Janice hadn’t been back until this day, and was thrilled by what she saw. She and Paul walked all over the land discussing each plant. It was a pleasure for me to see their excitement as they strolled through the land they both love.
Paul explained that he is using the knowledge he learned from books, and the internet, and experiences with others as a volunteer at NOFA-NH and Cooperative Extension and the Grantham Garden Club. He has interesting ways of protecting his plants that I hadn’t seen before and mixes vegetables and flowers along with his fruit trees. Paul practices permaculture which emulates a natural eco-system, avoids the use of harmful chemicals, conserves resources (like water), maintains soil biology and thus fertility which has the win-win of producing nutrient-dense food.
Paul has worked hard to make his home and property self-sustaining. To water his large gardens, Paul repurposed four 275-gallon IBC tanks that formerly held balsamic vinegar or avocado oil. He covered them with six mil black plastic to protect them from the sun to prevent algae growth. One sits under the gutter on his garage where the rain water is first collected and is then pumped to the other three which sit at the top of the tiered garden. The plan/hope is to use gravity feed and a drip irrigation system for the garden. Paul added a heavy mulch of salt-marsh hay furthering water conservation. He uses salt-marsh hay instead of straw because it contains no pesticide residues and seeds won’t sprout since they are would not be native to the soils here. He also uses wood chips, which further supports soil biology. While rain has not been an issue this summer, when droughts like last summer reoccur, Paul is ready.
Stay tuned for next Friday’s blog for the rest of the story…