Andy Roo

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since Mar 21, 2015
Seattle WA, USA
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Recent posts by Andy Roo

Hey there, love to connect on this. I am doing a similar project in Woodinville on a 2 acre plot that seems to share many features of yours. I am currently consulting and working around the region and am frequently in Snohomish and Skagit. It would be great to see your site and share notes and thoughts. We have a similar plan for the Woodinville acrage and I'd enjoy talking over plant selection, earthworks and plant sourcing too!
11 months ago
thanks so much for the reply marco. i am back at home in the pacific northwest now but next time i am in LA (hopefully in a few months) i would absolutely love to come for a visit. do you have any recommendations for plant/tree sources? also do you have photos you would be willing to share? i didnt have sweet potatoes on my list but sounds like a no-brainer! for now i bought some drought tolerant wildflower seeds from bbb seeds (great company with great seed mixes by region and use) to increase diversity and soil life and just generally make things a little prettier before we have the chance to do any major work.
2 years ago
thanks for the recommendations! im absolutely going to try some of the above mentioned plants. i may seed date palms because i have many seeds. maybe cover crop initially with a mix for the upcoming season. any nursery recommendations out there for plants near LA?
2 years ago
hi folks, im a pacific northwest permaculturist and designer and im going down to LA to stay with a friend who just bought a house in the city with a nice big empty yard. they'd like some help designing things but ive got little experience with the LA climate & plants. i want start by running all their gutters to a "rain garden" in their yard and plant it out with some good stuff for a less-intensive-maintenance-start to their new yard adventure... so far ive looked into what california tropical fruit tree nursery ( has to offer but i'd love some help. (i also realize that "rain garden" might be a joke down here, but use that hardscape! right?!) maybe we can do greywater too, any LA guerrilla plumber connects?

what are some guilds that folks have had success with in LA? anyone growing dwarf avocados?
where the best nurseries to buy from down here? i checked out which had a nice list, but any first hand feedback or recommendations for LA specifically?
what about nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators?, i read in another thread that comfrey isnt too good in LA, i'd love to just be able to seed as much as i can, but i dont really know what seed to buy haha

should we wait till fall to plant trees out? or are my friends basically going to have to irrigate their trees & no way around it?
who are some rad folks in LA who i can connect to!?!! i'd love to see some LA urban permaculture or just recommendations for places or groups to check out...

thanks a bunch! im going to link up my friends to permies as well so hopefully this will be a fruitful thread for them and me both. and you!
2 years ago
Jujube are Li and Lang and persimmon are Nikita's Gift hybrid.
3 years ago
Thanks for all the help everyone. I planted most of my trees yesterday. I'm very interested to see how they do. I hope that intensively cover and intercropping them with guild species will secure the mounds and that the trees will no loose their stability. Hopefully my high soil to wood ratio will help with this.

Paw paw species that I found in my research were earliest for my area (time we be the test): Pennsylvania Golden; NC-1; Campbells No. 1.
If I were to plant a fourth it probably would have been the variety 'Prolific'.

I was just reading Ben Falk's book myself. Really impressive.

3 years ago
Dillon and Peter,
Thank you so much for you're responses and information! It is much appreciated.

I have (possibly unfortunately in hind sight) already purchased most of my fruit trees. I am wondering what my best options at this point are. What I am considering most strongly is to dig 3 ft. round bowls into the hugels about halfway down the southern faces (hugels are in sun trap "U" shapes facing south) and plant the trees in the bowls. I would make the bowls 1.5 ft deep maybe so that when everything settles in the next years there is less chance of root exposure.

These hugels are probably 75% soil and only 25% wood (no wood was on site so all was brought in via free craigslist folks). So in reference to planting these trees I hope there is enough soil in these hugel berms that I'm able to get away with it. I did concentrate the wood in small piles under where I am planting the trees however, but even in these places the mounds are only 1-1.5 ft of wood and the other 3-4 ft is soil on top.

I cannot excavate a pond for drainage (draining the wetland area would be impossible in this case), and my biggest concern with the water table is with root death in flood scenarios. Which are more and more frequent these days.

As for irrigation, drip is out because there is very little water pressure on site so I am leaning towards running a hose with a splitter to a couple different locations and filling one 5gal bucket per tree and dumping it on every week. A lot more work but not sure if there's a better option.

Peter, could you talk more about why swale berms are used for trees and hugels are not? I am very interested in the WHY behind this as you were referencing. I would think that because of the moisture retention potential of the decaying wood they would be perfect for trees as well. But I am not sure...

There will be alder planted, and some other N-fixers (goumi, buffaloberry) guilded in with the trees for stabilization etc...

Thanks again!
3 years ago
Hello folks!
This Sunday (3/29) we will be hosting a permablitz (aka a volunteer work party). It will be a food forest planting party at the home of Ke and Louis Kucinski in Renton WA. This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet others in the area and share and learn about what people are doing to create better lives for themselves and others.
The Kucinski's will be providing a light breakfast and lunch for folks who want to help them plant their future permaculture orchard. We will plant a range of species, from an autumn olive/seaberry/alder/siberian pea shrub windbreak, to the main fruiting species of fig, jujube, mulberry, persimmon, cherry, asian pear, mayhaw and paw paw.
The volunteer work party will begin at 9am with breakfast. We will then discuss the food forest design, site concerns, use and benefits of hugelkulturs and suntraps, fungi for soil remediation and plant health, and guild planting (what we are doing, where, and why). After this discussion we will begin planting.
Everyone is welcome! There are also goats on the property .

Rain is possible so please come prepared with waterproof boots and rain gear. If you have a shovel or a pick-mattock please bring it (with your name on it somewhere!) Gloves also if you want them.

What: Food Forest Planting Work Party
Where: 11703 172nd Pl SE Renton WA 98059.
When: 9am - 5pm, Sunday March 29th 2015
Why: To learn, share, connect, work and build resiliency for the future!


I will be driving a carpool to the Kucinski's from Seattle (14th and E Columbia st). I can take 6 people total. Please let me know if you would like to carpool.

Hope to see you in Renton Sunday!
3 years ago
Hi folks. I just finished up a half acre ish of hugels on a flat field with total southern exposure in a puget sound creek valley. I have a couple of questions:

What will give me complete ground cover the quickest? I am planning on broadcasting a cover crop mix of clovers and vetch with some grasses. Possibly rye or oats, and maybe some mustards, and various others. Is this sufficient? I may intersperse red alder for quick stabilization and n fixing. But I am looking for complete cover of this area as quickly as possible. Any specific suggestions? Anyone know where to get bulk lupine seed in the seattle area?

My second question is about tree planting. Originally I was planning on planting the fruit trees on the top of the mounds (dug down a little in bowls) to provide them with maximum rooting depth over the high water table and flooding zone (wetland and creek adjacent, water table 5-6 ft below pre-hugelkultur soil level after one of the dryest winters on record. Flood levels bring water table to 1 foot of soil and dissipate slowly). Many of these species (fig, mulberry, cherry, jujube, pawpaw, persimmon) do not like waterlogged soil. On the other hand, planting on the top of hugels can have the opposite result in putting your trees in the place that dries out the quickest. Typically trees are planted downslope from hugelkulturs if there is any slope, correct? Thoughts?

Also, what are my best options for pathway cover? The bobcat I used to mound the soil over the hugels ate up the grass and topsoil so the place is just a muddy mess right now and more so soon with coming rains.

Hugels are approximately 3-4" tall and 5-8"wide.

Any ideas or help is much appreciated,
3 years ago