You may have noticed some changes as you walk by CGC’s parking lot. The food forest team has started preparing the soil for fruit, nut and berry plants that will be arriving in the spring. The food forest site has challenges such as a thick covering of invasive plant species and steeply sloping soils. However, it also has wonderful opportunities including its location in the middle of a busy community hub!
In February, the food forest team has focused on creating healthy soils and designing accessible terracing on the sloping site. Guided by the assistance of a soil bioengineer, we are using a heavy leaf mulch to smother the invasive species, and building modified brush layers, to turn the slope into a terraced staircase! Modified brush layers are a soil bioengineering technique using logs, held in place with living plant stakes, and backfilled with soil. They will provide a surface upon which we can use hugelkultur and sheet mulching techniques to create a flat surface of healthy soils.
Modified brush layers are a technique commonly used in ecological restoration projects to revegetate steep slopes. While not common in food forestry, we have chosen modified brush layers because they are an innovative, low-tech, ecologically sustainable solution to create terraces, using only hand tools and local materials.
Please join us in breaking ground for downtown Duncan’s future food forest. We are hosting weekly volunteer work parties – Work Party Wednesdays! Come and join us from 3:30 to 5:30 every Wednesday. If you’d like to be involved in a specific aspect of the project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With U-fix It Bike Work’s generosity, we are able to offer a free bike (!!!) to any food forest volunteer who offers 10 hours of help to the project. Wow! Get ready for spring by planting fruit trees AND by getting a free bike for those sunny days to come.