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

I want these newer pics to be after the first ones... Taken around fall season 2018
3 months ago
THIRD berm update:  Had a great summer with the red and white cypress flower vines filling in the entire fence thickly.  They shaded out the veggies, predicatbly, and in the end I cut them all off.  In future,will plant solitaire in a pot to resitrict reach, it got out of control real easy :P
I cut the vines off at the ground to allow sun for my fall veggies.  ( few tubers,  kale , chicory, and other greens from  I also tucked in some cute annuals to bring joy to the street view. (And my view of course)

ALSO sucess with yellow Nasturtium in a basket on fire escape, which I have been eating plentifully for months now. (eh is that permaculture?)

NO stolen plants , yet.  Tacit approval of neighborhood achieved!

This is my progress as of NOVEMBER 2018.  I am adding on , piling wood to form yet another planting area/ living fence.
3 months ago
[img]I somehow talked a few local business owners into letting me work on their landscaping.  I lucked out, the first person I spoke with is half german and had somehow actually HEARD of hugelkultur before. (amazing)
Here we are months later and I billed out my services at $20 per hour and recieved it.  I remember Paul saying on PDC, "Has anyone actually made money doing permaculture?" and now I can answer YES :)

I am not yet a licensed horticulturist But I have enough confidence in my plant knowledge and skills.  Also joined a business coaching group online which has helped me push forth emotionally through my fear of failure.

The first task given to me was to "Plant up" ten rectangular planter boxes *In such a way as to be able to thrive without recieving much care.*  THe other challenge was to plant in such a way that the moist soil would not rot away the body of the planter.  I believe wood building to be generally folly but, regardless,  I agreed to try BURIED WOOD could be the way, used such in the design, and it is working!!!

Planters were constructed of reclaimed wood, placed on casters to be able to be moved (in theory)

If you are still reading maybe you are curious of the designs.  Happy to share.  

First I Drilled a few holes about 12 to 20 inches apart, dispersed along bottom.  Lined each planter space with thick black plastic, 1 or 2 layers.  I stuck some baffles downthrough the holes and plastic to (hopefullY?)  help the water drain when needed.  Broken terracotta pieces were placed over each opening to stop dirt falling through or clogging.

Next, in went a few layers of scrap wood, picked up for the free around town.  I had to cut down the large planks, to fit nicely in and as snugly as I could.    Of course we all know what the wood is for!

The rest was pretty standard, selecting and installing of the plants and potting mix.  (used a local supplier for mix- Laughing Buddha nursery here in New Orleans. )

Next up for this same commercial property, is a planned banana patch on the bare corner shown.  AND I have baby bananas ready to get dug up. in my backyard hugel beds at home.  I can bill these plants as live nursery stock and start to take a profit off the garden!  (Obtaining a yield)

Also nearing planting time on a NEW backyard hugel, at a rental house I manage here in town.  Have not yet told landlady what I am up to!  Hope it goes over ok... Considering purchasing some brick blocks to get a more 'fancy' look.  But they ares o expensive and heavy...

Anyway .
I am a happy camper.Just wanted to share and say YES, permaculture is marketable!

Just have to talk about the PROBLEMS we can solve for the customer.  (In this case rain absorption/flooding and self-sustainingness. Along with the beautiful enhancement of the space)
3 months ago
Great Idea!! Yes it would be so good to have a computer program with the different "relationships" already plugged in.  Such as, this herb with that veggie, who loves acid or who needs to be planted all alone... I have messy notebook pages of all this and I'm sure many others are bewildered to even begin.   LOTS of potential in this idea!!
3 months ago

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...
8 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)
8 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!
8 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
10 months ago