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

Though this garden no longer exists we have started a new one. This is part of our history

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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, decidin

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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.


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! 



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.


 


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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This is pre contact tobacco found in a gourd grown and the seeds save. We are planting it for ceremonial use. Wilton, Ryan, Sheena,Joan, Zander and myself doing the planting.


 

Fresh from the hoop house our ancient seedlings 

 

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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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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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Wilton and Ryan preparing the bed 

The first one is in 

 

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How the garden has grown. Calvin in the picture when we planted the Three Sisters and Willow and Malina on July 9. Thanks to the hard work Of the interns, Sheena, Zander, Ryan, Mark and of course Joan and Wilton.

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  Reply by Sheena Marie Heinitz on July 14, 2010 at 9:09pm

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Week Fifteen: For the second week with the campers we did planting and harvesting to begin the week. We dug for potatoes then planted peppers, tomatoes and ground cherries. For the remainder of the week we stayed in the shade, for the gardens direct sunlight in the late morning hours was “wilting” our group. Switching our focus to the forest that surrounds the land we observed self mushrooms, edible/medicinal plants and keyed out trees. To end the week the children wanted nothing more than to spend time with the chickens, especially the new chick. For work on the land we continued maintaining the garden with weeding, mulching and plenty of watering in the dry spell.

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Watering and making the first hole 

Mama Joan giving some direction 

FIRST NATIONS LEGACY ON THE ROUGE
FIRST NATIONS ... ARCHAEOLOGY ... LEGENDS ... MEDICINE WHEEL
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A First Nations Legend
How Indian Corn
Came Into The World

Long, long ago, in a beautiful part of this country, there lived an Indian with his wife and children .He was poor and found it hard to provide food enough for his family. But though needy he was kind and contented, and always gave thanks to the Great Spirit for everything that he received. His eldest son, Wunzh, was likewise kind and gentle and thankful of heart, and he longed greatly to do something for his people.

The time came that Wunzh reached the age when every Indian boy fasts so that he may see in a vision the Spirit that is to be his guide through life. Wunph's father built him a little lodge apart, so that the boy might rest there undisturbed during his days of fasting. Then Wunzh withdrew to begin the solemn rite.

On the first day he walked alone in the woods looking at the flowers and plants, and filling his mind with the beautiful images of growing things so that he might see them in his night-dreams. He saw how the flowers and herbs and berries grew, and he knew that some were good for food, and that others healed wounds and cured sickness. And his heart was filled with even a greater longing to do something for his family and his tribe.

Truly, thought he, the Great Spirit made all things. To Him we owe our lives. But could He not make it easier for us to get our food than hunting and catching fish? I must try to find this out in my vision.

So Wunzh returned to his lodge and fasted and slept. On the third day he became weak and faint. Soon he saw in a vision a young brave coming down from the sky and approaching the lodge. He was clad in rich garments of green and yellow colors. On his head was a tuft of nodding green plumes, and all his motions were graceful and swaying.

I am sent to you, O Wunzh, said the sky- stranger, that Great Spirit who made all things in sky and earth. He has seen your fasting, and knows how you wish to do good to your people, and that you do not seek for strength in war nor for the praise of warriors. I am sent to tell you how you may do good to your kindred. Arise and wrestle with me, for only overcoming me may you learn the secret.

Wunzh, though he was weak from fasting, felt courage grow in his heart, and he arose and wrestled with the stranger. But soon he became weaker and exhausted, and the stranger, seeing this, smiled gently on him and said: My friend, this is enough for once, I will come again to-morrow. And he vanished as suddenly as he had appeared.

The next day the stranger came, and Wunzh felt himself weaker than before; nevertheless he rose and wrestled bravely. Then the stranger spoke a second time. My friend, he said, have courage! To-morrow will be your last trial. And he disappeared from Wunzh's sight.

On the third day the stranger came as before, and the struggle was renewed. And Wunzh, though fainter in body, grew strong in mind and will, and he determined to win or perish in the attempt. He exerted all his powers, and, lo! in a while, he prevailed and overcame the stranger.

O Wunzh, my friend, said the conquered one, you have wrestled manfully. You have met your trial well. To-morrow I shall come again and you must wrestle with me for the last time. You will prevail. Do you then strip off my garments, to throw them away?

In the morning Wunzh's father came to him with food. My son, he said, you have fasted long. It is seven days since you have tasted food, and you must not sacrifice your life. The Master of Life does not require that.

My father, replied the boy, wait until the sun goes down to-morrow. For a certain reason I wish to fast until that hour.

Very well, said the old man, I shall wait until the time arrives when you feel inclined to eat. And he went away.

The next day, at the usual hour, the sky stranger came again. And, though Wunzh had fasted seven days, he felt a new power arise within him. He grasped the stranger with superhuman strength, and threw him down. He took from him his beautiful garments,and, finding him dead, buried him in the softened earth, and did all else as he had been directed.

He then returned to his father's lodge, and partook sparingly of food. There he abode for some time. But he never forgot.

Weeks passed , the summer was drawing to a close. One day Wunzh asked his father to follow him. He led him to a distant meadow. There, in the place where the stranger had been buried, stood a tall and graceful plant, with bright- colored, silken hair, and crowned nodding green plumes. Its stalk was covered with waving leaves, and there grew from its sides clusters of milk-filled ears of corn, golden and sweet, each ear closely wrapped in its green husks.

It is my friend! shouted the boy joyously; it is Mondawmin, the Indian Corn! We need no longer depend on hunting, so long as this gift is planted and cared for. The Great Spirit has heard my voice and has sent us this food.

Then the whole family feasted on the ears of corn and thanked the Great Spirit who gave it. So Indian Corn came into the world.

Takes You To Legends First Nations Audio Clips Takes You To Top of This Page Takes You To First Nations Home Page

 

Sheena hard at work 

The three sisters 

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Permalink Reply by Sheena Marie Heinitz 1 day ago
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Week Sixteen: For this week we had a fun introduction with drumming, songs, bow drill and a walk around the garden. Paul was there for that first day and made it all the more interesting with his stories and songs. We continued on in the week with talking about volunteer plants in the garden. Some were edible and very tasty combined with garden veggies or on their own. We made a yummy treat with those volunteer plants in the garden that we took out of the garden and also brought bags for the group to take some home for eating. Those plants included: amaranth, lamb’s quarters, sorrels, mallow, dandelion greens, clovers and mustard flowers. Then to tie everything together in the garden we had compost turning. We added some food scraps from camp lunches and turned the pile. We discussed all the life that goes into making that soil and how a healthy garden is filled many micro-organisms. In the garden, outside of camp life, we planted winter squash seedlings in some beds that had snow peas and soybeans which did not make it in due to all the critters and continued weeding and mulching in all the gardens, forest and annual. Also Dina Falconi wrapped up the permaculture series on forest garden maintenance this weekend. We had fun with this last session. We took our knowledge of the forest garden and focused on the plants found in the landscape that grow wild and/or are planted. By focusing on the plants and their uses we bring the forest garden to the next level by bringing them into all of our senses. We ate our fill of delicious wild foods and learned a little about medicine making; yet focusing on the idea of our food is our medicine.

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Week Seventeen: With the children we continued talking about volunteer plants especially amaranth since we took a whole patch out to create potato mounds. We built potato mounds the next day and planted them by cutting segments of fully sprouted potatoes. We looked at some mature potato plants and continued around the garden sampling cucumbers and summer squash. The next day we talked about mulching. Then took our group into the three sisters garden which had our corn in a compromised position. Some of our corn fell over. The reason for the corn collapse is still not clear but we have a few ideas. Our solution: to thickly mulch corn to give it some extra support. The children had fun collecting the hay and being in the corn circle. For the remainder of time we visited the chickens and feed them some corn stalks that had snapped in their fall. The next day we collected mints, sassafras roots (and transplanted one sassafras tree out of the forest garden) and spice bush leaves and twigs to make a tea. We also collected plum branches from our thicket of plums and feed them to the goats. The children love those goats. After camp hours: harvested beets, summer squash and cucumbers. Stored beets in the cellar in sawdust and made pickles with cucumbers. Focused on hawk forest garden: adding compost and sheet mulch to blueberries, currants, and raspberries. Thinned tomato plants, removing extra foliage, for we are producing beautiful leafy plants yet our tomatoes are not ripening. Created Cob for patch work in straw bale house. And of course weeding, mulching and scything.

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Paul Tobin-coyote Song

 

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Week Eighteen: We are now on our third session with the camp. For the beginning of each session we start out with an intro to our garden and to each other. For this intro we ate some field peas and began some cuttings of basil in water, putting one in with willow twigs and the other with out to test the growth agent in willow trees. We also introduced the children to our chickens and goats since they are one of the children’s favorites to discuss and visit. We made pickles this week, collecting cucumbers and herbs from the garden and adding salt brine. Pickles brought up the subject of food storage for the winter and how people lived without refrigerators and grocery stores. The next days vote was to visit the animals once more with more focus. To end the week we sheet mulched a patch around our meeting place beneath the apple tree discussing soil nutrients and then ate our pickles from the beginning of the week comparing them to pickles that we made outside of camp time last week. The pickles that we made with the kids were their favorite. After camp Hours: Straw bale house work, sheet mulched salad hedge and finished the apple tree sheet mulch.

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Week Nineteen: Started camp with compost and importance of soil beginning by walking in the garden and eating field peas then putting the shells of the peas in our compost along with a bin of food scraps. We thought it would be a good way to start a week with the first component of the garden, the soil. The children were into asking questions and everyone wanted a turn helping to add compost, add sawdust, and watering the pile. Day two we went into harvesting and preserving food again but this time with cabbage. We made a red cabbage sour kraut. We gathered peppers, dill, basil, chives and an onion for flavoring. Again they all wanted to be a part of the process of putting herbs in the jar and liked watching the cabbage become juicier as we added the salt to make it sweat out its water. They liked nibbling on the cabbage as well. We brought out pickles from the last weeks group. We munched on those and added more cucumbers to the brine. If food is involved they are that much more enthusiastic. Day three we did our wild teas. We repeated the sassafras tea with the planting of a tree and added anise hyssop and mint to that brew. We added to the lesson by making a boiled tea (the sassafras), an infused tea of basil, and started a sun tea that day with sumac berries. Paul joined us and encouraged us to create a song which we did, we wrote and sang the sumac song. Day four we focused on the animals by putting straw in the chickens nests and taking the goats for a foraging walk around the barn. Day five was our feast day. We ate sour kraut, pickles, cornbread made from eggs and goat milk from the land, and drank our sumac sun tea sweetened with honey from Paul’s bee hive which is also on the land. We sang the sumac song and also shared other songs and stories about rainbow crow and the bringing of fire to humans while Paul showed everyone the bow drill.

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Sumac, Sumac, Sun tea It's good for you and it's good for me

What do it look like don't be afraid, the little red berries taste like lemonade

Um Um Um

Put it in the water put it in the Sun, tomorrow morning were gonna have fun

Um Um Um 

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