A sign

A sign
Crop Swapping Begins

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Arrivals

Re purposed tea pot

With the arrival of Spring ...

Jennifer has some new Chickens. We are also sending lots of love and good wishes for the speedy recovery of the broken bone in her foot.

A First Born

Keith and Rhiannon, who now live in Lafayette and have helped with CACG, movie nights and generally supported the Permaculture Community, have a son, Bodhi. Congratulations! I would choose them as parents!

Not Quite arrived Yet

Jim, Karen, Brenna and Colin are expecting and addition to their family in May. Again major supporters of CACG and we are delighted to see them continue to visit the garden even though they now live in Pleasant Hill.

The Crop Swap Is Back !

March 25 saw the first Crop Swap of the year.

Meagan Arrives

Meagan, seen here crushing some new season honey comb, is a DVC student doing an internship with David Mudge Gardens. We are delighted to have her help at CACG where she has been cleaning up the lower row of raised beds ready for planting.

Arrival of Swarm Season

I found my first bee swarm last week. Here we see the swarm deposited on the top of their new home. It's a Langstroth hive box with comb filled frames ready for the queen to start laying.

New To Me Truck

I'm often hearing "Did you get a new truck, what happened to the red one?" I still have the red GMC  truck that is most familiar. The arrival of this 2001 3/4 ton truck allows me to tow equipment and materials necessary for some of the earthwork projects I am undertaking.
It runs on Biodiesel, which I purchase from what I believe to be the closest source, Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley.

Here are two examples of edibles that look very attractive in a winter, or early spring garden.
Tree Collards ( this one planted in Oct. 2014 as a start)

Ruby Swiss Chard (in great lighting:)


Feel free to add to this panel

Arianna thinning old Raspberry canes at CACG

There is more information in this Peaceful Valley video about our purpose in the management of blackberries and raspberries in winter. It's also a great time to divide and plant new ones.

For protection from Gophers I planted some at home in a 1/2" mesh galvanized wire basket.

 Hoping Spring has arrived with good things in your life,

925 286 7225

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Food Forest on Marina Place in Benicia

Here are some photos of a 700 sq ft Permaculture Food Forest that a group of volunteers installed in Benicia last weekend.
This is the site on Saturday morning.
This is the almost complete scene at the end of the day.


The address is 489 Marina Place in Benicia. It is off 5th Street one block from Military. Being a front yard anyone can visit the site. I'm sure that you will have the courtesy not to trespass or disturb the generous community minded residents that live here.

Me with a load of plants trying not to be anxious about the day ahead
Project leader Elena introducing the plan for the day

This project is one of 4 Food Forest installations planned this spring by Benicia Community Gardens. There is a little on their website now and hopefully more is coming soon.

Time-lapse Video

Here is the whole 7 hours captured in a Time-lapse Video produced by Stephen Dale.
The grey bin is for construction waste. We found 43 cents!

There is a certain irony that this actually a front yard 
The first task was to mark and dig 2 on-contour swales which cross the site for water catchment. These will slow, spread (across its on-contour length ~30') and sink surface water not only from rainfall but from a land drain porting water from the back of the house. This drain feeds water to the left end of the top swale. A relief spillway adjacent to the driveway on the right eases surplus water to the lower swale. We used some on site river rocks for this purpose and they are perhaps best seen in the video and the AFTER photo above.
Flour was used to mark the swales as determined by an "A" frame.

 After digging the two swales we filled them with tree chips.

In total we would need 6 - 8 cu yds of tree chips for the swales and then a mulch covering.
I was able to bring 4 yds in the trailer.
I also delivered 1 cu yd of planting mix from Contra Costa Topsoil ($45.00)

Then it was lunch time.
I believe we had 15 volunteers. They all Brought unique and valuable talents.
Artists at work painting signs
After lunch we began the planting. The first tree planted in the Benicia Sustainable Backyard project was a Hass Avocado.

Planting 2 Southern High Bush Blueberries on the berm

Coffee grounds and soil acidifier were added for the Blueberries

Nick said this Improved Meyer Lemon was the first tree he had planted in his adult life.
Kristen and Nick are receiving a Food Forest at their Benicia home in May.
The face of success


We will be installing another Food Forest in Benicia on March 14 2015. Details will follow.
 I'd better start planning!

May you be inspired and in-joy,


925 286 7225




Sunday, January 4, 2015

CACG Wattle Fest 2015

Despite a frosty start the CACG Wattle Fest 2015 was a huge success!
Me removing brittle the 3 year old arch
Arch down. New materials arrive.
Ariana and Josh building a wattle panel

Core Protagonists

Gathering for lunch

Food spontaneously supplied by Irene and Tess. Thank you!

Rachel and Luis

Not quite finished this seemed like a good place to stop. Initially tied together with binder twine we will add a few more branches and finish the main joints with baler wire.
The plan is to grow beans, squash or cucumber over the structure next summer.

A warm and sincere THANK YOU to all who participated and supported us.

Meanwhile Jennifer was weeding the "Peace" raised bed.

Annual Scion Exchange  -  January 11th in Berkeley

Education, play and community come together in the annual Scion Exchange hosted by The Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers.
Please visit the link for details.

I have not forgotten about finishing "Runoff" from the last post and will continue next time :))

Living on Earth may be expensive but it does include an annual trip around the Sun.

Happy New Year !