Caretaker Society

Welcome to the Garden (This is part of our community education and outreach partnering with Green Phoenix Permaculture.There will be a blog accompanying the photos on this site so you will be able to follow us throughout the seasons . 

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The Beginnings of the Garden


Day one on the ancients land: We have decided to be experimental with the garden beds doing a mixture of turning the soil in order to bring up minerals from aged soil, a biodynamic concept, and using the permaculture idea of building soil by sheet mulching. So on our first day together in the garden we expanded one of the outer beds paths by digging out the sod and laying down some cardboard. We used soil form the sod by shaking out the soil onto the bed and using the rest if the green mulch for future use by starting a compost pile with the sod and scraps of vegetation from last years crop. The native garden of the three sisters was prepared also by clearing away last seasons remnants and racking out the mole holes.

Day Two: Continued work on outer bed. Adding cardboard, searching for cardboard and adding wood chips to path. Also starting sheet mulch by laying down manure followed by cardboard then hay. We wet down the cardboard to make it more manageable. On the outside of the bed we’re going to planting comfrey as a dynamic accumulator, blocking out grass growth into bed and building nutrients in the soil. We discussed discovering other bio-accumulators to add more variety to the garden.

Day Three: Weeding and digging another path along the other outer most bed. Discussing: bedstraw as a friend or foe in the garden, deciding to experiment with it for the season

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Garden Mapping: Wilton drew a garden map and we all brought a list of seeds we have ordered then the planning began. From last years experience Wilton and Joan discovered the beets and onions grew well together so we have decided to plant them together once again. Alexander found a list of companion plants to find some suggestions. Some discoveries we decided to experiment with: eggplant and peppers, potatoes and watermelons, carrots and onions, tomatoes and basil (for more suggestions check www.romanyrest.net). In the native garden we went with a Ho-go-wah Seneca Flint Corn, Lenape Hannah Cut Short Bean (similar to pinto), Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, and Aunt Molly Tomatillos. We’re going to plant more beans (black beans, scarlet runners) around the fence also sunflowers and peas. We’ve planned to have a brassica bed with brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli. We are keeping our awareness of last years planting and making sure to rotate crops in order to not stress beds for nutrients. Also trying to keep awareness with cross pollination in hope to save seed.

Week Two: Continued sheet mulching (cardboard, manure, hay) paths and heavily weeded beds, weeded and mulched (manure and hay) other beds with sparse weeds keeping the vetch, clover, dandelion. Working on irrigation sourced from the pond. Transplanted stinging nettles creating a nettle patch on the fence line within the garden. Transplanted bee balm on outer bed border to companion comfrey.

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Week Three: We have moved onto the other side of the garden extending three garden beds. We discussed weeding out the grass and other noxious weeds but fond the grass roots to be running through out the beds. The better solution has been to do patch work sheet mulching over the grass invested areas of the beds. The green house has almost been completed and many plants have been ordered from Linda Brook for the garden, which we will be listing soon on the blog. Lastly the three sisters garden has begun to be sheet mulched. On a side note in the near future we will be posting a work day in the garden hope to many of you there!


 

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Week Four: Continued work on Three Sisters garden, sheet mulching paths and beds. Created a bed on the boarder of the fence by broad-forking the earth to aerate, laying manure then covering with cardboard and then laying out a thick layer of manure mixed with soil on top then out lining the soil with hay to keep in the moisture. In the bed we planted sprouted snow peas which we used an inoculant to insure the sprouting. We also have been working on transplanting some hardy kiwi vines, elderberry bushes, and grade vines. We took clippings from healthy plants of each variety and now have the kiwis and grapes in pots and the elderberry clippings in the ground and water them about twice daily to insure they set roots. Lastly we planted our first crop in the garden this week which was onion and leek seedlings.

Week Five: We are still continuing work on the Three Sisters garden which is now almost ready to be planted in having only about 1/3 of the outer bed to be finished. More seedlings arrived and are now happily growing in the garden. Those plants include: beets, kale, cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, chard, and strawberries. Also we started many seeds in the green house: watermelons, tomatoes, soybeans, peppers, collards, cabbage, and ground cherries.

 

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Week Six: The Native garden/three sisters bed is complete and has been planted with the Seneca flint corn, Ho-go-wah. The corn was planted with intention with a blessing from Calvin and all of us who participated in the corn planting. We gave our thanks and planted four kernels each rotating between all of us until we reached the end of the circle. We soaked the corn before planting for two days to begin germination. Other projects from this week include: sheet mulching two apple trees as well as our newly planted peace tree and put fencing up around them, sheet mulched two garlic beds and planted some salad greens in the empty space in one of those beds, we also planted some herbs and medicinal plants in the garden, chervil, a root parsley, Echinacea and spilanthese and lastly we turned some compost and created a new compost pile. On a side note we have a new member on the farm a goat named Bianca that is pregnant and expecting in late June or early July. She is very friendly and a great addition to the land.

Week Seven: To begin the week we relocated our chickens to a happier place on the land for them to forage, play in some fresh soil and fertilize our unused garden beds. The rest of our week went toward maintaining the seedlings in the green house, the new planted seedlings in the garden, and the seeds waiting to sprout. We began aerating the old chicken pen with a broad fork in preparation for some planting of possibly some grains and other plants such as pumpkins and greens for the chickens to forage in the future. Our corn began to sprout as well as our herbs and a few seedlings were added to the garden: brussel sprouts, collards, and lettuce. At the end of this week we discovered a problem with seedlings planted in the compost pockets. The plants were sitting on top of the soil and the roots were drying out and some plants began to bolt. Our solution was to scoop up the plants out of the pockets and dig down deeper and place them back in soil in a position were the roots could reach the cooler earth below the pockets of the sheet mulch and finished by securing them with more soil packed in around them. The plants have already undergone some frost damage on top of that so they are a little stressed as of now, but we have hope they will return after a few days of good watering.


 

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Week Eight: To start the week we extended a garden bed and sheet mulched and started sprouting and soaking seeds, melons, ground cherries, fennel, and parsley, for planting. We did plenty of direct seeding. Our planting included carrots, collards, radishes, bush beans, oregano, parsley, scarlet runners and soy beans. We continued creating more beds: sunflower bed along the fence which was planted with sunflowers, sun chokes, and scarlet runners, and a peanut circular bed and we transplanted some peanut seedlings. Also we extended our main garlic bed and planted some scarlet runners and black beans in that space. Some artichokes we planted early in March were transplanted in various spaces in the garden and also we put some of our tomato seedlings in the ground in faith that the cold weather has passed. This week we did some tours of the annual garden and the forest gardens. A group gathered to the camp for a yearly meeting and those interested came along with us and we shared our knowledge and creations in the gardens. It’s always nice to share your creations with others and we all did indeed enjoy sharing the gardens with those folks.

 

 

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Week Nine: Plenty of planting can describe this week. Many seedlings were planted and seeds directly seeded. Seedlings: beets, nasturtiums, celery, eggplant, peppers, basil, summer squash, ground cherries, cucumbers, calendula. Direct Seed: marigolds, black-eyed susans, cucumbers, black beans, teff, wheat, sesame seeds. We also planted butternuts, persimmons, wild plums, and hazelnuts that we cold stratified this winter which began sprouting this week. Then we also inoculated some logs with mushroom spores. We had shitake and lion’s mane dowel spawn. Besides planting we did some more prep in the old chicken yard for planting by racking. To end the week we had more visitors to the land. This time around the group stayed for three days. The group was teenagers and a few adults. This group came to volunteer on the land. They were a great help and brought a lot of enthusiasm for helping out in the garden and discovering nature’s beauty surrounding us here at Epworth. In the garden we all worked on some potato and watermelon beds which were completed and one was planted. Then we had a walk about through the forest gardens, shared our knowledge of wild edibles, and completed with sit spots followed by a bow drill demo and a song. Everyone parted feeling thankful that we shared such a fulfilling experience together on the land.

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Week Ten: Maintenance was the focus this week: Transplanting/thinning sunflowers, weeding, scything forest gardens, organizing green house, widening the native garden for planting squash and beans and then fertilizing with chicken manure, attempting to rid eggplants of flea beetles with ashes and garlic spray, mulched sunflower bed and a scarlet runner bean patch, soaking mushroom logs, cut comfrey leaves and utilized them as mulch around forest garden and started some compost teas (a comfrey tea and a chicken manure tea). Followed by some more planting: potatoes, watermelons, Nanking cherry seedlings in forest garden, Butternut Tree sprouts*, soybeans (some interesting varieties from the seed saver yearbook, a black variety which creates lavender tofu and a green and black variety), planted more seedlings (tomatoes, peppers, ground cherries), and some direct seeding of the native Lenape cut short beans, field peas and cilantro. For fun we made some fruit leather with the abundance of gomi berries and wild strawberries (we discovered a patch hiding under some flowering white bed straw while scything) and we fermented some garlic scapes since they are also in abundance and the garlic bulbs benefit from the harvesting of the scapes, regenerating the energy back to the bulb rather than the flower head. *To add a little more about the planting of the butternut trees: Butternut trees were in abundance and utilized as a staple food for many natives in North America, yet more recently they are under attack for a number of reasons. On a positive note we discovered a highly informational website on some advice on growing them and keeping them healthy. Also some really interesting information on the history of the butternut trees is included, the website is http://www.cog.ca/chapters/ottawa/ottara-articles/the-butternut-tree/.

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Week Thirteen: Up keep in the garden: weeding, mulching and scything. Other projects included finishing up gilds in forest garden, work on straw bale house, and building a mulch box/bed for our fruit and nut tree nursery. The box creation was a lot like sheet mulching minus the compost and/or manure. By laying out a bottom layer of cardboard and framing with slab wood followed by filling with wood chips and lastly nestling our seedling pots in the chips. One may wonder what the benefit of such a “box” would be. Well, the answer would be to keep the soil from drying out rapidly from being exposed to direct sun or even partial sun. Other news: Bianca, our new farm goat, had two kids on the solstice, a male and female. Also, next week the YMCA children’s camp and the chickadee camp at Epworth starts. From June 28th until August 28th for an hour each week day we’ll have a group of children working with us in the garden and focusing on nature awareness skills. We have been planning, discussing, and preparing projects for the children a lot this week, but it has been something we have all been preparing for and focusing on for last three months.

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More (Tchi- Cho- Hac- ki) an ancient cultivated land

May 18, 2010
Week Four: Continued work on Three Sisters garden, sheet mulching paths and beds. Created a bed on the boarder of the fence by broad-forking the earth to aerate, laying manure then covering with cardboard and then laying out a thick layer of manure mixed with soil on top then out lining the soil with hay to keep in the moisture. In the bed we planted sprouted snow peas which we used an inoculant to insure the sprouting. We also have been working on transplanting some hardy kiwi vines, elderberry bushes, and grade vines. We took clippings from healthy plants of each variety and now have the kiwis and grapes in pots and the elderberry clippings in the ground and water them about twice daily to insure they set roots. Lastly we planted our first crop in the garden this week which was onion and leek seedlings.

Week Five: We are still continuing work on the Three Sisters garden which is now almost ready to be planted in having only about 1/3 of the outer bed to be finished. More seedlings arrived and are now happily growing in the garden. Those plants include: beets, kale, cabbage, broccoli, mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, chard, and strawberries. Also we started many seeds in the green house: watermelons, tomatoes, soybeans, peppers, collards, cabbage, and ground cherries.

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Week Six: The Native garden/three sisters bed is complete and has been planted with the Seneca flint corn, Ho-go-wah. The corn was planted with intention with a blessing from Calvin and all of us who participated in the corn planting. We gave our thanks and planted four kernels each rotating between all of us until we reached the end of the circle. We soaked the corn before planting for two days to begin germination. Other projects from this week include: sheet mulching two apple trees as well as our newly planted peace tree and put fencing up around them, sheet mulched two garlic beds and planted some salad greens in the empty space in one of those beds, we also planted some herbs and medicinal plants in the garden, chervil, a root parsley, Echinacea and spilanthese and lastly we turned some compost and created a new compost pile. On a side note we have a new member on the farm a goat named Bianca that is pregnant and expecting in late June or early July. She is very friendly and a great addition to the land.

Week Seven: To begin the week we relocated our chickens to a happier place on the land for them to forage, play in some fresh soil and fertilize our unused garden beds. The rest of our week went toward maintaining the seedlings in the green house, the new planted seedlings in the garden, and the seeds waiting to sprout. We began aerating the old chicken pen with a broad fork in preparation for some planting of possibly some grains and other plants such as pumpkins and greens for the chickens to forage in the future. Our corn began to sprout as well as our herbs and a few seedlings were added to the garden: brussel sprouts, collards, and lettuce. At the end of this week we discovered a problem with seedlings planted in the compost pockets. The plants were sitting on top of the soil and the roots were drying out and some plants began to bolt. Our solution was to scoop up the plants out of the pockets and dig down deeper and place them back in soil in a position were the roots could reach the cooler earth below the pockets of the sheet mulch and finished by securing them with more soil packed in around them. The plants have already undergone some frost damage on top of that so they are a little stressed as of now, but we have hope they will return after a few days of good watering.
 

Tchi - cho - hac - ki - An ancient cultivated land

May 8, 2010
Permalink Reply by Sheena Marie Heinitz 1 hour ago
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The Beginnings of the Garden


Day one on the ancients land: We have decided to be experimental with the garden beds doing a mixture of turning the soil in order to bring up minerals from aged soil, a biodynamic concept, and using the permaculture idea of building soil by sheet mulching. So on our first day together in the garden we expanded one of the outer beds paths by digging out the sod and laying down some cardboard....
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Creation Story

May 8, 2010
The Lenapé Creation Story
(Lenapé Kishelamàwa'kàn)

Our lèpâ'chik, wise ones, say, "Kunakwat, lowat, nuchink...Long, long ago, in the beginning..." at first there was only endless space, and therein dwelt Kishelamàkânk, the Creator. Nothing else existed at this time, all was silence and there was a great peace.

Then it was that Kishelamàkânk had a great vision. In this vision he saw the endless space around him filled with stars, and he saw the sun, the moo...
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Paul TobinI am ( Arrun Nah ne nay wah ) or ( Shunktochu Ska ) Buddy, Paba or Bopa ,Dad, Uncle Buddy - you know me as Paul. I have lived in the valley of the the river that runs both ways ( Mohkinatuck ). I was born in a place called ( Napitamack ) our peoples' fields by the once great Wegwaseek ,the people of the yellow birch. Across the river was Wehawken and the Palisades that stretch from Hobokan (pipe) to Tapan. They were created by a lava flow 500 million years ago .They were on the west side of the river so I always used them and the river as a directional reference point.To the south was Mahataha, a stony island that still retains a semblance of its ancient name. To the south of that island lies the great ocean and to the east is the long water where the Quenepeack, the long water people lived. In my youth I lived near a place called Tuckahoe ( Indian cradle board or jack-in-the-pulpit). My days were spent roaming the streams, swamps, fields and creeks. I knew where the fish were, where to get worms to catch them, where the blackberries were, and the wild apples, the garlic, mints and clovers, where the springs were to drink from, and all the paths that led to any place of interest. Even going to school, I used these paths instead of using the sidewalks and streets. I knew where the deer were, and the raccoons, muskrats, rabbits, foxes, pheasants, ducks, where the owls slept and where to go where I couldn't be found. We traveled on all of these waterways with makeshift boats and rafts and we were all good swimmers and had no fear of the adventure. My mother introduced me to those things as if they were my relatives and I thank her for that. Years later I would travel as the eagle flies, ninety miles up the river to Poughkeepsie (a safe harbor). With the eyes of an eagle I would look to the west and see the beautiful Shawangunk mountains (the hills that go south). The home of the Wanganarangonks (the good people that live by the mountains that go south). Flying over those mountains and looking to the northwest you would see the place where the earth touches the sky. Nestled between two mountains is a place called Moonhaw (woodchuck) the place where I now make my home. The Maltby creek, which is behind our house, starts up on Friday mountain where it bubbles up from the ground. The water is so sweet that I sometimes lick it off my mustache. The Maltby runs into the Bushkill creek, that runs into the Ashokan, that is fed by the Esopus and runs back into the Esopus to the river that runs both ways and then into the ocean, and returns in the form of rain to begin the cycle all over again. As we hover on the wings of an eagle, looking three hundred sixty degrees, we see the Adirondacks, the Tacconic hills, the Berkshires, the Green mountains, the Ramapo hills, the lakes, rivers and streams sparkling like jewels, and we are in awe of the majestic beauty. This is my home. Ancestral landscape - Thomas O'Leary, born in Cork, Ireland in the late 1840's, comes on a fishing boat with his cousins, the Adams, and with his parents and siblings during the potato famine. They landed in Baltimore. He was a drummer boy in the civil war, after which he moved to Brooklyn, New York and had three children - Gertrude, John and Catherine. My grandmother Catherine, born in the late 1800's, married Fred Webb from Tarrytown. His ancestors had been here pre-revolutionary war related to the Tapans who lived in the area. They had three children - one died as an infant, one - my mother Inez, and one - my uncle Fred. My mother has three children - Maryann - named after my grandfather's mother, Paul - named after my father but called Buddy because my sister couldn't pronounce brother and said Budda, which turned into Buddy (I personally think it was easier to not have two people called Paul in the same household), and lastly - my brother Arthur Michael , named after my father's brother. My grandfather's father married an Irish woman and his father also married an Irish woman, and that is how the Webbs became Catholic. The Webbs owned a stage coach inn in Tarrytown, that was the last stop on the way to New York City. The Tobins came from Ireland to Canada to Massachusetts by dogsled and oxen.  One married a native woman there are relatives among the Wampanoag with also with the Quinnipiac that name. Joseph Tobin, my grandfather who I never met married Gertrude Cox (Gra). They had five children - Arthur, Ruth, Paul, Joseph and Raymond. The Coxes were from Roscomen, Ireland. I have four children - Tobi, Sparrow, Hawk Sage and Avrom. I also have two step-children - Daisha and Elijah. I have five grandchildren - Melina and Noah Katlin Paulo and Judah I have six nieces, two nephews, ten grand nieces and nephews. I live with my wife Jodi and our cat, and an occasional mouse that is promptly caught by our cat. This is the abbreviated version. If you are interested, the longer version can be talked about around the fire.
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 Reply by Sheena Marie Heinitz on June 22, 2010 at 9:21pm

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Week Eleven: Revived asparagus patch by scything around patch, adding manure and sheet mulch. Planted the chicken yard with beets, clover, rape seed (mustard family, canola oil seed), and rye grass. Composted, worked in straw bale house, scythed forest gardens, potted sassafras seedlings (removed from the forest garden since in abundance to plant else where), weeding, thinning some garden beds and transplanting.

Week Twelve: Prepared for forest garden workshop for most of the week. The workshop is centered on maintenance of a forest garden. The preparation being scything, getting materials for fencing, collecting cardboard from local businesses, contacting wood chip sources and picking up wood chips from local transfer station and find leaks in hoses and repairing hoses. Other projects: weeding, creating living border bed, planting seedling tobacco in the native garden and working on straw bale house. During the forest garden workshop the group worked on strengthening the gilds (fruit/nut tree, nitrogen fixer, dynamic accumulator/soil builder, ground cover) by replanting fruit trees in existing plots where trees didn’t make it through the winter, adding ground covers and dynamic accumulators, followed by mulching each guild and fencing. The group mulched around berry patches as well.

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 Reply by Sheena Marie Heinitz on July 14, 2010 at 8:38pm

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Week Fourteen: First week of camp. We started the week with the children by introducing ourselves, the garden and the farm animals. The animals captured the children’s attention right from the start. They enjoyed observing the animals habits and adored to watch the baby goats most of all. The garden started to spark their attention later on in the week when we started harvesting and planting. The first activity in the garden was harvesting garlic. They had fun comparing the sizes of the bulbs, learning how to tug from the base of the plant, talking about the beauty of garlic and choosing a bulb to bring home. After harvesting we switched our focus to planting sprouted seeds. Their enthusiasm for sharing their past planting experiences and observing the growth of the sprouted seeds brought a new connection to the group with the garden and with each other. To end the week we hung the garlic in bunches in the rafters of the camp pavilion, which they all took satisfaction in sharing with the other campers as they questioned what it was we were doing and why. Afterwards we had a short lesson on fire making and water finding. By the end of the four days we all noticed a shift among the group of children.

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