Our Mission:

Our Mission: To enable individuals and communities to take an active part in the cultivation of systems that provide the highest quality fruits, vegetables, herbs and other yields, in a way that benefits themselves, cares for the land and environment, and provides a surplus to use, share and reinvest into the system.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Public Gardens & Mothers Day Weekend featuring Reiman Gardens

Friday I took the afternoon off to celebrate my birthday with family and visit Reiman Gardens for National Public Gardens Day.  It started in 2009 to raise awareness of public gardens and the role they play in our communities. This annual celebration takes place on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day each year.

Reiman Gardens has over 50,000 tulips, and almost at the end of their season they were still very much in bloom!

The apple trees were also blooming on the apple arbor, similar to an espalier, in their "Home Production Garden" space.

There are many other areas to explore around the grounds, including a Children's Garden, Rose Garden, Conservatory and Butterfly House.

In honor of Mother’s Day, all moms are admitted to

Happy Mother's Day from Abundant Design!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Gardens, gardens, gardens

Well Spring is finally upon us!

After several snows in the last month, the last April 15th, its been a scramble to get gardens finished in time for the growing season.  Now the temperatures have been in the 80s!

Here a Mandala garden we just finished before the rain came.  A Mandala garden incorporates several key hole beds in one growing space. They are also a striking visual!

Mandala Garden

More to come as this backyard oasis project continues to grow!

We also put in several raised beds in both the front and back yards in the last week.

At this house, we had a gentleman driving by, stop, ask a few questions and then say, "What you are doing is great, it's just great!"  Love it!

Also did some garden clean-up...

And built a giant raised bed using wood core, called a hugelkultur.  We have used wood cores before, but this was the real thing!  Read more about them at RichSoil.com

More to come on this project as well!

Browne Atlas worm castings

By the way, if you are needing plants, check out Nine Square Feet's Plant Swap this Saturday

Happy Spring!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Great American Farm Tour

The Great American Farm Tour World Wide Premiere  

WATCH the adventure as the Rhodes Family...

  • Turn an old school bus into a fabulous home on wheels.   
  • Close down their farm (including ALL their animals).   
  • Explore the Greatest Farms in ALL 50 states (Alaska and Hawaii too :)   
  • Meet regular folks who are doing extraordinary things.   
  • Uncovers the unimaginable beauty of farms and natural landscapes  
  • Laugh along with the unique humor from their children and their hosts.   
  • Discover THE Greatest Farm in America (the answer might surprise you ;)  

FREE online viewing (48 Hours Only)   
Saturday, April 14th 7:00pm - Monday, April 16th 9:00pm CST 

 REGISTER NOW for the FREE 48 hour Premiere

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

What's Up?

Things are going well and very busy, aren't we all!

The recent grafting class I taught, hosted by Nine Square Feet, was a huge success! A big THANK YOU to all those who came out and learned this valuable skill.  Great turnouts like this one motivate and encourage us to keep doing them.

Their Plant Exchange is coming up, you won't want to miss it either.  Details CLICK HERE

Projects are underway for the season, here's a few-

New Garden installation, a Christmas present 

After - New Keyhole Raised Garden Bed

Raspberry Trellises as part of a larger edible backyard oasis

The home garden has fresh wood chips in the walkways; plus onions, peas and spinach planted.
Feel free to SHARE your garden pictures in the Facebook comments!

Swales at sunset, after the cover crop seeding was done. Lots of clover in this section to fix nitrogen into the soil to feed the future orchard.  The rabbits like the sheet mulching (just make sure you leave the young trees alone!)

Also been helping with school gardens and more, other updates to come!

I hope your Spring is off to a great start!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Grafting Tool Review

With the upcoming Grafting Class at the West Des Moines library, I thought a review and "unboxing video" of the grafting tool would be right on topic!  I also mentioned the upcoming video last week, so here we go.

The wind, like always here, was crazy and I apologize for the noise when it got really gusty.
Grafting Tool Review - Unboxing video

After the video I noticed paint coming off the blades.  This could be a place where corosion could occur but keeping the blades clean, and stored with a light coating of oil should extend their lifetime if used sparingly.  If it becomes your workhorse you may be dulling and changing blades frequently enough that the paint flecking off won't be an issue.

The polymer frame, although plastic, should be fine over time, especially if you keep it out of the sun.  Although, this tool might not be an heirloom for your grandkids like the grafting knife, with care and a supply of replacement blades it just might be one you can pass down to your kids.  It should also speed up your process in the years to come.

Like in the previous post, I highly recommend you bring your own knife to the grafting workshop, and to have for future use.  These tools are the real deal and should provide many future trees to be done.

Grab your own grafting tool here.  This is the exact product I ordered and reviewed in the video.

Grab some Parafilm like I recommend in the video, and these other tools and supplies to do more grafting after the class.

We'll see you at the grafting class!