By John P. Waddington
An unused, forgotten area of the Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn school field has been made in to a food orchard with the help of volunteers who put into reality the concept and design of a permaculture garden.
The original idea came when Anne Sophie Tronet, the French and Food Tech teacher at the school, and John Patrick Waddington, a permaculturist accredited by the Sector39 permaculture program, got in touch via the Greener Tywyn Facebook page after the screening of the film ‘Demain‘ at the Magic Lantern Cinema.
The plan was to create a self managing, food forest system that would provide food for everyone in the school to enjoy, and a space to have outside lessons when the weather allows it.
The first stage was completed on 26th March with the planting of 10 fruit trees and fruit bushes with garlic, onions and strawberries.
The second stage, planned for May 5th, will be the planting of herbs, edible flowers, and other food that works together with the trees to create a guild of mutually beneficial, edible plants.
If you would like to help out, please check out the official Facebook event and let us know that you’re coming!
Plan for Food Orchard Garden – Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn 2018
“To design a low maintenance, high yield orchard garden that will supply fresh food and inspiration for the pupils and staff to enjoy.”
- 2 varieties of each fruit tree with supporting ‘guild’.
- The trees can be planted without much effort apart from fertiliser/compost.
- The support system species (guild) have been chosen for the following specific properties:
- Leeks, onions, garlic (and/or chives) act as grass suppressors without competing with the trees for nutrients and will provide a useful, edible yield.
- Fennel, rosemary, oregano/majoram, and coriander act as pollinator ‘attractors’ at the same time as providing beneficial edible herbs.
- Nasturtiums, an edible flower, will act to repel pest insect species.
- Artichokes and rhubarb will provide mulching which will suppress weeds and grass at the same time as providing an edible crop.
- Dandelion and comfrey are deep root accumulators that will supply valuable nutrients, that would otherwise be beyond the reach of the other root systems, to the surface and act as pollinator attractors.
- Strawberries, wild strawberries, clover and mint will provide fruit, attract pollinators and suppress grass and ivy growth.
- Fruit bushes and trees will provide fresh, healthy food and habitat for wildlife and a harmonic space for inspiration.
- 3 seating areas with table and possible rain/sun canopy to enhance the space to encourage interaction and participation from students and staff and also to act as a possible outside classroom.
- Paths made from locally sourced chipped bio-mass.
- A living fence of willow with sage bushes can also be included on the north east edge to act as a wind barrier.
Phase 2 will be the design of the raised beds as a possible herb garden.
John Waddington, February 2018