Its been an amazing journey in July with high temps, electrifying thunderstorms, sunshine tanning our skin and growing our plants up tall. The farm feels amazing – like you have stepped out of the City of Pgh and into a grotto of earthly delights – big flapping butterflies, crickets chirping, bees buzzing, flowers in blooms, grass soft under your feet, apples growing, berries sweetening! Oh we are certainly relishing in the summer months knowing here that soon enough we will cycle back through to our winter cold!
We are having an entire weekend of volunteer opportunity at Healcrest. Join us on Saturday or Sunday (July 30-31st) from 9am-12noon for general garden work. We are re-seeding some raised beds and the greenhouse, harvesting medicinal herbs and general garden bed maintenance. Its an easy three hours and we finish in time for trips to pool or finding cool rest in a shady spot.
Here is the RSVP form….please complete if you think there is a STRONG POSSIBILITY you will be coming this weekend!
For those interested permaculture, biodynamic farming and general eco-spaces, Healcrest is beginning to define itself as a Food Forest and a permaculture site. We have always been apt to allow nature to work its magic- keeping tree lines growing, incorporating wild, northeast herbs into food beds and pairing fruit & nut trees with the general landscape. We are not your traditional raised beds, straight rows, bare spaces – we are an ecosystem in the city, a place of green life. That said, we invite nature enthusiasts to visit us and share in the development of our natural resources.
Here is a link to the Permaculture Institute. They give a great description of Permaculture Food Forests and you can get a better sense of what we work towards here everyday at Healcrest.
In fact, here is a list they generated for plants in the permaculture food forest garden. I starred off what we have here at Healcrest:
Daylilies ** Lemon Balm Melissa **
Alfalfa Egyptian onion ** (we have a heirloom German variety)
Walking onion ** Chives **
Strawberry ** Raspberry **
Red Clover ** Stinging nettle **
Clary Sage Garden Sage **
Purple Sage ** Rhubarb **
Hairy Vetch ** Ox eye Daisy (Black-eyed Susans & Garden white daisies) **
Oregano ** Siberian Pea Shrub
False Indigo Bush Lovage **
Mullein ** Valerian
Echinacea ** Lavender **
Yarrow ** Anise (Chocolate, Mountain & Spear) Mint
Cherry (shrub and tree) Pears, Plums, and Peach trees **
Apple ** Apricot
Mulberry, black ** Hops, kiwi vines
Grapes (wild and cultivated) **
Black Walnut ** Blackberry brambles
As you can see, we are well on our way to permaculture, biodynamic, conservation space. Healcrest must continue to grow and develop as the City of PIttsburgh grows and develops. As houses go up around us, and young people fight the economic slump and stay in this great city- preserving an active, natural and healing green space will be asset to not only property values, but to the health & wellness of community. This is our mission. We are working to be a part of economic & community growth – not an opposition to it. Read on fans & followers, support and grow with us!
Of course, fans, some pics….for inspiration….we hope we see you tomorrow or Sunday!
The berry/herb garden...lavender, rasberries, blackberries, sage, Greek oregano...
Volunteer at work w/ greenhouse in the distance