EVERYTHING NOW

journal, Photo Journal

How did this happen?  It’s already the end of February and I’ve neglected the blog, AGAIN!  Once I went ten months without posting, I am embarrassed at the amount of content on here after having the site for over TWO whole years.   2018 I’m going to ramp up my posts with awesome photos and content.  Hopefully I’ll work out better placement and flow for the menus so you can navigate easily between categories and posts.

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Atom turned 1 this year!

I will be updating  our Backyard Habitat Certification progress and discuss our indoor plant family and take you with me on my new small business journey!

But first can we talk about Vegan restaurant Farm Spirit, here in PDX.

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Beet Tartare

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Celery Stew

In SE Portland, this place had chefs counter seating only and rapid fire small bites with excellent pairings.  Super creative and delicious guilt free dinner that totally inspired a farmers market splurge the next day.

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When you are so excited to buy farm fresh goods that you forget to brush your hair.

Yard Goals

Garden

We spent most of last year observing each season and what kinds of plants and wildlife were present/absent.  Now that we have a basic idea what kind of plants are already here we can plan on removing/replacing the ones that don’t belong.  Time to begin plotting out details for zones we began last spring and work towards completing them by Fall 2017

We can keep pulling back the invasive ivy cover outside of the backyard fence and give that area some time to breathe (see whats dormant in that soil in the following seasons) while we work inside and close to the fence and front yard.  About 85% of the area inside the fence (J) is free of invasive plants, however there are huge piles on cemented parts of the yard where we were allowing vines to die completely/dry out before removing them.  There are also a lot of vines creeping in from the fence line so we need to maintain and fine comb the area removing ivy and blackberry thats come back using hand tools

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A few of my VERY FIRST tools; loppers, handsaws and a hand spade are great for ivy removal.

Section E, the flower bed in the back yard was a jungle, there was just SO much going on in that soil, tons of crazy root systems and plants we couldn’t identify. I covered this area  with a dark tarp and weighed it down.  This will cut off oxygen and sunlight to whatever the hell is in there, I’ll check this spring to see what I can remove by hand and cover it up again.  Maybe in a year or more we can amend the soil and grow some roses or veggies in the raised bed.

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There is more yard on the other side of the garbage storage that needs invasive plant removal and some rose bush maintenance.

 

Next year I want to:

Install nest boxes.

To preserve and enhance terrain transitions with stone and gravel, creating paths.

Create a hedgerow to block view of highway in section M.

Bring in stone and mulch to frame established trees, shrubs and ferns.

Stake trees.

Determine soil PH in section C and J.

Record a sun map.

Create Mason Bee housing in far corner of section J.

Plant tall grasses and shrub to protect Mason Bee and bug housing from pets.

Bring in gravel for front yard in front of section A & B.

Check out our Yard Goals Post

Back Yard Criteria

Garden

Shooting for SILVER level certification with the Backyard Habitat Certification Program

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Top Row: Untouched Backyard with Visitors. Bottom Row: 11 weeks later after some invasive removal.

We got the site report for our property and learned there was actually 23,222 sq. ft of plantable area.

Some native plants identified during the assessment: Oso Berry, Oregon grape, Sword Ferns, Big Leaf Maple and Douglas fir.

Silver Level Certification Objectives require removal of Himalayan and Evergreen blackberry, all Ivy and Spurge Laurel from the entire property.

 

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For this program there are actually five vegetation layers (diagram missing shrub layers, small and medium).

 

4/5 of the vegetation layer criteria is met and 5% of the plantable area must be native plants.

No pesticides of any kind are used on our property.

Wildlife Stewardship is achieved already by having dead wood onsite, reduced outdoor lighting during migration and by having pollinator and beneficial insect nesting habitats present(small brush/rock piles, bundles of branches and stems). We are at the PLATINUM level here.

The Storm Water Management objectives for Silver level are already met by leaving leaves and fallen debris to restore soil, we have several large canopy trees on the property and we will adopt eco friendly maintenance practices as we proceed restoring.  We’ve reached PLATINUM in this area as well.

The majority of the work in our yard will be removing and maintaining an invasive free area, increasing the number of natives mostly in the ground vegetation layer and to fill in plantable area left by ivy and blackberry.

Time to write a wish list and mentally divide the property into manageable areas to work  one at a time.  This will benefit wildlife and plants that already live here by not disrupting large areas at once.