EARTH REPAIR CORPS

Permablitz at Kealing Middle School

Purpose: To demonstrate to middle school students to cultivate perennial food crops.


Site Address:
1607 Pennsylvania Ave, Austin, TX 78702
Site Liaison(s):
N/A
ERC Liaison(s): Pete VanDyck and Karen Beaty
Original Installation Date:
2015.09.14-15
Original Budget: $700
Funding Provided By: Kealing MS PTA (also provided lunch on day of install)
Volunteer Information (Names, contact info, group associations):

 

Irrigation How is the Garden Getting Water? As of August 11, 2015: One section of drip line on timers is working for the two swales and berms. The hose bib is located against the retaining wall toward the school building, and requires a hose bib key. The trees planted by the Boy Scouts need to have the drip lines reconnected to the main system because they have been severed by lawn mowers. Several trees need their irrigation system repaired and buried- trees have died and need to be replaced with like trees.
Estimated Water Use
Earthworks Soil Type/Composition
Soil Depth
Number of Berms/Swales Installed 2
Length/Width of Berms and Swales in Linear Feet Swale #1: 6’x36’Berm #1: 7’x36’Swale #2: 6’x55’

Berm #2: 7’x60’

Was Soil Imported? If So, How Much?
Was Mulch Imported? If So, How Much?
Plants Number of Trees Planted 14
Species/Spacing Between Trees Looking up from below berm #1 from left to right:Acacia  4’  Desert Willow  6’  unknown species  6’  Sweet Almond Verbena  4’  Pomegranate  6’  Multi-graphed Plum  5’  Black LocustLooking up from below berm #2 from left to right:

0’-4’ is a Mulberry  6’  Golden Ball Lead Tree  6’  Fig  4’  Golden Ball Lead Tree  6’  Fig  4’  Black Berry  4’  Black Berry

Caliper Width of Trees (Measured Annually)/Date Measured
Survival Rate of Trees/Date Observed
Describe Understory and Groundcover Berm #1: the herbaceous layer of the berm is covered with Bermuda grass, spider wort, Gregg’s mist flower, and asparagus.Berm #2: the herbaceous layer of the berm includes coper canyon daisy, artichoke, annual beans, Jerusalem artichoke, comfrey, Turk’s cap, and Bermuda grass
Structures Existing Structures (Fences, Sheds, etc. on Property Before Installation)
Installed Structures (Trellises, Solar Panels, Solar Shower, Outdoor Kitchen, Chicken Coops, Greenhouses, etc)

Funny Farm Permablitz

Purpose: To create a perennial food storage system for human/poultry/bee forage.

Site Address: off 1826 near Nutty Brown Rd, Austin, TX 78737
Private or Public land: Private (Residential)
Original Installation Date: 2015.03.14,15
Original Budget: $1350
Funding Provided By: Property owners
Site Liaison(s): Michelle Hernandez (property owner)
Volunteer Information: Approximately 34 volunteers helped with this permablitz.
How long did the install take?: 9-5, two days

Client Feedback

What has worked well:

  • Having drip irrigation on a scheduled basis. We had to replace one of the drip irrigation timers for failure for unknown reason. Otherwise, the drip irrigation has worked well.
  • Using plenty of compost and plenty of mulch.
  • Densely planting cover crops and other smaller plants.
  • Regularly visiting the earthworks and harvesting crops (and just enjoying observing nature). Also pulling weeds when they are small.

What hasn’t worked so well and presents learning opportunities:

  • Weed growth, especially on one specific berm. I think the issue was the mulch and compost was thinner on that berm in area 13. Less cover crops came in, and weeds moved in. The soil will need to be improved over time.
  • Loss of trees. The section below will outline what trees were lost where. They primarily were lost on the berm in area 13 and also were primarily red buds, although there were some other nitrogen fixers lost. Some of these red buds had been in pots for multiple months, but the pots were “staggered” (?) pots. (I don’t know what they are called.)
  • The “invisible” deer fencing. The bottom fishing line has been unraveled multiple times (maybe by my dogs). Deer or other wildlife eats plants that aren’t either large enough or are deer resistant. My strategy will be to plant deer resistant plants.

What needs to happen to keep the garden vital and productive:

  • Feeding the soil
  • Consistent water, compost, and mulch monitoring and replenishment when needed
  • Variety of plants with different functions and nutrient profiles
Irrigation How is the Garden Getting Water? Two separate systems of drip line on timers, run for one hour every other day in the morning. The two systems run in alternating days.
Estimated Water Use As a very rough estimate, we use 461 gallons of water to run all the berms (length of berm x # of drip lines x distanve of emitters on drip lines x emitter rate/hour)
Earthworks Soil Type/Composition  Soil type/compositions – mix heavy clay soil (black gumbo clay) + berm builder + soil from existing raised wooden beds in garden.
Soil Depth   1 foot above ground created by Permablitz
Number of Berms/Swales Installed 5 (in 3 different areas: “area 3”, “area 12”-shaded, and “area 13”)
Length/Width of Berms and Swales in Linear Feet Total: 173 linear feet of berm, 173 linear feet of swaleBerm/Swale 3c: 6’x27’

Berm/Swale 3b: 6’x22’

Berm/Swale 3a: 6’x19’

Berm/Swale area 12 (in shade): 8’x50’

Berm/Swale area 13: 8’x55’

Was Soil Imported? If So, How Much? 6 yards (could have gotten away with 5)
Was Mulch Imported? If So, How Much?  Mulch was imported, I guess. It came from neighbor’s wood-chipped dead oaks (sat for over 1 year) + tree trimming service for public utilities. All free. Don’t know quantity.
Plants Number of Trees Planted 24
Species/Spacing Between Trees Berm 3c trees: Common Persimmon, Red Mulberry, Texas Persimmon, PomegranateBerm 3b trees: Loquat, Anna Apple, Kidneywood, Blushing Delight Apple, Moringa

Berm 3a trees: 2 Red Peach, Moringa

Area 12 trees: Texas Torchwoods, Redbud, Brown Turkey Fig, Kidneywood, Anacua, Texas Mountain Laurel

Area 13: LSU Purple Fig, Eve’s NEcklace, Pecan, Anacua, Kidneywood, Western Soapberry, Goldenball Leadtree

Caliper Width of Trees (Measured Annually)/Date Measured
Survival Rate of Trees/Date Observed 9 trees lost as of August 19, 2015
Describe Understory and Groundcover Berm 3c: sorrel, asparagus, Italian dandelion, and more.Berm 3b: comfrey, fennel, sweet potato, okra, peppers, and more.

Berm 3a: asparagus, sweet potato, California black eyed pea, and more.

area 12: flame leaf acanthus, cast iron, aloe vera, chile pequins, Texas betany, Greggs mist, Turks cap, plumbago, cedar sage, peppermint, double mint, patchouli

Area 13: holy basil, Texas native milweed, Henry Duelberg salvia, lemongrass, aloe vera, yucca, and more

 

Structures Existing Structures (Fences, Sheds, etc. on Property Before Installation) Fence line between permablitz garden and Sunset Valley Community Garden.
Standing outside the fence looking from left to right there is a Flame Leaf Grape→6’→Blackberry
Understory: Bermuda Grass
Installed Structures (Trellises, Solar Panels, Solar Shower, Outdoor Kitchen, Chicken Coops, Greenhouses, etc)

Media

Video Play list
Flickr Site Funny Farm Pics
Flickr Site Post Blitz Pics

 

Clint Small Middle School Permablitz

Purpose: To demonstrate to middle school students how to cultivate perennial food crops.

Site Address: 4801 Monterey Oaks Blvd, Austin, TX 78749
Site Liaison(s): Chris Brooks (teacher)
ERC Liaison(s): Zach Causey and Kirby Fry
Original Installation Date: 2014.12.06-07
Original Budget: $700
Funding Provided By: Clint Small Middle School PTA, also provided 12 yards of fine top dress mulch

Site Evaluation

Irrigation How is the Garden Getting Water? 1 section of drip line on timers for the lefthand berm. The hose bib is against the school’s wall and requires a hose bib key that is kept in the off position. The swale and berm on the right require watering. The irrigation system is a Home Depot drip line, connected to a bib hose. The timer is functional but not being used. The irrigation system, otherwise functional, must be turned on manually.
Estimated Water Use
Earthworks Soil Type/Composition
Soil Depth
Number of Berms/Swales Installed 2
Length/Width of Berms and Swales in Linear Feet (As of August 11, 2015)Swale #1: 8’x50’
Berm #1: 10’x44’
Swale #2: 8’x58’
Berm #2: 10’x56’
Was Soil Imported? If So, How Much?
Was Mulch Imported? If So, How Much? 12 yards fine top dress mulch
Plants Number of Trees Planted 10 as of August 11, 2015
Species/Spacing Between Trees Swale/Berm #1: Looking up from below the berm from left to right:Citrus tree 12’ pomegranate 6’ pomegranate 6’ Fig 7’ Fig 7’ Arroyo Sweet Wood

Swale/Berm #2: Looking up from below the berm from left to right:

From 0-9 feet there is an Arroyo Sweet Wood 12’ Mulberry 8’ Loquat 8’ Loquat, followed by 25’ of no trees

Caliper Width of Trees (Measured Annually)/Date Measured
Survival Rate of Trees/Date Observed
Describe Understory and Groundcover Berm #1: herbaceous layer of the berm is covered with Bermuda grass and nothing else.Around the fence protecting the solar panels there are five black berries about 3 feet apart and four grape vines dead or cut to the base.
Structures Existing Structures (Fences, Sheds, etc. on Property Before Installation) Fence, Solar Panels
Installed Structures (Trellises, Solar Panels, Solar Shower, Outdoor Kitchen, Chicken Coops, Greenhouses, etc)

ERC Permablitz Garden Monitoring and Maintenance Program

2015.08.23 | Report by Kirby Fry and Zach Halfin

Swale and berm, number 1, as of August 11, 2015. The swale is 8’ wide x 50’ long. The berm is 10’ wide x 44’ long. Looking up from below the berm, from left to right there is a citrus tree, 12’ to a pomegranate, 6’ to a pomegranate, 6’ to a fig, 7’ to a fig, 7’ to an arroyo sweet wood. The herbaceous layer of the berm is covered with Bermuda grass and nothing else.

Swale and berm, number 2, as of August 11, 2015. The swale is 8’ wide x 58’ long. The berm is 10’ wide x 56’ long. Looking up from below the berm, from left to right from 0 to 9’ there is an arroyo sweet wood, 12’ to a mulberry, 8’ to a loquat, 8’ to a loquat, and then 25’ of no trees.

Around the fence protecting the solar panels there are 5 black berries about 3 feet apart, and 4 grape vines dead or cut down to the base.

The irrigation system is Home Depot drip line, connected to a hose bib. The timer is functional but not being used. The irrigation system, otherwise is functional, but must be turned on manually. The hose bib requires that a “key” be used and is kept in the off position.

Site Evaluation and Details to Come

Permablitz at Sunset Valley

Purpose: To demonstrate to the community gardeners how to cultivate perennial food crops.

Site Address: 3205 Jones Rd, Sunset Valley, Texas, 78745
Site Liaison(s): Carolyn Meredith
ERC Liaison(s): Sam Arnold and Reed Burnham
Original Installation Date: 2013.04.21
Original Budget: $3,000
Funding Provided By: The City of Sunset Valley
Irrigation How is the Garden Getting Water? Two sections of drip line on timers.The hose bibs are under the ground in large rectangular valve boxes.
Estimated Water Use
Earthworks Soil Type/Composition
Soil Depth
Number of Berms/Swales Installed 2
Length/Width of Berms and Swales in Linear Feet Swale #1: 8’x112’Berm #1: 10’x112’

Swale #2: 6’x16’

Berm #2: 8’x16’

Was Soil Imported? If So, How Much?
Was Mulch Imported? If So, How Much?
Plants Number of Trees Planted 19
Species/Spacing Between Trees Swale #1 from Left to Right:Fig8’

Fig6’

Loquat4’

Thornless Black Locust6’

Loquat8’

Monterrey Oak16’

Pomegranate6’

Pomegranate16’

Monterrey Oak6’

Quajillo Acacia4’

Texas Persimmon10’

Golden Ball Lead Tree6’

Fragrant Mimosa4’

Mexican Sycamore4’

Acacia

Swale #2 from Left to Right:

Mexican Plum6’

Mexican Plum

Also a loquat tree planted just above swale #2.

Caliper Width of Trees (Measured Annually)/Date Measured
Survival Rate of Trees/Date Observed
Describe Understory and Groundcover Swale/Berm #1: Frog Fruit, Johnson Grass, Comfrey, Mustard, Mustang Grape, Muhly Grass, Asparagus, Big Blue StemSwale/Berm #2: Bermuda Grass
Structures Existing Structures (Fences, Sheds, etc. on Property Before Installation) Fence line between permablitz garden and Sunset Valley Community Garden.Standing outside the fence looking from left to right there is a Flame Leaf Grape6’

Blackberry

Understory: Bermuda Grass

Installed Structures (Trellises, Solar Panels, Solar Shower, Outdoor Kitchen, Chicken Coops, Greenhouses, etc)

2015.08 Maintenance Followup

REPORT BY KIRBY FRY

Irrigation System: 2 sections of drip line on timers. The hose bibs are under ground in large rectangular valve boxes.

Swale and berm, number 1, as of August 11, 2015. The swale is 8’ wide x 112’ long. The berm is 10’ wide x 112’ long. Looking up from below the berm, from left to right there is a fig, 8’ to a fig, 6’ to a loquat, 4’ to a thornless black locust, 6’ to a loquat, 8’ to a Monterey oak, 16’ to a pomegranate, 6’ to a pomegranate, 16’ to a Monterey oak, 6’ to a guajillo acacia, 4’ to a Texas persimmon, 10 to a golden ball lead tree, 6’ to a fragrant mimosa, 4’ to a Mexican sycamore, 4’ to an acacia (spp?).

The understory is frog fruit, Johnson grass, comfrey, mustard, mustang grape, Muhly grass, asparagus, and big blue stem.

Swale and berm, number 2, as of August 11, 2015. The swale is 6’ wide x 16’ long. The berm is 8’ wide by 16’ long. Looking up from below the berm, from left to right is a Mexican plum, 6’ to a Mexican plum. A loquat tree has been planted by us just above the swale.

The understory is Bermuda grass.

Fence line between permablitz garden and Sunset Valley Community Garden. Standing outside of the entrance, looking from left to right there is a flame leaf grape, 6’ to a black berry.

The understory is Bermuda grass.