Yesterday I had a consultation with Toree Hiebert of the Urban Farm School. She came out to our place to look at our barren, muddy mess of a yard, sorry I meant our clean slate of a garden just waiting to happen, and help me flesh out my vision for the yard. Interestingly enough, she had the same suggestion the tree removal guy had–plant an espalier (my new word of the day) 6-in-1 apple tree against the south facing, very sunny garage wall. She also had some other cool suggestions, like planting a kiwi vine to grow up and along the abruptly flat garage roof line, softening it and creating better garden feng shui for us. We also envisioned four 4×4 foot vegetable beds in front of the garage (since this is the sunniest area of the yard), an herb bed around the fig tree, a semi-dwarf 4-in1 cherry tree in the NW corner of the yard, another fruit tree (plum probably) in the SW corner, and perhaps a dwarf persimmon tree somewhere else. She also helped me find a better placement for the chicken coop, and gave me some ideas for the front yard.

Here is what Toree says about her business,

Urban Farm School is dedicated to teaching people how to farm their urban/suburban lots! We offer consultation and/or design services as well as ongoing assistance throughout the growing season. We can help you decide the best location for your garden, what your family would
like to grow, and the design of your vegetable garden. Also, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to go about preparing the soil, planting, and maintaining your garden. We can be involved a lot or just help get you started. My partner and I have gardened for over ten years, have started numerous vegetable gardens, and we even operated a small CSA for a couple of summers. Between us, we have backgrounds in Teaching and Art, you can be assured you will end up with a beautiful, productive vegetable garden that you will learn to grow and maintain yourself!
Feel free to contact me: Toree Hiebert at 360 907-5814

I am so excited to get this going! I really want to have an edible landscape– soon! I know it’ll be a couple of years at least till we have lots of fruits and berries, but the veggies I should be able to get started on as soon as we build the beds and bring in soil, compost, and manure.

We went to Portland Nursery and placed a hold on a few trees today, including a nice big 6-in-1 espaliered apple tree. Then I went to the library and checked out a bunch of books on gardening and tree pruning and training. I am loving the French edible gardens with their potager and parterre styles! There’s so much to learn! So much to do! I can’t wait for the weather to be warm and dry, so I can get out and dig in the dirt!

Dan’s to-do list is getting longer by the minute (at least it’ll give him something to blog about!). In addition to the vegetable beds, I need him to build a bunch of planter boxes to go right in front of the deck, where I want to put blueberries and strawberries, with more planters for raspberries along the south side of the house. I think I will also want boxes with some kind of seating in front of the yet to be built fence that will hide the neighbor’s ugly hedge. And the chicken coop needs to be built too of course. Our chickens are getting so big, and are pooping so much– I really want them out of our kitchen ASAP.

Tomorrow, I plan to go back to Portland Nursery and pick out a few more things, including an Issai Kiwi vine, some evergreen blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, maybe a pear tree, some seeds for vegetables, herbs, and Mesclun salad mix, and maybe some other stuff like soil amendments (though that might be cheaper to get elsewhere, might have to make some phone calls first?).

Did I mention I was excited?


3434 SE Milwaukie Ave Portland, OR 97202   (503) 206-5766

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