One of the important design systems at Leafhopper Farm revolves around community space. We’ve been carving out individual gardening spaces for a few years now, along with fire pit area, outdoor kitchen, and other beautification for the people living here and enjoying the land.
Many spaces are still “in the works” so to speak, and it’s going to take more time to fully see this vision carried through, but the trend of growth so far is wonderful to watch. The raised bed built by WOOFers in summer 2016 is now full of vegetables. Flowers are blooming out in other beds where soil is still poor, but wildflowers flourish.
The stairs I roughed out two summers ago are now filling in with stone crop, and the yellow plumb tree is in its second year of fruit production. Clematis trails along the wall of Lavender Cabin and new beds along the structure invite a colorful walk through vivid growth. I still have to do some scything of grass and weeds in this space, but it’s putting down more mulch for the soil and giving me a great ab workout.
Micro-habitats are forming around each living space, much like the kitchen and front gardens of the main residence. In the picture below, I’m standing near the tiny house looking northwest at the herb garden planted below a nice old growth stump supporting the life of a red huckleberry bush. The shade from the dwelling casts a shadow into space that was once full sun. Now a cooler region of air mass stands to support moister soil and sanctuary to more sensitive plants species. If the house moves out, the entire space will change overnight. I try to keep this in mind when setting up impermanent spaces of habitation.
The tiny house gardens are a little weedy, but as first year beds, they have a lot of good edible plants, and some usable wild ones amongst the weeds. Daily watering is a must for such open beds, though they get a break from morning sun, shaded out by a cedar grove, which will one day have to come down because of overgrazing damage caused by previous caretakers of this land. Hungry cattle will strip trees of their bark in winter.
The blue tent erected at the back of the pole barn shades a work space erecting the outdoor kitchen. This facility will be near our community fire pit. One of the residence sourced free granite counter top scraps from a neighbor down the road, so our kitchen might be the nicest one on the farm (once water is hooked up). Another couple of tenants put together this construction and I’m so glad for it, as I am personally, not a great builder. Each person in a community has their talent, and skills to offer the farm if they so choose. It’s been a great week of work on Leafhopper Farm.