Our Garden Manager, Brendan Thomas, has been hard at work in our 2-acre, onsite garden called, “The Croft”. Here he talks about the climate challenges we face and what we are doing to keep a sustainable garden:
“A winter of record rainfall at Nick’s Cove has presented many challenges in the vegetable garden. Flooding, erosion, and landslides are all a result of relentless weather after years of below average rainfall. We have been working with a permaculture contractor to turn this potentially disastrous situation into an opportunity to improve the landscape and ecosystem in the garden.
Perennial Abundance Permaculture designed and installed a system of swales around the vegetable beds that all feed into a sequence of rain gardens. These rain gardens are large basins that are connected by a constructed creek bed. In a rain event, the water that would otherwise flood and erode the vegetable beds is directed into this system. The rain gardens fill and spill out into the creek, which fills the next basin before moving on.
The slowing and redirection of the flow allows the ground to absorb the water. The idea is to collect the runoff from a storm and allow it to penetrate the soil, or as the permaculture saying goes, ‘Slow it, spread it, sink it.’ Rather than quickly moving across the ground, taking very precious topsoil with it, the water is trapped and used to feed a beautifully planted garden.
These rain gardens are like seasonal ponds, and they are planted with California native wetland plants. All of the plants are selected for their adaptability to the seasonal changes that we see in California. Some are drought tolerant, some thrive in the very wet or submerged low spots in the rain system. With spring in full swing, now is a great time to come see these gardens in person, as everything is soaking up the increased sunlight and warmth.
Perennial Abundance Permaculture is Nate Chaput and Tom Le Blanc. They are passionate individuals who have helped transform the garden this winter. Come see their top notch work in person at Nick’s Cove and check them out at perennialabundancepermaculture.com.”
Hope to see you soon!