Monday, November 26, 2012

Can you say bees, hugelkultur and xeriscaping 3 times fast?

After our screening of Queen of the Sun, there has been lively discussion on bees, colony collapse disorder and how mono-cropping may be a strong contributor to this phenomena.

Take the time to listen to and take care of the honeybees in your neighborhood. Here are some steps that you can take right now to help the bees:
  1. Plant bee-friendly flowers and flowering herbs in your garden and yard.
  2. Don’t use chemicals and pesticides to treat your lawn or garden.
  3. Buy local, organic food from a farmer that you know.
  4. Bees are thirsty. Put a small basin of fresh water outside your home.
Dovetailing into this conversation was the Ken Burns documentary shown on PBS last week, The Dust Bowl, about the ravages of drought and improper farming techniques in the 1930's.  It's unnerving that from all we've learned, these issues seem as prescient as ever.  

Over the past couple years through my permaculture friends, I kept hearing the word "hugelkulture" and assumed it was some fringe german-speaking garden cult.  Turns out it's a very effective drought-tolerant gardening technique that has been employed at the new eastside market, In.gredients.
I went over the other day to check it out.
planting mounds are formed using wood logs which keep in moisture

Beds created at In.gredients

Beds in action with drip irrigation

Fighting drought on the homefront, the Rollingwood Park Comission has headed up a project to xeriscape the front lawn of City Hall.  This was an issue that came up when we were proposing the community garden and learned that the City of Rollingwood has a limited water supply from the LCRA and over the years has come close to reaching that limit.  The garden uses reclaimed water from a 2500 gallon cistern and if the xeriscape project gets adequate funding, the City will install roofwater reclamation, drip irrigation and a variety of drought tolerant plantings for sun and shade areas.  The City hopes to lead and educate by setting an example of beautiful, smart alternatives to our water-sucking lawns.  I'll keep you posted on ways to get involved.  Go Rollingwood!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fantastic Fall

Hello Garden Friends!  Hoping you are all full of good food and happy thanksgiving hangovers.  I am especially grateful for the wonderful fall bounty and the neighbors that make this garden and community grow

Radish Harvest

Square foot gardening at its finest

sweet peas climbing