Building a Food Forest garden – cover crops

We’re designing a Food Forest garden, to be built later this spring.  We’ll be tearing out asphalt, cleansing and rejeuvenating the soil, and recrafting the space as a community gathering area with a cob bread oven and food forest.

Today I’ve been studying cover crops and compost crops for the “rejeuvenating the soil” part. 

A community bread oven

cob oven, from myrtle glen farm

Last Saturday we had the kickoff meeting for a new project:  building a community bread oven out of cob.

What’s cob?  For us in Southern California, the easiest comparison is to think about the adobe bricks used for the missions; cob is kinda like “freeform adobe.”  (there are differences, but that’s enough for this discussion).

The wonderful thing about cob is, in many locations it is free (you dig the clay material at your site).  And you can build it yourself with a community of people ( = fun).  And you can make gorgeous freeform shapes (here’s an eagle).

community building, from Masonry Heater Assoc of North Amer

Ours would be part of a forest-garden-style community gathering space, which Milkwood Permaculture describes as “a lush, shady place, dripping with fruit and springing with herbs, flowers and tubers.”  Ours would be an addition to our already existing community garden.