An Unveiling: The Seven Generations Garden

If you’ve been to the farm this year you’ve surely noticed the drastic transformation that has transpired.  Lots of clean-up has taken place, we have a beautiful working tractor, and gardening projects are popping up all over the place!

So many gardening projects, in fact, that we’ve given the area in which they’re being developed a name: The Seven Generations Garden. Seven generations is an ecological concept that urges the current generation of humans to live sustainably and work for the benefit of the seventh generation into the future. It originated with the Great Law of the Iroquois. The name also symbolizes our dreams of having this be a space of intergenerational learning and growing.

The Seven Generations Garden broke ground in April when EarthDance staff and volunteers constructed an Herb Spiral in the backyard.  Alongside which we planted a 3 Sisters Garden of corn, beans and squash.  As the season moved on, we moved to the field just south of the office by constructing a straw bale garden. The straw bale garden is perfect way to get growing if the only space you have available is paved over or you have contaminated soil.  Surrounding the bales on 3 sides we’ve got some no-till rows of tomatoes and peppers, a hugelkultur bed, and a sheet-mulched area which we’ll plant into this fall or next season.

Believe it or not, there’s still more: Along Dade Ave. we put in a bed of Missouri native plants.  These natives will provide food and habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators in the area.  Finally, my favorite project was the planting a guild which centers around a peach tree. As we put in more and more guilds, we hope to eventually have a forest garden.

While it may seem that these projects are all quite disjointed, they are all techniques inspired by a design method called Permaculture.  Permaculture is quickly gaining popularity.  So much so that our Permaculture 101 class last week had 44 attendees!

Most exciting, this is just the beginning of what’s to come in the Seven Generations Garden.  Keep an eye out for projects like a “Free Greens” bed for neighbors to harvest Turnip, Collard and Mustard greens, a children’s garden, handicap accessible beds, berry bushes, and fruit trees.

Come see all this first hand!  Free tours on Tuesdays at 3:30 and the second Saturday of the month at noon.
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