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.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

2018 Winter Classes!

An Introduction to Permaculture Design

Saturday, January 27 at 2 - 4pm
Cherry Glen Learning Farm
3989 NW 94th Ave, Polk City, Iowa 50226

Mr Reiland is a practicing Permaculture Designer, obtaining his Permaculture Design Certificate through PermaEthos, and a Bachelors of Environmental Science/Biology from Simpson College. This program will cover the ethics & design principles as well as energy & site assessment, contours - earth works- water catchment, and mulching & soil building to produce nutrient rich produce.

Cost $20.00
Registration at https://cherryglenlearningfarm.org/classes

Planning the Backyard Orchard
using Ecological Principles & Permaculture Techniques

Saturday, February 17 at 2 - 4pm
Cherry Glen Learning Farm
3989 NW 94th Ave, Polk City, Iowa 50226

This class will give students an overview and understanding of tree sizes, planting location, site preparation, shaping & pruning, naturally discouraging pests and disease.

Cost $50.00  Registration at https://cherryglenlearningfarm.org/classes

Trees and companion plants will be available for preordering

Watch for an upcoming Irrigation class!

and of course this years Seed Exchange!!!

Monday, January 8, 2018


Last Friday was National Bird Day!

Wrens are voracious bug eaters!
Birds can be pests in gardens and fields.  Canadian geese will walk down a row of corn or beans pluking out a smorgasboard of fresh "microgreens."  I've had trouble with robins in my strawberries and cherry trees, and sparrows feeding on newly sprouted pea seedlings.

Strategic netting can prevent much of this, as well as providing quality bird habitat so that they aren't so hungry. Many times the only thing birds have to eat in a manicured neighborhood of lawns is our gardens.

For the most part birds are actually a great help around the garden.  They provide pest control for sure!  Wrens, bluebirds and swallows eat an enormous amount of pests, in the garden and biting insects as well.  Seed eaters also reduce weed seeds, while other birds nibble away at tender weed seedlings.
Want to build this house?

They can also work the soil turning over mulch and depositing "nutrients" in your landscapes.  Chickens are great at this, but unfortunately many cities prohibit urban chickens.  Waukee does, as do many of the suburbs.  However, Des Moines allows a certain number per household.

During this stretch of bitterly cold weather I thought about how we keep them feed so they can stay warm and safe.

Here's a video of how you can help your birds out this winter and year round!

Here's an upcoming event at the Waukee Library


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Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year 2018

The frigid temperatures have kept us inside a lot more this last week.  I made it till midnight last night and am almost done with one of the books I'm reading. This season of celebration and reflection has been just what I needed.

Looking back on 2017, Abundant Design had a great year starting with the Seed Exchange and partnering with the Habitat Restore for the Home and Outdoor Living Show here in Des Moines.

Seed Exchange at Cherry Glen
2017 Home Show

Projects started early with an urban farm drainage project, quickly followed by back-to-back residential projects.  I was glad to have the help of several subcontractors and an intern.  I was sad to see him go before he got to start on the healing garden project.

Here's a video showcasing some of our work this year!

2018 is shaping up to be our best year yet, finishing several projects we prepped last year and designs for new rain gardens, mini-orchards and more.

Look for informative posts on the blog, fun videos on the YouTube channel and project updates through the 2018 season!

Have a Happy New New Year!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We're all snuggled in for a long winters nap

Warmest holiday wishes from our home to yours!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Good Reads pt2 - For the Kids

Last week we talked about some good books to learn about sustainable farming, regenerative practices and gardening for us. This week will continue with some good reads for your kids to read, and for you to read with your kids.

By far our favorite book is The Little Composter by Jan Gerardi.  The fun rhymes in this book have been read at bedtime for all of our kids, and the flaps are worn and have been taped multiple times. It's mostly out of print but you can still get copies on Amazon, or check your local used book stores.


Another favorite of mine is the counting book Uno's Garden, with its sorrowful story of conquest and urbanization, with a new hope in harmony and regeneration.  The steady, soothing rhythms of Going to Sleep on the Farm have relaxed me probably more than they have the kids, especially after a long days at work :)

Chapter books like the heart warming Charlotte's Web and then for older kids the heart wrenching Where the Red Fern Grows are classic stories that give an immersive view into farming and rural life.

The Little House on the Prairie series is a true epic story set in the pioneer period in Minnesota and South Dakota as the Ingalls family struggled to make it during the settlement of the prairie.  Farmer Boy chronicles farming life on a more established farm as experienced through Laura's future husband Almonzo's eyes.  


Jennifer Ward's books i love dirt! and let's go outside! are great inspiration to get kids outside.  Once out there working on the activities described they can go beyond to play with their craft and further explore. That's where they can really learn and experience nature outside the box!  These experiences are critical for physically and mentally healthy kids.  Parents can read more about that in Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods.

i love dirt!  Nature's Art Box and let's go outside! 

I hope you found some ideas for books that you hadn't had and can share with your kids.  It's actually not too late to grab some as gifts if you get FREE two-day shipping with an Amazon Prime account.  If you don't have one you can get a membership here.

Enjoy some good reads this winter, and get outside as much as you can!

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