Another Lawn Reclaimed – for Pears Blueberries Mushrooms and more…

Father’s Day found the Food Action Group busy at their 2nd Permablitz – this time at the Hamburg residence in Glenside.

Prior to the blitz, the team had met with the family and developed a plan for the pear guildand another for the blueberry guild.

We learned that a guild is a group of species that share resources or create relationships of mutual support.  In creating a fruit guild, we wish for high, diverse yields while minimizing competition for resources and maximizing ecological health and self-maintenance within the system.

Other team members coordinated trips with a borrowed pickup truck to get horse manure and compost onsite, placing both right on the pristine front lawn!  A new raised bed was constructed atop the front lawn for the blueberry guild, pachysandra was uprooted from under a weeping cherry tree to make room for mushrooms.

A visit to the Tran residence across the street thrilled us to see lemons, yes citrus, growing in pots. There were many Asian greens we’d never heard off, with cherry & persimmon trees and even a koi pond.




While planting the Asian Pear guild, we learned the need for appropriate plant selection for the guild.  Ground covers help control weeds and erosion; nitrogen fixers and dynamic accumulators help maintain fertility & build the soil; season-long flowing provides food for beneficial insects and pollinators; and finally, that we include shelter and food for beneficial insects and wildlife.

Jordan turned 11 and we all stopped for water ice & pretzels.  Aunt Esther had a 92nd birthday party planned for the evening. And Noah pulled out some chilled hard cider.

Planted the Blueberry guild in the raised bed, along with Green and Gold, wild blue indego, yellow wild Indego, alpine strawberries, sorrel and gooseberry.







Mushrooms of the Winecap variety were planted in the shade of the weeping cherry in the front yard, and also underneath the steps to the back deck. Cardboard, woodchips, spawn and hay were layered, carefully watering each layer before covering, using approximately 1/3 cup of spawn per sf.

Discussions already underway for our 3rd Permablitz.

All in all, a successful second Permablitz was had on Father’s Day at the Hamburg residence.

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2 Responses to Another Lawn Reclaimed – for Pears Blueberries Mushrooms and more…

  1. David trout says:

    What design software did you use to plan these guilds? I have looked and haven’t been able to find a program to use which would allow me to plan guilds using graphics, measurements, colors, etc to lay out plants based on canopy size, etc. thanks.

    David Trout

    • micvel says:

      I use Google Sketchup (free version) for the work. I have used a very simple way to do the guilds in a
      two dimension graphic. Once you have an inventory of components; it becomes quite easy. The colors
      in the design are colored by I have a layer for each plant. You could also create your
      layers according to height, color, type (shrub, vine, herb, etc)…
      It is a bit of a learning curve if you aren’t used to these types of programs but I’m happy
      that I can throw these simple graphics together without rulers and templates. It is also nice to be
      able to export the files to .jpg to send to clients electronically. Good luck!

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