(Post 3 of our Permagarden Photo Essay from Legado Fellow Grant Bemis)
With all the pieces in place and now armed with knowledge from the classroom, it was time to get to work and assemble our first permagarden. Coupling the classroom knowledge with hands-on experience really seemed to click for everyone, and the garden was quickly shaping up.
Why “Permagarden?” The permagarden approach is a combination of permaculture and bio-intensive agriculture. Permaculture teaches how to understand and work with nature, while bio-intensive gardening teaches about maximizing soil and plant health for optimum yield. This permanent garden is a small-scale, high-yield, nutrition-focused engine of food security that anyone can create close to home.
After using the A-frames to measure out a level plane, marked with wooden stakes, everyone joined in to construct our berm and swale. Measuring ahead of time with the A-frame ensures the captured water will stay in the swale, or ditch, rather than flowing downhill leading to erosion and loss of nutrients.
The importance of hands on learning can not be expressed enough and really creates a connection with the process as well the land itself.
Below the berm, planting beds were constructed. These beds are dug twice as deep allowing for further root penetration and plant density.
We planted lemon grasses atop the original Berm, as they are water tolerant, and do a great job of holding the soil together once rooted.