radicle beets

Swamp Thing Dispatches by radiclebeets
June 21, 2012, 4:56 am
Filed under: Pod updates | Tags: ,

Yesterday was a great day for our little wetland! Starting in the morning, a few of us rambled over to the north shore on a plant foraging mission. From a coastal flat near a small stream we carefully divided several cinquefoil plants, also called ‘silverweed’ (Potentilla anserina), the roots of which are a highly regarded food source (!)

We also got 2 plantain-like plants called ‘sea plantain’ (Plantago maritima), which is also considered an important food source. (Remember the wetland is contaminated and should not be eaten from)

We also got several unidentified rushes, and some cattail (Typha latifolia). After a quick stop at Quest and a fun food distribution mission, we got ready to work party in the Wetland.

Some of us started  by pulling out all the garbage, which seems to be layered in differed sediments and degrees of degradation throughout the wetland’s soil (as well as in hefty piles on top of it). Some of the soft plastics were really hard to separate from plant roots, which had literally grown right through the plastic. The hard plastics that had been around for a few years were difficult to handle, breaking into many small pieces at the slightest provocation. We also found: boots, radios, old umbrellas, many different rotted wires, an old metal plate from a diesel tank, and many other ‘treasures.’

Others went to gather cardboard, which we would use to sheet mulch an area around the standing water in the wetland. The idea with the cardboard is that it will make it harder for the Himalayan Blackberry and Canary Grass to grow back. We also actively attacked the blackberry roots to help with this.

As you can see, once we put the cardboard down, we covered it with a mixture of wood chips and city soil. Before laying all the cardboard, we worked to dig out a part of the wetland, in order to make part of it deeper. The hope here is that a deeper hole will hold water for longer, leaving our wetland wet for more months in the summer, when it tends to dry out. We also worked to make the slope of the wetland less severe. A slow, gradual slope means that there will be more wet area in the wetland. In essence, we brought high spots down slightly, in the hope of making a bit more wetland.

After covering all the cardboard with soil and wood chips, a few folks went foraging for some more plants that could be divided from nearby, and found 2 different rushes as well as a Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus serecia). Along with the plants we foraged in the morning, as well as the lovely Snow Berry Adam propagated, we planted everything into the wetland.

Finally, we installed the sweet new sign we made!


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Reblogged this on Young Agrarians and commented:
Great wetland restoration project in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside!

Comment by dentsara

Hello! Where did you find Potentilla anserina? I’m looking to buy some (not the western subspecies – I live in PA), but am having a really hard time finding any suppliers. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Comment by Liz Stauffer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: