Hello Everyone and welcome to yet another day of persistent and fantabulous bloggin!
For all you permaculture freaks out there (Rachid, this one’s for you. Nananana nana nanananaaaa….while soft piano plays alluring tones), today I was at a sort of recon meeting with a bunch of weirdos with nothing better to do (like myself) at a site on the outskirt of one of Malmös many horrendous housing project very close to the highway. And you know close to the highway means, what now? That’s right, alotments! (Whooo! Whooo!) Anyway the city of Malmö is planning some sort of recreational park there, with a barbecue area, a water thing that will run all along the city (I picture a very long waterslide or flumride) gardens with plants from different parts of the world, and a forest garden! The last thing is why I was there, mainly because Rachid couldn’t go since he had school so someone had to represent the Mesbah’s.
(I still have no idea what a forest garden is, apart from the fact that it is an edible forest which may be all you need to know, although that could be misleading as it sounds like a gingerbread house kind of deal.) The little grove where we will make the forest garden in had been planted by one of the elderly permaculture dudes about thirty years ago so he had a whole bunch of information about the place that he gladely shared while I drifted in and out thinking about my blog and what would I say about this on the blog and would this picture be good on the blog and so forth. You see how seriously I take this blogging career!
So this forest garden project that we all are oh so very interested in is actually quite exciting because the actual, physical creation of it will not start for at least a year which means we have a ton of time to get to know the site, to design it thouroughly and invite people who live in the neighbourhood to take part and give there point of view. This part excites me alot since alot of permaculture and ecological edible landscape projects usually take place in the countryside, making them very inaccessible to city folk. And housing projects like this one house so many different people with so many different experiences and points of view so if we can get the “locals” in the mix I think it could get really exciting! Problem is that these sort of activities are usually run by already very well informed people who might have a hard time letting go of their projects, and these projects need a certain level of education about permaculture which is a problem in its own when wanting to involve the locals, since it’s such a hard thing to grasp and learn in a short time. So how this will work out is also very exciting!
What we did on our first studygroup visit to the grove that is the become a forest garden was to look at what was growing there. There were all sorts of things that had been planted there 30 years ago to “imitate” nature explained the former park technician. We found a whole bunch of hazel, a whole bunch of alpine currant (Måbär), there was some elderberry bushes (fläderbuskar) som hip bushes (nypon) and sloe (slånbär) and black currant. Moreover there was mallow leaves (malva), which are edible, wild cherry (fågelbär) and hawthorn (hagtorn, inte att förvirras med havtorn som är nåt helt annat). There were also alot of trees that we probably will get rid of like beech trees since they shade everything underneath them, although you can appearantly eat its nuts and they say it is delicious. There were also maple trees and birch which both give good syrup. So the edibility rate of the place was already quite high.
What’s the next step in making a forest garden? Someone is making a map, that’s all I know for sure. If you want to know more, stay tuned for more happy forest garden days! (Next time is in a month, if anyone lives in Malmö and is interested, everybody’s welcome!) I will soon go to my own garden and do more sheet mulching which is a must at our plot, and plant garlic! The autumn is a very exciting time to be in the garden. More about that another day. Good night to you all!