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.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Tree Grafting Workshop 2019

It's no secret, I'm CRAZY for apples!  Big ones, little ones, red ones, green ones, gold ones...
...and peaches, plums & pears HA HA HA!

Maybe you have a cherished memory of a treasured tree on Grandma and Grandpa's farm.  It was a favorite to climb and grab a juicy late summer treat; the pies she made with them were incredible.  But maybe that tree is old and in pretty rough shape now, or the entire homestead is going to be auctioned off next year.  Maybe the new owners will cut it down, or the whole place plowed under for a couple extra acres of corn and beans.

Wouldn't you like to share some of those apples with your children or even grandchildren?

You can do it by grafting!

Grafting a healthy piece of that tree onto a new young rootstock will allow you to keep producing those same apples for years to come.  You'll be able to share with your family and friends, not only the memories, but also the flavor of those apples, and maybe even the pies if Grandma shared her secret recipe!  Maybe you'll make several to share as heirloom trees for all the cousins and grandkids.


Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop
WHEN:  Saturday, April 13th 2018
10:00 am & 11:00 am
WHERE:  Cherry Glen Learning Farm
 3989 NW 94th Ave
 Polk City, IA 50226 (map)

If this sounds good, or even if you just want to acquire a new skill, you'll want to make plans to attend this workshop.  During the workshop you will learn how to graft trees and gain valuable hands on experience.

Each attendee will be able to graft three trees to take home.  Materials include three rootstocks, three pieces of scion wood, grafting tape and compound.  Follow the event page for updates, space and materials are limited.



Select from popular or historic apple varieties, or bring scion from your favorite apple tree to preserve a variety that has personal significance to you. Each participant will graft 3 apple trees for $40 (class $10, materials fee of $30). If rootstock is leftover, you'll have the opportunity to graft additional trees for $10 each.
Class size is limited, so reserve your spot by emailing abundantdesign@hotmail.com.

I highly recommend you bring your own knife to the grafting workshop, and to have for future use. Tools to share will be provided, but if you want to use a knife you must use your own.  You can purchase one below, or I will have a couple to purchase..

Maybe you'll eventually try a triple graft for three varieties on one tree!  
Maybe even more!



Grafting tools, knives and supplies-
A utility knife will do in a pinch (even electrical tape and petroleum jelly can substitute for the tape and compound) but these are the real deal and should provide many future trees to be done.


This knife should last you years and years.  The tool probably won't be an heirloom for your grandkids like the knife, but it may speed up your process.

Go to my YouTube Channel for a review of the grafting tool!
While you're there, hit the SUBSCRIBE button!

Water Water Everywhere #1 - Runoff & Flooding

Spring rains are right around the corner, and with them usually comes flooding. We may even experience some before Spring officially arrives with the 'bomb cyclone'!

Rainwater is a great resource when timed right and in the right amounts, or stored for later use in rain barrels or in soil pore space.

Unfortunately too much at once can have devastating effects.  More people die in flooding than tornadoes, lightning or any other severe weather related causes.  Floods cause billions of dollars in damages annually.


What's worse is that rain intensity and duration are increasing, especially in the Midwest region.

Certain precipitation conditions on the basins also showed systematic temporal increases since the 1920s, including annual precipitation, number of seven-day heavy rain events, and the number of days with precipitation. This climatic shift to more multi-day periods of heavy rain appears to be the major reason that hydrologic flooding in the three states has increased since the 1920s. Analysis of the individual major hydrologic floods revealed five different types of precipitation conditions, including snow-melt situations that produced major floods. The primary cause of major floods was prolonged periods of four- to 13-day durations with intermittent moderate to heavy rains, and these events often included heavy, 15-centimeter rainstorms capable of producing flash floods. Causes for Record High Flood Losses in the Central United States


Our recent land management and development practices are also contributing to flooding issues.

Reduction of soil organic matter, loss of wetlands and bare fields in Spring all slow infiltration and increase runoff.  Urban sprawl and the increase of impermeable surfaces i.e. rooftops and parking lots; even compacted lawns, also contribute to flood intensity.
A sensitivity analysis was performed to evaluate the effects of urbanization and climate variability on increasing flood peaks. Results indicated that, on average, urbanization caused a 34% greater increase in peak flows than climate variability. In addition, this study indicated that present discharges are, on average, at least 19% larger than regulatory discharges. Ongoing urbanization may cause flood peaks to become even higher. Impacts of Urbanization and Climate Variability on Floods in Northeastern Illinois

Watch for the next post in the series as we look at what this means for water quality.

#TurnAroundDontDrown

#SlowItSpreadItSinkIt

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Seed Exchange 2019

With the howling wind and snow, it's hard to believe Spring is less than a month away! But I'm ready, and that also means it's time for...

Abundant Design's 5th Annual Seed Exchange
WHEN:   March 9th, 2019   9:00am - 11:00am
WHERE: Cherry Glen Learning Farm
 3989 NW 94th Ave
 Polk City, IA 50226 (map)

What is a Seed Exchange?
Exactly what it sounds like—an event for trading seeds & plants with fellow gardeners and plant enthusiasts.  They allow gardeners to come together and share seeds, cuttings, and transplants from their own gardens to swap with others.  They are a great way to share some of your extra seeds and get something new to grow — all for free!


Click Here  > >  RSVP  < <  Click Here
and then Invite your Friends!


Everyone is welcome
This event is for anyone! If you have seeds or wants seeds.  Expert gardeners.  Beginner gardeners. Aspiring gardeners.  Seed-savers. You. If you don’t have any seeds to swap, still come!  There should be plenty of seed to share with everyone as well as extra seeds available!

There's all sorts of FUN!
  • Chat with other gardeners
  • Share growing tips
  • Great music
  • Build community

How it works
    Share Tables - These tables will be where you can place seeds for others to browse and take as needed, and for you to take items to try. Everyone brings seeds to the swap and puts the seeds out on the large tables. These areas will be free-sharing for all.
    Barter Tables - There might even be some Barter Tables which will be for your rarer items that you would trade if you got another more desired item. If someone has rare or expensive seeds, they may be more specific in what they will accept in trades, and you see if the person who brought them is interested in anything you brought.  
Most likely, people will just want to share their extra seeds, and they’ll let you take some even if they don't happen to need anything you brought.  There could even be extra tools, scion wood for grafting, who knows!  Leave a comment below or in the Facebook event for what you are bringing or looking for.


What to bring
You can bring any kind* of seeds/plants to trade: flowers, vegetables, herbs, annuals, perennials, bulbs — it doesn't matter. You can bring seeds you've collected yourself or leftover seeds from packets you have purchased.
It’s really pretty easy…
  • Bring seeds that are no more than 2-3 years old.
  • Store-bought, mail-ordered or home-saved; all seeds* are welcome.
  • If you are bringing seeds you saved yourself, please be sure they are from non-hybrid or knowledgeably hybridized plants, and were saved properly.
  • You can bring the seeds in whatever packaging is easiest for you. If you can, please make individual seed packets for people to take.  10-30 seeds are plenty. If you just want to bring your opened seed packet with leftover seeds in it, that's fine, too.
  • If you bring seedlings make sure the plants are healthy and well cared for.
  • Please clearly label all seed packets and plants with the variety name, year and source plus any special instructions or notes (for example, "These seeds need to be soaked before planting" or "My great-great-grandmother brought these seeds over on the Mayflower").
  • Little envelopes and a writing utensil so that you can collect and label your “loot”
*please no seed saved or propagated from patented plants 


You do not need to be a seed starting expert — people will gladly share growing tips! 




Friday, February 8, 2019

Awards Ceremony - 1000 Friends of Iowa

Here are some pictures from the 1000 Friends of Iowa Best Development Awards ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol last month.  

The weather didn't cooperate very well, but it was great to see and hear about the other great projects around the state.
Dr. Engebretsen, PHC and Jeff Reiland, Abundant Design


Here Dr. Engebretsen, along with the new Wellness Center team, and I accept the awards and share a few comments about the project's beginning, progress and intended outcomes, along with future uses and programming.
    





Read more about the Healing Garden at Primary Healthcare's Wellness Center at the links below:
Ground Breaking November 2017
Learn even more and donate here http://www.phciowa.org/garden/


Abundant Design would love to help your organization with the design and installation of sustainable and regenerative landscapes!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Frigid week, but a bonus!

Brr!  
Dangerous cold and winds are expected to continue and worsen, so be careful out there this week.  Temperatures and windchill can freeze exposed skin in minutes.  
 Arctic Air Brings Dangerous Wind Chill Temperatures

I did get a chance to build a fun igloo with the kids!  It really helps just to get out of the wind.

Even outside pets should be brought in.  Growing up we trained our dog to stay on her rug by the back door.  We did find him on the couch once, and he would skooch inch by inch off, if me or my brother were lying on the floor nearby watching TV.  

Livestock is also vulnerable, make sure their shelters are holding, their waterers aren't frozen and they have plenty of feed.
Doves enjoying a drink at the heated birdbath

Back up heat, and emergency supplies are always a good idea, especially in cold like this.

Some good news to come out of this is that it can help reduce the number of overwintering insects-hopefully more harmful ones than good ones!  The invasive marmorated stink bug and spotted winged fruit fly can't handle the cold, but often are good at finding shelter inside or under the snow, which is a decent insulator as I found in my igloo above.  
The great hope, especially for Northern and Eastern Iowa, as well as Minnesota is the cold mortality of the Emerald Ash Borer.  A study from the Forest Service in Minnesota showed mortality (die off) rates of 5% of the insects at 0F, 34% at -10F, 79% at -20F and 98% at -30F.


You can also read more at Minnesota Public Radio's blog- 

So finish your outside chores if you have them, grab your favorite hot drink and snuggle in.  Then browse those Seed Catalogs, read a Good Book or listen to some Podcasts!