Monday, March 19, 2012

Forest Garden Updates

By Mark Scialla

2042 Horizon
It's been a while since the last blog post, but that's because we have been busy spending all fall and winter designing the Roger Williams Park Edible Forest Garden.

Fifteen community members, URI Master Gardeners and Outreach Center staff got to work in early October. Each Friday night we met at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center and learned permaculture. By mid-November we were designing the forest garden. After selecting our desired-species then thinning the list based on our assessment of site conditions, we had our design finished at the end of February.

On March 1st we presented our plan to a packed room in the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center. Members from the Providence Parks Department, URI Master Gardeners, URI Outreach Center and community gardeners were in attendance. The presentation was hugely successful. Not only was the Providence Parks Department impressed, they offered help.

Our design will use more than 30 native and regionally-adapted species creating over 5000 square-feet of productive forested habitat. The forest garden in Roger Williams Park will transform underutilized urban land into a highly productive parcel producing market-viable fruits, nuts, vegetables, medicine and fiber. We are proud to have five B3F3 Restoration 1.0 American Chestnuts in our canopy cover. The forest garden is divided into four phases. Phase One will be installed on April 21 2012, and will include part of our canopy, shrubs, vine and ground cover. Phases Two and Three will be installed in autumn 2012, and Phase Four in early 2013.

Now that our design is complete, we are in the fund raising and resource gathering phase. Our hope is to gather enough money and resources to install three of the four phases this year. Check out our designs below. 

Final Design

Phase 1

Phase 2
Phase 3

Phase 4

Monday, August 1, 2011

Permaculture in action: Updates from Sirius week two

By Mark Scialla

Workday at UMass Permaculture Garden
This post is over due. Apologies for the tardiness as my week has been unusually busy, and I needed to take advantage of a much needed day off yesterday after our massive eco-village pizza party the night before. Here I am though, back on the grind and head first into our final design stages for our client's site.

So much has happened in the past week that it would take more than one blog post to share it all. So instead, I am going to share what I found to be the most interesting things I've seen and done so far.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Regenerating a planet: updates from Sirius

Sirius Community Center
By Mark Scialla

Tonight marks the end of Week One of the Permaculture Design Course I am attending at Sirius Community in Western Massachusetts. The week progressed so fast, and each day is packed with so much information. I thought I'd give you all a quick recap of my week here that includes some of the things I've learned and what this means for the projects in the park.

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to Tame and Protect Your Tomatoes From Late Blight

By Kelly McKeon and Mark Scialla

Late blight on potato leaves /
Although the threat of frost and early blight is behind us, the dreaded late blight looms close to our region. Late blight, affecting tomatoes and potatoes, has been confirmed in Delaware, Virginia and on five farms in Long Island, NY. 

Late blight is the more ferocious cousin of early blight, the latter affecting leaves and fruit. Early blight can be controlled if spotted early, saving the life of the affected plant. Conversely, late blight is a very serious pathogen that causes blight, which kills tomato and potato plants. Late blight has been known to affect other members of the Solanaceae –nightshade- family, such as tomatillos and eggplant.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011