radicle beets

Water!! And an Espalier! by radiclebeets

Last week, while we were in the food forest doing our thing, Jen noticed a little trap door hanging out by the wetlands. Adam and I watched  giddily as Jen, curious as she is, pulled open the door  to reveal a brand new water tap! This is very exciting news for the food forest as it means no more having to wheelbarrow giant bags of water back and forth from 4 blocks away! Not only that, but this also means fun possibilities in installing a new water irrigation system, which means even more possibilities for the food forest are headed our way. Woot!

Other exciting news at the food forest: our pod built a peach and apricot  espalier! We put our brains together, got some material, and designed a structure for our trees to grow against the south-facing building wall belonging to our friends next door. We also added a sloped roof at the top of the structure to protect the trees from rain. These fruit trees prefer a lot of sun and so we had to figure out a way to keep them dry and warm in this rainy Coast Salish climate.  Also it was a great excuse to spend two days working hard in the sun so that afterward, we could treat ourselves with some excellent ice cream!

Oh hey, what is an espalier anyway?

An espalier is the agricultural practice of tying tree branches to a frame and pruning them so they can grow flat against a structure. But why would we ever want to do that? Well, at the food forest we are lucky to have a south-facing wall be part of our garden. Since the sun shines hard against it all day, the wall absorbs a lot of heat and will retain that heat even after the sun has set. If we could get these sun-loving trees to grow nice and flat up against it, they will greatly benefit from the additional warmth.

An espalier is also a really great way to maximize space. In a couple of years, when our baby trees grow up, we will have a beautiful green wall that bears peaches and apricots. Not such a bad deal!

I’d like to give a special thanks to Jordan, who is on his way back to California, and Johana, who has gone back home to Toronto, for their amazing work in making this happen. We were lucky to have you and look forward to seeing y’all again!

Later days!



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