After introductions of new attendees, the evening's presentation began.
Eva Taylor gave an excellent explanation of both Food Forests and Huglekulture as methods to produce food crops.
A food forest takes advantage of the benefits of a mature forest, and the shrubs, herbs, grasses and annual plants than can be grown in the forest edge to provide a successional sequence of food. The soil is improved by each type of plant, thus benefitting the other plants. Good bacteria in the soil are strengthened by natural processes, but are harmed by the use of commercial fertilizers.
Hugelkulture beds are formed by piling up logs and branches, and covering them with soil to make mounds to plant in. As the wood decomposes, it feeds the soil, while also controlling the flow of water to keep the beds moist. Annual and perennial crops can be grown in the beds, often self-seeding if left undisturbed. Eva promotes the "chop and drop" method of weeding, leaving the roots of weeds in the soil to promote bacteria and fungi growth.
Field trips to both Eva's farm on Cooper Mountain, and Great Escapes Farms, owned by Todd McCree, are planned for Saturday, July 29. Information will be sent to the membership to sign up for these. (Note: the field trips were cancelled due to heavy rains and flash flooding that hit the area on July 28-29.)
The next meeting will be Thursday, August 10, 2017, at 7:00 pm. at the Bank of Romney Community Center, Romney.