The Symposium, the lentil patches … and design!

(For my email subscribers: Remember to read this on the website – better design, more information, updates included, altogether a better experience!)

No apologies for beginning this month’s Blog ‘away from home’. The First International Forest Garden Symposium (see Blog, June 1st, 2021) more than lived up to my expectations. It ran for the whole week from May 31st to June 4th, was a huge success and raised so many important issues, that I have written a short article about it; the Blog needs to concentrate on what’s happening here in the garden, and in an article I am free to express views on the bigger picture and on what the Sombrun Forest Garden Project symbolises in the wider world – a global ‘landscape mosaic’ connection that I think is important, as regular readers will know. To read this, go to the Articles page in the menu above.

And so, to more local matters! The design ideas discussed in last month’s blog (June 1st) have moved on a stage, and it’s now clear that the lentil patches will become the focus of development here. They have been re-named Carré 1, Carré 2 etc (from the French for ‘square’). Carré 1 has this year’s lentils and beans (plus some self-seeded tomatoes from the biomass I added last year, which have been removed as they would have used up all the nitrogen the bed is creating!) and is behaving very well – see below.

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There’s a word for it … evolution!

(For my email subscribers: Remember to read this on the website – better design, more information, updates included, altogether a better experience!)

I have had more time to just be in the Forest Garden this month, observing everything that’s going on – and there’s a lot! It’s so pleasing to see the developments, even though to the casual observer it may seem that not much has changed (it still looks like a field!). Living in and among and around the garden I notice how much has happened in the three years since the Project began. And especially this month, I have suddenly realised that what I’m witnessing is the ‘constant evolution’ in the sub-heading to the website’s title. I’m not even sure if I fully realised when I wrote that what it could really mean!

For example, I’m seeing more bugs, beetles and insects in general, and evidence of mycelial networks, this year than before – mushrooms, the caterpillars mentioned below, but also grubs rolled up in tree leaves and ladybirds and beetles to feed on them. It’s good to realise this is happening and that the natural cycles of plant and insect ecosystems and food chains that I know will come, are beginning to get established.

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René, the cèpes, and a busy month!

(For my email subscribers: Remember to read this on the website – better design, more information, updates included, altogether a better experience!)

Forest cèpes (Boletus spp.)

There’s been so much going on this month, it’s difficult to know where to begin, but I think my neighbour René and his cèpes deserve pride of place. (You’ll have to imagine what he looks like as he doesn’t want his picture to appear on ‘The Internet’, and I respect his wishes).

For me he epitomises the spirit of still being able to gather what Nature has to offer us, and he does it in a sustainable way, on his own, using his local knowledge of where and when a pigeon will be flying over, or the forest mushrooms will appear in the undergrowth. A modern-day hunter/gatherer, he takes just what he needs for himself and I get to share some of his bounty!

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