberry
Sand plum

GROUND COVERS 4 varieties (1 perennial, 3 annual)
strawberries
purple clover A
white clover A
hairy vetch A

VINES AND CANES 10 varieties , all perennial
fredonia grape
niagara grape
venus grape
concord grape
dewberries
blackberries
boysenberries
clove currants
scarlet runner beans A
Luffa (a)

GREENS AND SALADS 12 varieties (6 perennial, 4
annual, 2 biannual)
Salad burnet
daylilies
Turnips (a)
Collards (a)
Fordhook giant chard (b)
Rhubarb chard (b)
Mustard (a)
Self seeding lettuce bed (a)
Dandelions
Bloody sorrel
French sorrel
Rose of sharon (flowers)

VEGETABLES 9 varieties (2 perennial, 7 annual)
Asparagus
rhubarb
habenero peppers (a)
Cherokee and roma tomatoes (a)English peas (a)
Purple hulled peas (a)
Black-eyed peas (a)
Jalapeno peppers (a)
Cayenne peppers (a)

ROOT CROPS 5 varieties (all annuals)
shallots (a)
walking onions (a)
potato onions (a)
Garlic A (a)
Turnips (a)


FLOWERS 12 varieties (8 perennial, 4 annual)
Rosa rugosa
Rosa erfult
Prairie rose
Purple echinacea
Pink ecinacea
Iris
Maximilien sunflowers
Russian mammoth sunflowers A
Mexican hat (a)
Wild geranium (a)
bee balm (monarda) (a)
Daffodils

HERBS 23 varieties (21 perennial, 1 annual, 1
biennial)
sage
creeping thyme
common oregano
greek oregano
tarragon
lovage
gotu kola
catnip
rue
garlic chives
spearmint
apple mint
lemon balm
spear mint (or some kind of common mint)
dill (A)
horehound
chocolate mint (the leaf tasted like one of those
chocolate mints you get at a restaurant checkout)
lemon mint
Roman chamomile
horseradish
rosemary
comfrey
parsley (b)

LIST OF PLANTS ORGANIZED BY LAYERS OF A FOREST
GARDEN

Canopy trees
pecan
American plum
Manchurian apricot
black cherry

Understory trees
Oklahoma redbud
semi dwarf peach
semi dwarf Apricot
semi-dwarf apple
semi-dwarf plum


Bushes and canes
bush cherries
sand plums
elderberries
Mature mulberries
Oregon grape bushes
Siberian pea tree
Nanking cherry
Sand cherry
Saskatoon juneberry
Sea buckthorn
Schubert chokeberry
Sand plum
dewberries
blackberries
boysenberries
clove currants

Herbs and smaller plants
Salad burnet
daylilies
Turnips (a)
Collards (a)
Fordhook giant chard (b)
Rhubarb chard (b)
Mustard (a)
Self seeding lettuce bed (a)
Dandelions
Bloody sorrel
French sorrel
Rose of sharon (flowers)
Asparagus
rhubarb
habenero peppers (a)
Cherokee and roma tomatoes (a)
English peas (a)
Purple hulled peas (a)
Black-eyed peas (a)
Jalapeno peppers (a)
Cayenne peppers (a)
Rosa rugosaRosa erfult
Prairie rose
Purple echinacea
Pink ecinacea
Iris
Maximilien sunflowers
Russian mammoth sunflowers A
Mexican hat (a)
Wild geranium (a)
bee balm (monarda) (a)
sage
creeping thyme
common oregano
greek oregano
tarragon
lovage
gotu kola
catnip
rue
garlic chives
spearmint
apple mint
lemon balm
spear mint (or some kind of common mint)
dill (A)
horehound
chocolate mint (the leaf tasted like one of those
chocolate mints you get at a restaurant checkout)
lemon mint
Roman chamomile
horseradish
rosemary
comfrey
parsley (b)

Ground covers
strawberries
purple clover A
white clover A
hairy vetch A

Climbing vines
fredonia grape
niagara grape
venus grape
concord grape
scarlet runner beans A
Luffa (a)

Roots
shallots (a)
walking onions (a)
potato onions (a)
Garlic A (a)
Turnips (a)







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