Christopher White

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since Dec 06, 2012
28, married, saving for a place in the Anza/Aguanga, CA area (zone 9).  My wife and I are marginally interested in joining/founding an IC, though we have no experience with it.  No permaculture design cert; I'm self-teaching on a patch of dirt behind my work.  I have experience in pipe-fitting, mill work, and metal fabrication.   My wife is an excellent crafter and nail artist (people pay her).  She can make a great meal out of anything.  We're friendly, low-key people.
Costa Mesa, CA
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Recent posts by Christopher White

I love this thread. Wonderful to see the principles in action, on the ground. Huge inspiration.

Here are a couple pics from my 300 square foot urban garden...
7 years ago
art
Creating texture is a good first step. Mini-swales and small pits hydrate soil evenly, promote biodiversity thru microclimates, and collect organic matter from air currents.

Grasses do most of their work underground. About three quarters of consumption in grassland systems is performed by invertebrates that depend on die-back and regrowth in different root strata. Pulses of available carbon draw fungal structures up from below, further de-compacting.

I've had good results in similar soil by casting a combination of legumes and wild bird seed (mostly grasses) over a well-pitted area with just a little bit of mulch. The bird seed develops quickly, giving you a mat of carbon to at least maintain a toehold in the easily-collapsed soil. I've found added texture to be most important step overall, because it keeps water in the soil long enough (and creates enough edges underground) for the different invertebrates to stay active.
7 years ago
I'm having good results using cheeseweed (malva parviflora, little mallow) as a green manure. I'm working with a 10x15 patch of dirt behind the shop where I work in zone 9; soil's mechanically-compacted and clayey.

After last winter's rains, the mallows came up profusely in every spot I hadn't yet cultivated. Since I scraped them off at the roots and left them in place, I'm seeing dandelion, clover, and sorrel in their place, among several others I've yet to identify. Soil that wouldn't start beans this time last year now starts pretty much any seed I throw at it.

There's also benefit to leaving some mallows to flower, as the immature seedheads attract wasps.

Anyway, hope this helps!
7 years ago
Hi!

I lived in Aguanga for five years and still visit the area semi-frequently. My wife and I would love to help with this project if it's still in the works. You can contact me at urbanastronomy at gmail. Thank you!
7 years ago