I just signed the Priciples of Slow Money. Going out in the huge unending rainfall that is turning our drought ridden landscape a gorgeous green these last few days has made me long for slow. People around here are rushing everywhere, but I guess mostly to malls, because that is the main feature of this Woodland Hills, California suburban setting.
These few days before Christmas some of us slower locals have to muster our courage to go to our regular grocery stores. In a few weeks we start our new CSA bi-weekly food deliveries, but we’ll still have to shop for the rest of what we eat. Slow Food is another movement taking the world by storm. I need to discover more about those movements. So far I have only seen requests for me to pay some money to join them, which, without income is a difficult thing to do.
I try to grow things here. After a year of living in this place, I have dug a small swale,(video example above) to slow and spread water, planted several fruit trees, pruned and fertilized the orange and lemon trees so that at least there were a couple of small fruits on them this year.
Mostly though, I am trying to grow soil where almost none exists anymore. It has been lost to pavements that sweep rain water full of topsoil to the drains and to the sea. We have sheet mulched in places, started raised beds, planted many seeds that didn’t make it, covered the front yard with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries as well as hibiscus, a pomegranate tree, a gorgeous fast-growing plum tree and a hummingbird garden.
The vast hill behind our house holds huge trees, a totally wild zone so steep it’s a hands and knees crawl to the top, and some badly eroding landscape. So far what we have planted that’s still there are artichokes, a peach tree, two passion fruit vines, and a bunch of wild garlic. I have to say it looks untouched back there. I love the huge eucalyptus trees, but haven’t discovered how to make things grow out there without much sun. And what do you do with the huge bark that constantly peels off eucalyptus trees?
Permaculture is a great field of experimentation. Today, I’ll love this place I have been planted and stay tuned for the next step in this great adventure of co-creating with nature the slow way.