ECAC's forest garden explores the opportunities urban spaces can offer to provide food, natural habitat, beauty, and learning for the community.
What is forest gardening?
Forest Garden Status
ECAC's forest garden is at 733 Euclid Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20011 on two main sections of land -- the yard east of the property, and the raised beds between the sidewalk and front retaining wall at street level. These spaces showcase urban opportunities and challenges for forest gardens -- tight spaces, pedestrian traffic, shade and sunlight, hot microclimates, level ground and steep slopes, poor existing soil quality, and others.
In August 2011, a team of Ecolocity volunteers sheet-mulched the planting areas with cardboard, straw, horse manure, stable bedding, and a few soil amendments to create a layer of rich topsoil. Groups of Ecolocity members planned the forest garden design in August and Sept. 2011, and the formal design plan was approved on Sept. 20. A workshop was held on Oct. 22 to install the plants in the forest garden, where participants learned about forest gardens and gained direct experience establishing one. Participants planted the sidewalk beds of the garden and a row of currants on the upper level. Two Nanking Cherry trees (one red and one white) and a pair of pawpaw trees were planted subsequently. Due to limited plant availability in the fall, the final planting date has been rescheduled for spring 2012.
The final design for the forest garden will be posted online, with photos and descriptions of plants chosen and their roles in the forest garden. At the forest garden, signs will be posted identifying the names of plants, so visitors can learn about types of plants they can consider including in their own landscapes or forest gardens.
Funding for the ECAC forest garden comes from a Washington Parks & People Community Harvest grant, which covers the cost of plants, soil amendments, and other supplies needed to establish and document the forest garden. Households and businesses in D.C. and Maryland are also encouraged to sign up for Clean Currents wind power and designate Ecolocity as their referral source so we'll receive a donation of at least $25 from Clean Currents. These donations will directly support our forest garden projects.
For more information or to get involved, contact Steve Seuser.