I have done several surveys of the land, detailed below.
Initial sketch map & site survey
- ecological value – not known
- form of the land (slopes, etc) – significant sloping – will measure
- regional climate
- microclimates (light, shade, wind, frost, etc) – little shade, sometimes strong winds from south-east over fields
- water (supply, drainage) – taps nearby, well-drained soil
- soil – depth ranging from 25 to 70 cm, sandstone base, free draining loam
- existing plants – grazed pasture, predominantly grass
- existing structures – none
- further areas for cultivation – below the polytunnel, Ashurst field
Site survey with Hans-Guenther June 2012
I surveyed the site with Hans-Guenther, former teacher of biodynamics at Emerson College.
- Hans-Guenther advised to observe the elements – water, fire, earth and air – at the site as well as their movements and interplay
- noted the history of the site – originally impenetrable, boggy forest, then cultivated, possibly as a meadow for cattle, recently used as grazing land for sheep
- noted the soil can be a limiting factor – perhaps compacted, probably poor quality and thin
- light a limiting factor in temperate forest gardens, therefore needing clearing
- windy site
- forest gardening is a new way of gardening
- the HHFG group has a new consciousness for HH, not as currently people aiming to have their individuality respected, rather communing with each other and nature
- nature is savage, human beings are here to cultivate, plants bring heaven and earth together
- we surveyed the plants growing
Measuring the slope
As a group we measured the slope using a bunyip and an A-frame. We also used the A-frame to mark out some of the main paths.
I also regularly observe the site by practising a sit spot.