7th June 2014
An excellent day! Instructive and constructive, led by Kevin Mascarenhas (naturalflow.biz). An enthusiastic group including 4 French visitors (Agro-forestry is alive and well in France)
The morning focus was composting. Kevin talked about good composting practices and we deconstructed our rather sullen and airless heap and then rebuilt it adding much needed layers of straw and twigs to balance the food waste and grass cuttings.
After our picnic lunch Kevin spoke about fungal dominance in woodland as opposed to the bacterial dominance of grassland. In a forest garden the aim is to encourage the development of fungal associations. We inspected the boiled rice that had been buried for 2 weeks in the woodland in the hope that the rice would be the perfect environment for breeding woodland microbes and fungi. We think it had worked; the rice had a sweet, fermented smell and was sticky with a pinkish mould. We mixed the rice with rainwater and poured it around 2 selected trees, a damson and an apple. We sowed some ‘fertility mix’ seed round the same 2 trees.