Shekinah Garden Corporation is a domestic public charity that is looking to make a difference in the communities we work in. Our goal is to set up a pilot project for proving permaculture techniques in the Pacific Northwest. It is our intent to take the lessons learned from this pilot project and use them in various locations, starting with our nearest neighbor to the east, Idaho and continuing first around the country and then around the world.
Our initial pilot project is outside the small rural community of Vernonia, Oregon. We have purchased 5 acres of land at the top of a nearby ridge, to begin with. The land comprises 4.2 acres that is a former hay field and .8 acres of mature Douglas Fir. Since the strip of land with the trees on it is in the east and is the lowest part of the property, we are only removing a few trees in the land strip that we now call “The Park”. This is being done to let in more light to the floor of the park which then allows us to plant a variety of deciduous flowering trees.
In the southwest corner of the property of 4 tremendous trees. The tallest of which is approx. 135 ft tall. These trees, along with 22 other Douglas Firs, One Cedar (about 90 years old) and one maple (about 20 years old) will remain. These will be held in conservatorship to be used only in the case of true emergencies, or if they become a hazard (some of them are perilously close to the road).
OF the 4.2 acres that were once hay field we have already prepped 3 acres for their ultimate purpose.
1 acre will be devoted to pasture, for the goats we intend to raise. This pasture will be a blend of grasses and grains that are best suited for goats.
1 acre will be devoted to a shop and an orchard. The shop has already been purchased, we just need to get the foundation put in and then erect it. The orchard will be a variety of stone fruit and will be grown using the espalier method. A simple way to explain espalier would be that we will train the trees to grow along a wire cable fence. This way, instead of having this 30 or 40-foot tall tree where much of the fruit is difficult to harvest, all the fruit is within arms reach. All of these trees will be the dwarf variety (using dwarf rootstock).
1 acre will be devoted to cane fruit, blueberries, apples, plums, pears, pluots, cherries and grapes, strawberries as well as housing our hugelkultur in which will we grow all our vegetables and roots, and our two walipini in which we will start plants and keep some plants year round (we will also be growing olives, lemons, oranges, bananas, avocado, and other warm weather trees. The walipini will allow us to control the environment very effectively. This gives us the opportunity to plant and grow things that otherwise simply wouldn’t be possible.