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Sheet mulching is an easy and affordable landscaping technique that is used to transform underutilized spaces into highly productive and attractive landscapes. Sheet mulching improves soil health by layering soil amendments, finished compost, cardboard, and mulch onto an existing base. At least six inches of organic matter will be added onto the existing grass lawn at the rear of the sanctuary. This will take place during the fall of 2015 and the sheet mulching process allows for this new soil to "rest" for about 6 months before planting. The results will be improved soil health, suppressed weed growth, and an abundance of healthy, fresh and nutrient dense foods. A majority of the plants will be perennials that are selected for their low-maintenance, easy-propagation and high-food production characteristics. The step-by-step process is as follows:
Designing - During the winter, the West Parish Permaculture Steering Committee will design the garden with help from other church members and the local community. The team will place orders for seeds and plants in the early spring and organize events for the initial spring planting day.
Planting - In the spring we will plant fruit trees, berry bushes, perennial and annual vegetables, flowers and other species to create a healthy, resilient and sustainable ecosystem. The garden will be visually appealing as well as productive. We will involve many outside organizations during the planting phase.
During the summer and fall we’ll be maintaining the garden, hosting tours, giving educational workshops, and using the garden as a teaching and connecting space. Kids as well as adults will be invited to partake in various activities that we’ll host in the garden.