In 2012 we started the journey together through design, fundraising and organizing, to build a forest garden on the grounds of the Rahma Free Clinic. In 2018, after 5 years of growing a forest, we will revisit and renew, taking an intentional look at what succeeded and what failed, redesigning plots and polycultures, and replanting and newly mulching spaces that haven’t yet fulfilled their potential at the Rahma Edible Forest Snack Garden in Syracuse NY, located at 3100 South Salina St.
For example, one of our first plots – the paw-paw/currant/gooseberry/mint polyculture – has been very stable, though we lost one pawpaw tree following a dry period during the summer of 2016. Most of the groundcover and herbaceous layer is productive, but some spots have seen takeover by plant species that we would rather convert to other productive residents. Thistle and wild lettuce will be replaced with friendlier clover, gaps between under-story specimens will be re-mulched and filled in with cuttings from the adjacent gooseberry and currants, and the pawpaw loss will be replanted with two new 4-foot tall saplings (approximate cost with shipping $100.00).
Second, the center of out garden has often suffered from dry periods, and the trees planted there have either been mortality specimens or have grown very very slowly. We will replant with a monarch waystation patch of 32 plants including 6 different species* ($136.85), as well as a triumvirate of Adirondack Gold Apricot trees ($104.24)!
The remaining funds from the $500 raised will go towards supplies and materials such as plant stakes, ID tags, snacks for volunteers, and clover seed. If we raise more than the $500, we’ll be able to extend our revisit to other patches in the forest too! Come take a look and share what areas you’d like to see receive some extra special TLC this year.
* (5) Butterflyweed for Clay (3″ Pots), (5) Rough Blazingstar (3″ Pots), (5) Common Milkweed (3″ Pots), (5) Sky Blue Aster (3″ Pots), (6) Hoary Vervain (3″ Pots), (6) Purple Coneflower (3″ Pots)
Picture above is from our annual Juneberry harvest! The perks we are providing to donors of this campaign are not metered out in buttons, or keychains, or postcards, or any other trinkets, but in real food, and planting stock, and seeds, that we give away and share with anyone that visits the edible food forest, from the plants that we grow on site!