Monday, 8 February 2010


We've got a base map for the land!
The three you can see here are- 1. The Blank Base Map, 2. Marcus Doodles on Base Map, 3. Vick Doodles on Base Map. We drew and then compared and there are good elements to both doodle maps so I'll just take you through the basic layout and then the good bits of both and offer up any contentious bits for debate :)

Basic Map
Hopefully, it's self explanatory but just to say that the contour lines are not completely accurate representations of what's there. the land is flat-ish towards the eastern corner and along most of the top and the begins to slope downward towards the west about a third of the way across. The boggy bit covers most of this corner and we think it might be cause by the blocking off of the natural path of the ditch to make the gateway but it could equally be something to do with the clay in the soil or compaction... just not sure yet and it's a little way down the priority list to find out at the moment.

Marcus Doodle
This is the best map for positioning of stuff. We have storage, compost, cold frames etc. along the NE fence because this helps to block the land from the horses in the other half of the field without affecting the light at all. In the N corner, the round thing is a bender poly-dome which is an awesome idea. The beds in this map follow the contours which is key but they will be positioned a little closer to where they are on the Vick map to take advantage of the light, the flat ground and to allow us to develop that central bit of the land in a different way.
Marcus would like to generate some sort of protection from the agriculture in the next field along the SE fence but I'm not sure how this would affect our light. We need some good ideas for this. I'm going to ask the landowner about what that field is used for when I next see her.

Vick Doodle
The most interesting thing about this map is that it begins to introduce some specifics in the way of veg types and systems. In the beds we have some companion planting, a conventional-ish bed and a nine plant polyculture which we'll be taking lots of photos and blogging hard about :) By the fence we have another stacking system. In this rough drawing alone we have 22 different vegetables or fruits and that is before we count different varieties and doesn't include the herbs and wild salads.
Some key additions on this map are- pond to make use of the wet bit and to keep frogs for pest control, sunflowers to generate some yummy seeds, strawberry towers and paying some attention to the fruit bushes by the gate to give us some fruit as well as veggie production.

We're actually blending ideas together pretty well. Feedback is most welcome on all of this. The basics are her but we haven't even really thought about the long term specifics yet- edible perennials, trees etc.

Our main fun debate at the moment is the positioning of the yurt which in Marcus's picture is in the E corner for warmth and flat ground and in mine is in the S on a platform to leave out light and space for growing up top and to utilise otherwise quite boggy ground. This is funny because we have no permission to site the yurt anywhere on the land at the moment except when we mentioned it tentatively as a potting shed. Good to dream though :) Yurt with a compost heated shower... ah....

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