Whats Growing On

A few months ago, I got the email heads up that the Swinton Community Garden was looking to redesign their plot as a permaculture based intensive project. The focus will shift from individually cared for raised beds, to a vast array of interdependent guilds as well as annual vegetable production as well. In this, we will come to see the output in the years to come only increase more and more as the perennial polyculture system grows and becomes mature, and the system starts to produce its own biomass and builds soil and life in place, rather than consistently relying upon imported resources.

I have been working alongside great minds. We are Michiko Kurisu, Rachel Bissonette and Jody Mountcastle. It has been wondrously synchronous; I met Michiko years ago when I barely knew what a basil plant was and would just stroll the garden, looking in bewilderment. Rachel’s best friend is currently at the Paititi Institute, a place where I had spent about 2 years living and learning the ways of reconnecting to the Earth. Jody happened to be in the Rosemary Gladstar intensive that I was to be at, had I not stayed home with my mother to help her in the healing process, I would have met her then… what a small world!

This is a project that has been on going for the last 7 years… even though the property has been for sale for that entire time, the garden was only planned to last one season. Yet, here we are, now in the stages of deepening the growth and learning. We know not if it will ever see its full maturity, but to me, that doesn’t matter as much as how many people will inevitably be affected by the community coming together over this. It is also a great tribute to the fact of impermanence and to truly make best of what we have while we have it!

We are planning it to be the host of pop-up events… these can range from live music, to classes, to small mini restaurants utilizing the surrounding vegetative abundance, among other things. I have been feeling called to know more about the ways of creating food forests out of the sadly frequent food deserts that typically surround downtown areas. I feel that making an example of what is possible with locally resourced help and materials, no chemicals, and the intention to benefit others will hopefully show the city that we can share in the inherent tropical abundance. The amount of people traffic this site gets is remarkable, that being that its placement is right on Atlantic Avenue and Swinton, in the heart of Delray Beach, Florida. This level of publicity will allow for many to be exposed to what it is we are capable of when we put our hands together and think beyond just ourselves!

Troy, an old friend and incredible permaculturist, sitting in the heat and envisioning a lush future on paper
Troy, an old friend and incredible permaculturist, sitting in the heat and envisioning a lush future on paper
We have had the pleasure of working with intuitive healer Patricia Hardman... she led us around the property giving us the message of the land.
We have had the pleasure of working with intuitive healer Patricia Hardman… she led us around the property giving us the message of the land.
One of our design jam nights...
One of our design jam nights…
Troy making the best use of Mother in Law's tongue... laying on her.
Troy making the best use of Mother in Law’s tongue… ye old green chair.
James and his brother Alex showing us how to use the fast spinning blade cutter machine.
James and his brother Alex showing us how to use the fast spinning blade cutter machine.
The joinery of the raised beds. This beautiful Cedar wood was donated to a new friend, James Jackman who is making a nearby demonstration garden called Gladiolus. He received 10000 dollars worth of soon to be trashed wood and donated to us 6 raised beds worth!
The joinery of the raised beds. This beautiful Cedar wood was donated to a new friend, James Jackman, who is making a nearby demonstration garden called Gladiolus. He received 10000 dollars worth of soon to be trashed wood and donated to us 6 raised beds worth!
This couple... Incredible! They stopped by and asked me how to grow a papaya... faster. Faster? I said it already grows so fast! They then noticed the papaya behind me and its strange flowers. I mentioned how it was a male and one is necessary for every 12 female. The old man raised his hand and said, "i'll volunteer!" and his wife then "me too!"
This couple and friend were strolling on by as I filled some soil into a wheelbarrow. They spoke in broken English and then I met them in their native Colombian tongue and we spoke strongly of community and food growing. The gentleman then asked me how to grow a papaya… faster. Faster? I said it already grows so fast! They then noticed the papaya behind me and its strange flowers. I mentioned how it was a male and one is necessary for every 12 female. The old man raised his hand and said, “i’ll volunteer!” and his wife then “me too!”
Like I have said before, happiness is a truck full of (free and fallen) wood
Like I have said before, happiness is a truck full of (free and fallen) wood
A before shot of the eastern end of the garden...
A before shot of the eastern end of the garden… This area will be a mix of raised beds and wooden log beds as well as a trellis of passionfruit and chayote to the far left!
I am here, pointing out the helper of presence and proper saw alignment, mr lizard
I am here, pointing out the helper of presence and proper saw alignment, mr lizard
Lindsey plays with the saw... carefully cutting out the pieces to join the boxes together
Lindsey plays with the saw… carefully cutting out the pieces to join the boxes together
The pathways have begun to be created... that is a butterfly garden to the left and right that is being brought back to life as we... type
The pathways have begun to be created… that is a butterfly garden to the left and right that is being brought back to life as we… type
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