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All Blog Posts (422)

11. The Swales 2 weeks after installation

It's been about 2-1/2 weeks since we finished the swale installation at our place.

Since then I have continued to shape the swale ditches, spillways and berms. And planted grass seed in the ditches. I've made the angle of the ditch walls wider so it will be easier to scythe the grass that grows on it later.

A deer got in and ate most of the leaves off the little apple tree that David planted. I hope it can recover.

For one of the spillways I carved a shallow serpentine…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on July 18, 2013 at 1:19pm — No Comments

Catechism for a Witch’s Child

Catechism for a Witch’s Child





When they ask to see your gods

your book of prayers

show them lines

drawn delicately with veins

on the underside of a bird’s wing

tell them you believe

in giant sycamores mottled

and stark against a winter sky

and in nights so frozen

stars crack open spilling

streams of molten ice to earth

and tell them how you drink

a holy wine of honeysuckle

on a…

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Added by Margo Terrill on July 15, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

That Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Cue Johnny Mathis, singing "It's that most wonderful time of the year!"

I'm not talking about Christmas, however.  I'm talking about that time of year when the fresh, local fruits collide.  When you're getting the last of the Strawberries, the first of the Blueberries, and the peak of the raspberries!  I love how nature spaces out the fruit season so wonderfully!

These were picked minutes ago from our small but growing berry plants, including the above, plus red and black…

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Added by David MacLeod on July 6, 2013 at 6:30pm — No Comments

10. Swales: Reframing a "Problem" and Cultivating Love:

Initially there was a "problem"...too much water in the landscape. And I wanted to get rid of some of this water so we could expand our growing season on better drained soil. Through this process of designing and creating swales I've changed my perspective and don't see the water as a "problem" to be exported. Brian has taught that it's more a matter of working with the resource in a way that maximizes it's many attributes through gently…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on July 2, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

9. Finishing the Swales

Yesterday we finished constructing the swales. The morning's project included moving gravel, filling and finishing off the sink holes with soil so they were level with the rest of the swale ditch. We got an early start as we knew it would be a hot day. We were joined by Jerry Schuster, Laura Sellens and Keith Marteny. Thanks you guys for lending your strength and lively spirits to the work.  Here's how the morning went:

First Brian and David made "socks" out of landscape fabric to…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on July 1, 2013 at 11:00am — No Comments

The Many Uses of the Sun's Power

Reblogged from my Integral Permaculture site.

Permaculture Principle #5: Use and Value Renewable Resources

“Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable…

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Added by David MacLeod on June 29, 2013 at 10:54pm — No Comments

8. The Swale Making Event!!

First we'd like to thank those who participated last weekend in our swale making event. Thanks to Brian Kerkvliet who taught us and led us every step of the way. He did so with an easy going attitude and a passion for this work that he loves to do as well as a fantastic amount of knowledge.

Thanks to Larry Williams who operated the excavator. Janaki Kilgore and Kevin Finnigan participate from beginning to end, learning and working on every aspect of the project. Special thanks to…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 25, 2013 at 10:37pm — No Comments

7. Swale making: Concerns About Compliance With City and State Regulations

In spreading the word about our swale making event, David sent the announcement to a number of people and organizations we thought might be interested in attending.

From one of those people we received back a reply - from Eli Maciewicz, Engineering Technician,City of Bellingham Public Works Department. In his letter Eli, expressed concern about how the…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 20, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

6. Swale Making Preparations: The Excavator, And Sink Hole Supplies; Gravel and Brush

More preparations for our swale making event....

Excavator: We decide which excavator would be the smallest that will still do the job. The smaller the machine the less weight and so the less compacting of the soil. We actually did the research weeks ago. Brian decided which one he'd like to use and I called around to compare prices for renting one. He decided on a Kabota KX 41:…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 20, 2013 at 8:54am — No Comments

5. Swale Making Preparations ~ Using the A Frame to Map Contour Lines

Using the map of the elevation lines on the property to roughly gauge where the contours are, David used the A frame to plot the course of contour lines across the property where we plan to carve the swales.

Using this map with elevation contour lines:

2010_AP_wContourLinesFeet.pdf

Using a…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 18, 2013 at 8:30am — No Comments

The Answer to Many Questions

1% of the water a tree takes up is for photosynthesis. 

5% of the water a tree intakes is for 'making new cells'.

What happens to the rest of the water? Or rather, what is the rest of the water used for?

Added by Paul Kuepfer on June 11, 2013 at 9:06pm — 2 Comments

4. Swale Making Preparations ~ The A Frame

David built this A frame with a plumb line:

OK I thought it was going to be easy to describe how you use the A frame to mark the contour lines of the land....but it's actually difficult to put into words. So I'm including a couple videos that do a decent job of showing and explaining…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 10, 2013 at 1:00pm — No Comments

3. Meanwhile.....In Another Part of the Garden....

We are getting ready to shape the earth in a wet part of our property. See previous posts to follow the process. (Part 1 and Part 2)

Now for the existing garden beds.....In a shadier location, but with much dryer soil. This would be a…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 7, 2013 at 8:00am — No Comments

2. Swale making ~ Next steps: Maps of property

The next step for getting ready to create swales was to find an aerial map of our property. We found the most current one taken just before we bought the place in 2010. The photo shows where buildings and trees are located. And also a map with the elevation contour lines. And finally sketch on the map where the swales will be located. If you only look at one of the following links try the 3rd one. It has the 3 superimposed - the…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 6, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Excited to be Here!

Hello Transition Whatcom Folks!

I am excited to have found this group, and to get to know like-minded folks in the area. I am working with some friends on starting a "farm" in the area and will be relocating to the Bellingham area next Spring. 

Blessings,

Bryan Krueger

Added by Bryan Krueger on June 4, 2013 at 10:09pm — No Comments

1. Water Collects and does not drain well.....

Three years ago we bought our first house on a 1/2 acre in the Birchwood Neighborhood. We chose this size of a lot in order to grow food and keep chickens. It's been so beautiful to get to know this place and we started out working in the existing garden beds and just getting to know the property for a while without doing any major changes.

During these 3 years, we have continued to notice places where water collects and does not drain…

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Added by Angela MacLeod on June 3, 2013 at 10:30am — No Comments

The RE Patch

I'm the new Coordinator at the RE Sources Sustainable Community Gardens: The RE Patch. We have raised beds available, central to Lettered Streets, Columbia Neighborhood and Broadway Park! We are also looking for landscape stewards for our food forest, native shade gardens, and xeriscaping as well as donations of plants, tools, mulch materials and occasional volunteers. Contact: richc@re-store.org

Added by Richard Chrappa on May 13, 2013 at 8:18am — No Comments

New! Guidelines to Support Online Communication

In the interest of keeping our online conversation as inclusive, informative, respectful, participatory and fun as possible, the TWOG and our web administrator have come up with some guidelines which we hope will be clear and helpful. The guidelines include some suggestions to make your communication as clear and effective as possible, and also a (short!) list of types of communication that we won’t tolerate. These last include obvious things like: name…

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Added by Twog on May 12, 2013 at 8:30pm — 4 Comments

Occupy Love, Part 2: Charles Eisenstein and Sacred Economics

Part 2 of my comments about this film...see Part 1 here.

As TW's Emily Farrell said, “My sense, so far, of this movie, is that it is grounded in the connectedness we feel in our hearts about what is happening in the world.”



And what attracts me most to the film is the portion featuring…

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Added by David MacLeod on May 7, 2013 at 10:00pm — 6 Comments

International Permaculture Day

Today is International Permaculture Day.

grow-local-live_final_png

www.live.permacultureday.org

This is a good time to consider the investment ideas from the Permaculture movement:

“The time now is of transition, of asking yourself,…

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Added by David MacLeod on May 5, 2013 at 10:55am — No Comments

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