Compost- it’s a love-hate relationship. I remember the first year we started a garden we thought that, “Hey if compost is good, then a lot is better!” We planted our first raised garden beds in completely compost. It was a disaster, nothing grew! Over the years we have learned through first hand experience that not all compost is created equal. We once visited a compost center that produces a product sold at local stores and many garden centers, we were shocked to see they were composting- grinding up chairs and other furniture that was painted! Probably not the end of the world, but not the best either. You may be one of the lucky ones that have farm animals and you produce your own manure and compost…the rest of us are jealous! Most however, will have to rely on what’s available in the market place. We have been testing composts in gardens, as well as asking companies for their soil analysis’ all in the hopes of being able to recommend a product that we can stand behind. The product we are using in the video below comes from Baxter Barn, Maybe a little ways out of the way for most people (Located in Fall City) but we have high hopes that this is the product we will be using in the future. The other product we recommend is called LOOP, don’t be turned off by what’s in it (human waste), it does seem to be the most well rounded and sound product that we have come across. http://www.loopforyoursoil.com/
Let us know what compost you use and the results you have seen!
I can’t say we were thrilled when we were called by a client the day before thanksgiving to help remove ivy from the side of their house. I thought to myself, “This isn’t what we signed up for when we started Restoring Eden” I suppose I had pictured working on projects we wanted to do- beautiful orchard installations, food forests and land restoration projects. Now I find myself pulling ivy from the swampy side of a house with rat traps all around me! The start-up phase of a business isn’t always glamorous now is it! We can’t really complain too much for having work in the slow season though! And this small 3 hour job did much to remind us of why we do what we do. We have the privilege to serve others with the businesses we create! I cannot claim any altruistic action or motivation in most of the work we do at Restoring Eden but a action does not need altruism or charity as its motive to be a blessing to those who are the recipient. The elderly ladies were more than appreciative of the work we did on such a short notice. It reminds us of a concept in permaculture called community resilience. Its where we intentionally develop communities that demonstrate resilience to adversity. Community resilience loosely defined is the ability of a community to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations. Having rats infest your home as was the case for these women is not fun and is definitely an adverse situation! However, having those who you can call, whether friends, family or neighbor to help is an example of resilience. As mentioned in the video below, its a privileged to be in relationship with our clients and be able to assist them when they are in need! 🙂
Our place in this universe was shaped on that fateful day in the garden of Eden, when Eve decided to taste the forbidden fruit. Was it a fig? We may never know! We do know that for us it was tasting a fresh fig just picked that forever changed us. I mean really!?! How many moments do you really have in your life like that? IT CHANGED US, MESSED WITH US. Next thing we knew we had planted 30 fruit trees in the corner of our yard. What are we doing eating “food-like engineered products” when in our own cities we can grow so many of natures miracles. We were meant to be awe of and in wonder at the food our Maker has given us to eat.
When a long time friend calls you up out of the blue and gives you the opportunity to pick his organic orchard you can’t say no! So we hurried our preparations and headed to Quincy, WA at 3 AM. Picking fruit on a 12′ ladder with a fruit box strapped to your chest turned out to not be the easiest thing I have ever done. It’s hard work! My parents and many other adults their age tells stories of being bused to the strawberry fields in Puyallup, WA when they were just young kids. They made a few dollars, or quarters and got to eat all the strawberries they wanted. I think it would be great to have such a program for our High School students in the orchards of Eastern Washington. It could really teach them a thing or two!
We loaded up our truck with 60 boxes or so of fresh peaches, nectarines and plums and headed back to Seattle. The peaches were a huge hit, many clients were excited to get their hands on a box or 5 boxes or quality organic peaches! In the future if we can build out cold storage at Restoring Eden we could do this with even greater success.
One thing interesting to note is the spacing of the fruit trees in an orchard setting. Most people are planting semi-dwarf trees about 12′ apart. In this particular orchard they were more like 6′ apart and had more of an upright growth pattern. This pattern can and should be transferred over to our urban settings where space is scarce.