I have been spending more time at the allotment as a stimulation for thinking about regenerative design. Notes from yesterday’s visit.
Bind weed clearing
Yesterday I finished double digging another bed to clear it of bind week. This one bed yielded three crates of the udon noodle-shaped roots week ran down the middle like an underground bindweed four-track express line.
Clearing bind weed feels like a Sisyphean task but I’ve discovered there is an exponential factor that warrants all this work. Once bindweed sends out its shoots across a piece of land, it puts down roots all along that path and the problem gets ten times worse. So even if the work seems impossible, every effort makes the situation less worse than it could be.
And so far, the efforts that we have made on the beds lower down the hill have paid off. New bind weed shoots are far between, and much easier to dig out when I spot them.
The strong metaphor here is of effort to maintain eden.
I was sent to dig up soil in the chicken run to fertilise a bed of garlic. The chickens feed off trimmings from the bed and waste food from local shops. They tread their food down into the ground which becomes rich fertiliser for the beds. As I dig the ground they pounce on my spade and boots eager for the worms that I am exposing. They are hilarious.
It is a far cry from the headlines: gas shortage leads to disruption in fertiliser supply. Rather than burning fossil fuels to create nutrients for the ground this is a local, closed-loop, zero-waste system.