Arella Landman II

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since Jun 13, 2018
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I am from the Western US but planning to make my home here in Southeast Louisiana.
Eventually I'd like to build transitional style housing. Small cottage homes and places that are actually nice to live in and higly efficient. It's always been my dream to be a landlord, and now I am combining in my obsession with Tree propogation and permaculture, into a scheme to transform my community for the better, multiplying the influence of those who have come before me.
Born in 1987, I have farmed and horticulture'd in tropical to arid climates. I am interested in mytholgy, metaphysics, ancient wisdom, magic, cats, and music. And permaculture!
I am on Instagram @aarreellllaa, I mostly post art and plants. Sometimes food and travels.
New Orleans
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Recent posts by Arella Landman II

S Bengi wrote:A regular Hugel is 2ft to 10ft higher than ground level.

In the desert my recommendation is to make it lower than ground level aka a sunken hugel.
In effect what you are build is a really deep swale that is then partially refilled with wood/twig/straw/compost.
But still with enough depressions to hold and slow down water.

Very good idea and that sounds awesome!  We simply did not have the manpower, this time,  to dig decent trenches.  I believe they ended up being 10 to 12 inches deep or even less.  Luckily tho, Our lot is set down about 8 feet below the level of the adjacent streets and we are faced with a rock cliff across the road.  I've not been here for the spring rains but apparently flooding is more common, within 1/4 mile of the Virgin River, than it would be in "classical" Utah desert terrain.  We shall see!

Digging them in as you suggest could be more tolerable to the visual sensibilities of the gentry.  I will take this under consideration...
4 months ago
So... I have this little project I've been cooking for a few years.  The property holds 2 small dwellings, a shed, and a small orchard of aged fruit trees.  We have 7 apples, 2 pears, a peach, a cherry , and a bushy plum shrub thing.

These trees had oodles of old dead wood which got my fingers twitching and in the few summers since purchasing property, I have battled and wrangled and, yesterday finally FELL off the ladder, trying to get all the dead and extra wood off the trees and into one of the three long hugel beds we are developing.

The design was issued by the reigning patriarch and is an uneven alignment of straight lines which He believes will make best use of the sometimes torrential rains this region enjoys.   I favor round shapes, but initial trenches were dug and filled with large hewn trunk bits before I got there this year, so I just went with it.

Neighbors pass by and gaze but reveal nothing of their reactions.  Probably for the best as I am a rainbow haired 31 year old tomboy living in a Mormon town of 35 residents.  The Patriarch is the one they speak to and who will field their compliments and critiques.  I know they will enjoy the wilflowers and the added "green" we are bringing to the neighborhood.  I've also noticed already the insect tribes beginning to map out new habitat in the matrix of branches which is about half done.

This has been one of my most epic projects to date and so I want to provide photos of how the berms were built and then in the future, our planting results and observations.  

We found an abundance of scrap wood and a shortage of hands to move it.  So most of what's inside, like 99% , is untreated raw tree bits from the property.  I wasn't here for part of the process or I would have had them throw in treated scrap lumber as well.  Maybe I am insane for thinking that way, but I see it as a necessary evil...

Anyway, after 2 runs of pruning and piling up wood, there remain only three trees with major trimming to do.  We should have a man with a truck lift box coming tomorrow.  If he can't make it, I am going to give up for this year and leave the wood where it is.  40+ years of being untended, a few more won't kill anyone.  

Also on the way, I am told, is a truckload of fill dirt to serve as out initial growing medium.  So,  the next few days should yield something that looks like an awesome garden bed, albeit a bare one.  Trees, Seeds and bulbs will have to wait for next year when finance and time permit.  ( I reside 2000 miles away in New Orleans)
4 months ago
Fascinating!  I did sweet potatoes (organic grocery store types)  in hugels last year and they did wonderful.  But I had them growing alongside other stuff, which probably deterred and distracted the bugs. (Fragrant citronella, bananas, blackberry, wisteria, and sweet olive tree. in the guild. and sweet potatoes as the groundcover and filler)  I had no pest issue at all

1/3 isn't bad though!  I'd call it a success!  

But then , I also regularly consume insect eaten food without hesitation. I have found the bugs tend to go for the best fruits first...

Bon apetit!
4 months ago
Loving this post.  Thanks for sharing the success!  I have a poem for you (by Robert Service), I couldn't resist although the numbers are off :

I have a tiny piney wood,
My trees are only fifty
Yet give me shade and solitude
For they are thick and thrifty
And everyday to me they fling, with largesse undenying
Fat cones to make my kettle sing and keep my pan a'frying

Go buy yourself a piney wood
If you have gold for spending,
Where you can dream in mellow mood, with peace and joy unending;
Where you can cheerfully retreat, beyond all churchly chiding,
And make yourself a temple sweet of rapturous abiding.

O Silence has a secret voice
that claims the soul for portal,
And those who hear it may rejoice,
Since they are more than mortal.

So sitting in my piney wood
When soft the owl is winging,
As still as Druid stone I brood . . .
For hark! the stars are singing
6 months ago
Hello, the answer would depend on the conditions you need to withstand.  Can you provide more info about the design of the building?  
6 months ago
Third Berm , built entirely this year.  Its the prettiest one, Because I knew what the crap I was doing by this point. (sort of)  I wanted to engage the pedestrian walkway in a charming, beautiful and pleasurable view.  So lots of flowers and non edibles were included.  It is also an extension of the blackberry bramble scheme as it has a third varietal installed inside the stacked tires on the right hand side. Outer corner.  I planted it outside because it is ultimately for the community of the future ^_^ #ubuntu

This is all open source agriculture, so check out my process.  Please do Try it at home!

Feat' Species include:

Pink Honeysuckle from nursery stock, is placed in the corner by the wooden fence.  Eventually I want it to cover the fence !  

Eugenia (salvaged)

double yield cucumbers (RG)

Rainbow corn (RG)

Dianthus, purple

pink and red zinnias (planted under blackberry)

frostproof gardenia  <3

blue columbine (now dead)

squash - they struggle to outpace the pests .  Meh

yellow climbing nasturtiums.  (Not pictured yet)

Red cypress vine.  Beautiful fluffy vine with red flowers.  Ends up covering the bean tree frame and lacing through corn and sunflowers!

one small pot of sweet potato only!  It will take over BEAUTIFULLY in this environment.  I grew so much last year and it did feed me although I got tired of eating it.  First world problems

Guava tree , nursery stock

4 types of beans, both bush and pole.  Yello, green and purple (all from RG), as well as red kidney beans from Camellia

Jumbo mixed color sunflowers from Renee Garden - have already yielded bunches o' seeds !!  Huzzah
6 months ago
The Second Berm, was partially built in 2016 and 17, including having one blackberry put in, and then "finished" this year .  I knew it was more for edibles, so I used wood that was not finished or painted .  Mostly 'raw' tree parts when I could but some lumber scrap too.  Also incorporates a tire into one edge. Not sure why but there it is.  This is one of two berms which now form a living wall between my backyard and the street behind.  

Cultivated Species  include:

Amethyst Falls wisteria

morning glory vines (bright purple)

lavender (french)

Golden Fig tree

2 different Blackberry bushes (one of which fruited this year and was delicious) from FLorida Hill nursery

rainbow corn from (Renee Garden)

Sweet Olive

hybrid cajun hibiscus "April Dawn"  blooms silvery pink ( from Dupont)

jumbo mixed sunflowers (Renee Garden)

Red Okra (RG)
Purple Bush beans (RG)

Also added a new banana (dwarf/ Apple from Flordia Hill), which has done great and already outgrowing it's neghbors!! Go go gadget bananas!

6 months ago
Howdy y'all, I have been wanting to share my results on this project.  Been living here 3 years and have built an awesome little pocket garden..  Seeing increased biodiversity that is unprecedented - this year I have the additional benefit of insect fodder (several tall patches of grass and 'weeds' which i see is habitat...

but the coolest part has been finally Obtaining A Yield!  Plus now I have something to brag about..  ANyway I hope someone gets a kick out of this!

 If you live in the area and want to come play, just give me a holler

Been having difficulty getting this thing on.   So I'll just go one mini berm at a time!  Starting with the first one.

Plant species I knowingly encouraged here:

Banana Musa Bajoo from Florida Hill nursery  (has survived 2 years and is reproducing, but no flower or fruit yet)

Veriegated "Pink" lemon unknown supplier - salvaged

Eugenia (salvaged)

Lemongrass grown from retail nursery stock

Squash (renee's garden seeds)

Red Okra (RG)

Rainbow corn (RG)

In the past I also grew Citronella in this bed and some annual flowers.

Have spotted a frog and many lizards making their home here.
6 months ago

Michelle Bisson wrote:One idea, if you have access to equipment; it might make sense to dig some swales and mount the dirt to create berms.  Then you can plant on the berms which are now higher than the water table.

Also, it is better to plant trees that love water instead of the trees that love drought.

What ever method you use to "dry out" the land, just have a plan to deal with the drought years.  Even, rainy climates can get those drought years.

I second this, and also suggest hugelkultur ! It has a good way of "soaking up" water and retains it inside the pile.  I would not even dig a trench, unless you need to do so to get topsoil for the top.  

I live in New Orelans and have used hugels to create texture with no digging at all.  It is absolute magic.  Good luck ^_^
7 months ago
Hey there.  I live in New Orleans (eventually looking to buy land in Abita Springs).  I'd love to help you with your project, let me know how best to communicate!  For me it would be phone 504 493 9313

I have a few small hugel berms at my home in the city.  If you want to visit, or I can just send pictures.  Look forward to meeting and chatting with you!!
8 months ago