Alta Vista neighborhood gets a new food forest

Permablitz to create a community orchard

SAN ANTONIO – Does the idea of a food forest where almost everything is edible sound good?

It is a concept that is coming to the Alta Vista neighborhood near downtown and hard-working volunteers are making the dream a reality this weekend.

The new community garden is at the corner of San Pedro and West Ashby.

They call their project a Permablitz, using the concept of permaculture gardening to create a sustainable, fruitful common space.

Volunteer Nadia Gaona was clearing thorny underbrush away to make room for new growth.

"There's a lot of really good folks all working together on this project today. It's amazing," Gaona said.

When the terraces here are complete, there will be more than a dozen fruit trees and there will always be plenty to eat.

“Hopefully we'll be getting asparagus, grapes, and blackberries into the system, wildflowers,” Project leader Kirby Fry said.

Fry said this is the fifth season for Permablitz projects and each one shares important similarities.

Fry said each garden focuses on at least six things: soil and water conservation, fruit trees, shade trees, perennial plants, cover crops and soil enrichment.

“It brings people together.  Food does.” Gaona said. “We all want to feed our families and we all want to learn how to do that in more sustainable ways so we can keep the earth going and keep growing our food for generations to come.”

 “I wish more people would do this and have more food growing instead of lawns!” said Barbara Lamar, who owns the property.

Organizers said after the garden is established, they will be teaching classes so others can grow the taste of success in their own space.

 “I’m just amazed at how much gets done!  People are just amazing when they work together,” Lamar said. “You can just get so much done in a short time.  It's transformed!”

 “A lot of people are going to see this and they're going to be blown away by what they see and they are going to want to find out more,” Fry said.

The permaculture blitz continues through 5:00 p.m. Sunday and they said everyone is welcome to join.

(© 2016 KENS)


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