Earthworks and Food Forest Planting

  • April 5, 2014 · 1:00 PM
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Additional Information and Directions

A permaculture design of our future farm is being implemented in Lovettsville, VA. This 6.5 acre property is at the foothills of Short Hill Mountain and is former pastures and vineyards. Over the next several years it will be transformed into a location for a market garden, food forest, and a place of study for regenerative design and development.

When you arrive at 1 pm we will use the pocket sight level and a transit to confirm the layout of the swales. We will use a rented tractor with excavating arm to move some soil and construct swales and berms. Then we will stabilize the swales with various seed varieties and straw. Finally, we will start on the planting of 75 fruit trees and install simple cages to protect from grazing deer. We are building community around regenerating and preserving our land, any support you would be willing to provide on this day would be greatly appreciated.

I will be at the property bright and early to get things started. If you want to come at a different time, let me know. I will provide additional directions to those who can make it out. Contact me by phone or email below if you would like to join us. Thanks!

Danielle Wyman and Jonathan Castellano

[masked]
[masked]


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  • Jonathan C.

    As a side note... one thing I forgot to do yesterday was to take soil samples while we were digging swales. Wanting to compare the soil quality from now to future years. Thanks again!!

    April 6, 2014

    • Jeremy

      You probably already know this, but you can get your soil tested by the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab: http://www.soiltest.v...­. I've read that the home NPK and pH soil test kits aren't very accurate.

      April 6, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    It was great to meet everyone. I can't thank everyone enough! I would like to help you all with your projects as well. And I invite you all to come out some weekend to relax and see how your work turned out. We will do this again soon. I will upload some photos this morning and also later tonight.

    1 · April 6, 2014

  • Bart

    Thanks to Jonathan and Danilelle! It was good to see and participate in swale installation after being an armchair permie for so long

    April 6, 2014

  • jeff h.

    I really enjoyed it. I just wish we could have done a bit more. I'm glad I learned how to use the transit to mark the contour of the land for the swales. That was very helpful. All the people were wonderful and friendly. I look forward to seeing them again.

    1 · April 5, 2014

  • david b.

    very sorry I was unable to attend today, I completely blanked on the fact it's my son's b-day today.

    April 5, 2014

  • Christina

    I'll be there around 1:45-2:00

    April 5, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    Beautiful day today. Please call/text my number or Danielle at[masked] 3983. Looking forward to meeting you all

    April 5, 2014

  • MatlockD

    I'm in Herndon if anyone wants to share a ride from here. Or I can go a reasonable distance to pick people up. Sorry, Baltimore isn't reasonable :)

    April 5, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not going to be able to make it after all. Hope to catch up with you sometime soon. Thanks!

    April 4, 2014

  • Christina

    If anyone can share a ride from Baltimore and surrounding areas, please let me know. Thanks. :)

    April 3, 2014

  • jeff h.

    Hi all, We look forward to meeting you and learning how to do this. btw, is there a house (bathroom) on the property? Just wondering. :-) Hope the weather's good.
    Jeff and Jan

    1 · March 31, 2014

    • Jonathan C.

      Hi Jeff, just wanted to make sure you saw my response. Posted it above.

      April 2, 2014

    • jeff h.

      Yes, thanks. We're good with that.

      April 3, 2014

  • Rick

    Sorry, I am not going to be able to make it this weekend. Hope you guys have a great time and get a lot done.

    April 3, 2014

  • Ash

    Is anyone interested in carpooling from the Northern Virginia area?

    March 25, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would also be interested in carpooling. I'm in MD but coming thru VA -- could either meet in northern VA/Rosslyn area or somewhere near 495/267. I am happy to ride or drive -- my car fits four, tho it's a bit of a dogmobile, so you may prefer to drive :)

      1 · April 2, 2014

    • Ash

      I already have plans for this weekend (I changed my RSVP, but didn't delete my comment), but that is awesome.

      April 3, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    Weather is looking a little more agreeable this time around. Depending on which direction you arrive there are two gravel roads that are not in great shape, Picnic Woods and Britain. Unless the county repairs them this week just take these slow. You only have to go about a quarter mile, not too bad. Options for a restroom are a portable toilet at the property or a short ride into town of Lovettsville. Can everyone see the additional directions in the map? I will write out if not. Thanks!

    2 · April 1, 2014

    • Jeremy

      Hi Jonathan. I don't see a map beyond the Google Maps link to the given address or additional instructions, but maybe I'm not looking in the right place. I take it the recommended route is south through the town of Lovettsville on VA-287 / S. Berlin Pike, right on Householder, left on Picnic Woods, and right on Britain.

      1 · April 1, 2014

    • Jonathan C.

      Hey Jeremy, you got the directions right. Turn in the drive with the white rocks, go straight past the white house, and turn right at the opening in a black fence. I will mark it for everyone.

      1 · April 2, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    The picture or map above, in the description, has red arrows to indicate where to go once you arrive at the address (38173). Go straight down the drive past the white house about 100 yards. I will put a sign or something out to let you know where to turn right.

    April 2, 2014

  • Danielle

    Hi folks, we're out at the property today and it's looking worse than we thought as far as ground saturation. We're going to completely cancel for tomorrow and resume both surveying and swale-digging for next weekend (April 5th). Please feel free to message us with any problems/questions. Otherwise we'll see you on the 5th.

    March 28, 2014

  • MatlockD

    Your idea to do extra surveying is a good one. This is one area where accuracy has great impact as I understand it. I'll try to be available for digging as well.

    March 27, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    I have been watching the weather forecast and if it holds true we may not be able use the equipment. The soil in the area gets very soft when fully saturated and would make excavation difficult. I would hate to cancel the whole thing, with so many interested folks. I am thinking we could push back the earthworks and tree planting to April 5. I invite everyone to come out as planned on March 29, but instead we could focus on surveying and marking contours and staking out the exact location of the swales. We would practice with 3 different methods to find contours (pocket sight level, transit, and A-frame). We will build the A-frame and calibrate it. We could have a group design session, walk the land to see how water flows.

    Those who are only interested in the swales and planting portion could consider next weekend only, or both, based on your availability.

    I will make the call to cancel the earthworks portion on Friday afternoon after I visit the site to see it first hand.

    1 · March 26, 2014

  • Jonathan C.

    With this snow and potential rain later this week it will likely be muddy out in Lovettsville. If it is convenient, come with your favorite shovel and I will know that you want to be put to work, but I also have 3 or 4 extra. I am going to send you all a map with some markings that I made on it for directions and a layout of the property and what we will be doing (as soon as I can figure out how to do that). If there are any clarifications that I can make feel free tell or ask me.

    1 · March 25, 2014

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