ITo help with the design process for a permaculture garden I was taught a number of acronyms to remember what to do when. The first one is SADIMET, which stands for Survey, Analysis, Design, Maintenance, Implementation, Evaluation, Tweaking. So having done a base map of the garden in Rozovets, we are still way not ready to start any designing, let alone starting to do any altering work on the property.
If you are intending to design a place, first take a step or two back, slow down, hold your horses! The survey is the most important and time intensive part of your work, so it was good for us to spend some time on the plot for a while. One of the first things you observe also follows an acronym: PASTE, which stands for Plants, Animals, Structures, Tools, Events. So let's start with the survey of Vasko's plot in Rozovets with the P for Plants. Another acronym is used to indicate how frequent the plants occur: DAFOR, which stands for Dominant, Abundant, Frequent, Occasional, Rare. So I will put one of these letters after each plant name. Here comes the list in no particular order, with some of their uses:
Broad-leafed dock (D in places) - edible and nutrient accumulator
Mugwort (O) - edible, medicinal, nutrient accumulator
Stinging nettles (O) - edible, medicinal, attracts beneficial insects
Various grasses (D in places) - ground cover
Mallow (A) - edible
Wild raspberries (F) - edible
Vetch (D in places) - limited edible use, nitrogen fixing
Wild roses (F) - edible, bee attractant
Red clover (A) - edible, nitrogen fixing, bee attractant
Hemlock (O) - useful for knocking off you mother-in-law...
Hollyhock (O) - edible
Periwinkle (O) - medicinal
Wood sorrel (F)- edible, nutrient accumulator
Burdock (O) - edible, medicinal, nutrient accumulator
Various walnut, cherry and wild plum seedlings (F)
Goosegrass (O) - edible
Sweet violets (O) - edible, medicinal
Wild lettuce (R) - medicinal, halucinogenic
Yarrow (O) - medicinal, edible, nutrient accumulator
Bugloss (O) - edible, bee attractant
Bladder campion (O) - edible
Some white flowering brassica (R) - edible
Shepherd's purse (O) - Edible
Cornflower (R) - edible, attracs beneficial insects.
So much for the plant survey. What we cold start doing without the need of designing or planning was chop down some of the plants for mulch and adding nutrient to the soil. Here is Susan in action with some great hoe-like implement we found at a local hardware shop.
We didn't get everything cleared during our time there, but about abthird is looking a lot more accessible for now.
Also many of the trees are diseased and we got going cutting out much of the dead wood:
Finally, I discovered that the local grocery shop in the village sells seeds. We will now leave Bulgaria for a little while to come back in a month to finish the job, but we thought it would be nice to be able to harvest something when we do come back. So I prepared a little bed near the fron on the lowest part of the land and sowed some beans and raddishes.
I wouldn't normally sow in such straight lines, but the hope is that the beans will climb up the fence. It's really more in hope that any serious expectations. If it stays as dry as it has been during the month we've been here, it's not likely to yield much at all. This is the variety bean I sowed:
We have managed to get our first harvest of cherries off the land before we left though and... The starlings nesting in an old street lamp above the land started flying just before our own departure. A good omen?