Delvin Solkinson 's Profile
Delvin Solkinson
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Joined:
08/02/2011
Last Updated:
08/02/2011
Location:
Elphinstone , British Columbia, Canada
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Cool Temperate
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Male
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www.dewpermaculture.com





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Roberts Creek, CA

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Permaculture Sheet Mulch Bed

Posted by Delvin Solkinson over 6 years ago

Inspired by biodynamics and sheet mulching, this is an adventure into learning about community veggie beds.

Visionary Permaculture : Biodynamic Sheet Mulch Community Garden Building

Don Van Kleek is a visionary. When he approached me about creating the 'Community Peace Gardens' to allow local people to grow their own food on site I leaped with joy. This will serve as an educational opportunity to demonstrate four season organic vegetable gardening in Roberts Creek to teach and inspire more local people to grow some of their own food.

Starting with locally cut and hand milled, untreated Cedar from a local man with a small portable mill.

The cedar was nailed down right ontop of the lawn

Cardboard without tape or glue or staples was put down over the lawn, 3 layers thick! this will draw up the worms, and deposit trace amounts of key plant micronutrient Boron in the soil  (Boron helps with overall plant health, water absorption and fruit development)

Next comes a journey to the Pacific Ocean a 1/4 block away

many kinds of brown, yellow and green seaweed contributes countless key micronutrients including nitrogen for plant growth and micro-organism feeds, potassium for plant digestion and resistance to disease, magnesium for absorption of p, n and s, calcium for strong cell walls and roots, sulphur for absorption of k, ca and mg, iron for chlorophyll production, manganese for nitrogen assimilation, chlorine for stimulating photosynthesis, copper to activate enzymes, as well as zinc for protein synthesis and growth

Comfrey : Symphytum Officinale 

High in nitrogen, potassium, potash, magnesium, calcium, iron. It’s rich in protein but with low fibrous carbon so it breaks down quickly. For people as a poultice to heal cuts, bruises, burns, sores, broken bones.

Stinging Nettle : Urtica Dioica

Eating nettle provides iron, magnesium, silicic acid, formic acid, sodium, potassium, calcium and vitamins A, B and C. Its also a blood cleanser, arthritis, lower blood sugar and encourage breast milk production. Biodynamics notes that it helps its neighbouring plants be more resistant to disease and increases content of their essential oils. It also stimulates the formation of humus in the soil and raise the heat of the compost pile. Stinging Nettle is able to assimilate iron from the soil and build it into their tissues. Nettles break down releasing molybedinum and vanadium, trace elements that support the life of nitrogen fixing bacteria. As as tea it can stimulate vegetative growth.

 

Oak Bark : Quercus Alba

High in calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium and has anti-fungal and antiseptic qualities. It can be used as ash or composted and provides a habitat for a healthy and diverse community of micro-organisms. Prolonged use helps raise the PH of soil. For people its and anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Yarrow : Achillea Millifolium


Yarrow is high in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, iron, and copper. It helps to replenish minerals like potassium and sulphur in soils depleted by repeated cultivation. For people it heals wounds, lowers fevers and blood pressure, stimulates digestion.

Rockdust to remineralize the soil with countless minerals and microminerals  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockdust

rich organic soil

this rich organic soil also contains wood to hold water, generate heat and create humus - its used in this lower level of the garden

 biodynamically charged worm juice from my heart gardens worm farm fed with all the biodynamic plants

Chamomile : Matricaria Chamomila

Chamomile is high in potassium, phosphorous, and calcium. It is connected with calcium reactions in the soil. Chamomile stabilises plant nutrients, controls excessive fermentation and encourages plant growth. It increases production of essential oils in plants growing around it. The tea can be used as a seed bath, or watering seedlings to strengthen against damping off, fungi and disease. For people its an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic.

hay

 American pussy willow : Salix discolor made into a tea and watered on the hay

source of rooting hormone

 

Horsetail : Equisetum arvense made into a Sun Tea is watered on the hay

Horsetail is high in magnesium, calcium, iron, nickle, and cobalt. It is a prophylactic and antifungal. Helps deal with against mildew, rust, monilia, scab, and pathogenic fungi. Can be used to clean cold frame or glasshouse.  

Red Clover  : Trifolium pratense

high in nitrogen, potassium, and molybdenum

Dandelion : Leontodon Taraxacum


Dandelion is high in nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and copper. It is connected with living silica processes, and enables the effective relationships between the plant and its natural habitat. A bee plant which supports a relationship between potassium and silica, allowing plants to draw on the substances and forces in the broader surroundings, even within the entire district. As medicine for people the roots contain inulin and its good for treating gall bladder, stimulates digestive glands and liver issues.

rich organic soil

Comfrey : Symphytum Officinale


High in nitrogen, potassium, potash, magnesium, calcium, iron. It’s rich in protein but with low fibrous carbon so it breaks down quickly. For people as a poultice to heal cuts, bruises, burns, sores, broken bones.

Valerian : Valeriana Officianalis

Valerian is high in copper and nickle. This promotes calm and sleeping as well as nervous tension, cramping, and lowers blood pressure. Provides accessible phosphorous and imparts warmth to the compost heap and can be used as a spray to boost against spring frosts. Also cats and earthworms love it!

newspaper

newspaper my article

newspaper my article 2

more soil

big leaf maple leaves

 

 after a couple months of marination i added a few more layers

Penny was sweet to provide me with Horse Manure from her conscious farm at Paradise Found

Time to sift my compost! The compost is uncooked vegitable scraps from my kitchen, all the soft green material from the gardens and some vegetables from the health food store. Seaweed, rock dust and all 8 biodynamic plants have been incorporated into this bed.

Onto the beds it went!

Wow, things are starting to come together after many months of patient work! The garden frames were built last autumn and the biodynamic sheet mulch has been doing its thing all winter. Its springtime and almost time to begin planting. I have compiled a workbook of worksheets from different permaculture textbooks including Gaias Garden by Toby Hemenway and Earth Users Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow. These readings explore four season annual organic gardening in our cool coastal climate.  The main reader is easy and fun, a locally written book:  'The Zero Mile Diet' by Carolyn Herriot.

I learned so much on my fieldtrip with my most wonderful boss and supporter Don van Kleek. We went to Salish Soils and got a tour of the facility. The facility was professional and organized, they use composting methods to heat fish waste and forest fines to high composting degrees. The word i heard was that "the product meets OMRR regulations for Class A compost, therefore it is allowable under COR". This is definitely a waste stream, so cycling it back into nature locally is great! For organic organizations to evaluate local resources and support initiatives that are striving towards ever deeper levels of conscious production methods with no additions of chemicals is great! Taking fish waste that would have been sent to the ocean and turning it into abundant soil is like up-cycling, adding value and recycling in a great way! I will get one more small load with Don but have my sights set on far more intentional and 'organic' soil possibilities involving shipping from the 'Valley' some distance and ferries away.

Here is what it looks like

It has no smell, is very rich dark colored and chunky with wood.

One day, when researching nitrogen fixing plants of the NWC i finally identified a plant i had wondered about for years. It covers the big leaf maple tree at the heart of the heart gardens that provides endless leaf mulch for all my gardens. Lobaria Pulmonaria is an incredibly cool semi-endangered plant symbiont made up of a Lichen, a Fungi and a Blue Green Algae living symbiotically together as one guilded organism. The first peoples used it for bleeding lungs and it was dubbed lungwort! Apparently this is one of the most successful cross-kingdom guilds in history since these creature were said to help build the biosphere endless ages ago.

I began exploring with mulching the Pulmonaria that has naturally fallen off the trees into the beds for nitrogen fixing boost and complex mineral infusion.

There are some new garden beds being put in downtown Roberts Creek, I am excited to be helping to design and build one nature strip right beside the Heart Gardens, an extension of the garden in many ways. The soil they are using has alot of Clay and Sand. I traded for a load of the dense soil I had, to put down a small layer of this mineral rich soil with rocky chunks in it, this will create habitat support the soil life.

The organic compost soil i got from Salish was so woody that i sifted the entire lot by hand through my metal screener. This gave the top few inches light, fluffy, soft soil to seed into.

I helped the design master Esco create a pea trellis inspired by Green Samurai Clan Temple Designs.

 

 

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Delvin Solkinson has permaculture experience in:
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