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Feeding those who are Homeless

 
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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Not sure if this is the proper forum, but I'll start here. This past year the homeless shelter where I work applied for a grant from the Department of Agriculture of North Dakota. We were awarded $7500 to put in an Orchard on our property. The idea being that the produce would help supplement the feeding of our residents. I was put in charge of the project and pretty much given free reign to design it however I saw fit. My goals were organic, sustainable, and low maintenance. Combined with the Orchard is a small raised bed vegetable garden that was funded through North Dakota State University Extension (Go Bison). The 19 raised beds sit in the middle of the Orchard and are used to help feed the residents with nutritious organic raised veggies. In the Orchard we are sheet mulching over all of the grass and we have put in 5 underground "hugle beds". There are planned phases for the project that include: more companion planting species, rain water runoff collection from adjacent structure, large above ground huglekulture beds, containment of raspberries, fencing, and a small water feature. Linked here is a feature the AGWEEK TV did on our project. If you'd like to know more or have questions,  I'll try to reply here to comments.

http://www.agweek.com/news/north-dakota/4067712-video-fargo-homeless-shelter-uses-garden-feed-residents#.V4m1Ns8wqN4.facebook
 
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What a great idea to incorporate the production of food with those struggling with housing issues.  As they resolve their housing issues they will leave better prepared as regards feeding themselves and hopefully others.
 
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Go Neil! Thank you for sharing this. Your actions are a great model for what is possible in many places. Please keep posting as your trees grow and wind shelter develops.  

 
Neil Hines
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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Well two years later and things are progressing nicely. This year we planted a boatload of pollinator plants and tilled in the sheet mulch and planted a pasture mix with oats, vetch, field peas, legumes, and a couple types of clover.
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Neil Hines
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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More photos
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Neil Hines
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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And some more!
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Thank you for all your hard work towards this project.  I love your pictures and seeing the progress you are making.
 
pollinator
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Neil, awesome job.  

How are you handling insect issues with regards to the orchard?  The fruit looks excellent.
 
Neil Hines
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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The one plum tree is the only plant we've had with any insect issues. I believe it is mites and to this point I have not done anything to address it. I will likely wait till spring to address it.!
 
pollinator
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Location: RRV of da Nort
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Neil Hines wrote:The one plum tree is the only plant we've had with any insect issues. I believe it is mites and to this point I have not done anything to address it. I will likely wait till spring to address it.!



Neil,  I just this morning gifted some friends with some wild plums from just outside of Fargo.  Some of these were sizable....about the diameter of a quarter to sometimes a bit bigger....and quite sweet.  If you wish, I could see if there are some left and drop some off (you will want the pits) at the New Life Center when I'm in town.  Depending on your space availability, you could plant the seeds this fall and look for seedlings in the spring....if they don't work out, just remove them.  Just a forewarning that the pits obtained will result from pollination by a possibly smaller-fruited tree nearby, but they grow fast and you could remove those that are not acceptable. But the good news is they will be locally adapted and pretty darn insect and disease resistant.  PM me if interested and we can arrange a drop-off time.
 
Neil Hines
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hugelkultur forest garden chicken
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John Weiland wrote:

Neil Hines wrote:The one plum tree is the only plant we've had with any insect issues. I believe it is mites and to this point I have not done anything to address it. I will likely wait till spring to address it.!



Neil,  I just this morning gifted some friends with some wild plums from just outside of Fargo.  Some of these were sizable....about the diameter of a quarter to sometimes a bit bigger....and quite sweet.  If you wish, I could see if there are some left and drop some off (you will want the pits) at the New Life Center when I'm in town.  Depending on your space availability, you could plant the seeds this fall and look for seedlings in the spring....if they don't work out, just remove them.  Just a forewarning that the pits obtained will result from pollination by a possibly smaller-fruited tree nearby, but they grow fast and you could remove those that are not acceptable. But the good news is they will be locally adapted and pretty darn insect and disease resistant.  PM me if interested and we can arrange a drop-off time.


THANK YOU for the plums. Sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you. I had meetings all afternoon.
If you are in Fargo again sometime soon, please let me know and we can arrange to meet and I can show you the Orchard.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
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Neil Hines wrote:
If you are in Fargo again sometime soon, please let me know and we can arrange to meet and I can show you the Orchard.



Glad to help if they are of use for your set-up.  And thanks for the invite, .... I hope to do that soon while there are still green things left of the season!
 
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