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Abuelita's Garden Engr305 project 2020

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Engr305 Appropriate Technology page in progress
This page is a project in progress by students in Engr305 Appropriate Technology. Please do not make edits unless you are a member of the team working on this page, but feel free to make comments on the discussion page. Check back for the finished version on May 23, 2020.



We the "Decision Makers" from the ENGR 305 Spring 2020 class, want to utilize our constructive and sustainability skills as well as our connections with in the community to create an Edible Entrance Archway for the community of Eureke to appreciate.

Problem statement

The objective of this project is to create a community edible Archway to Abuelita's Garden, utilizing sustainable sourced materials, native plants and permaculture strategies to make a long lasting improvement that everyone can enjoy.

Interview(s) and Observations

Abuelitas Sign.jpg


We talked to Matt He says that there will be a fence built in 2 weeks time. He wants Kiwis and Hops


Garden Slants into a Wetland(Swamp) Birds

Observation 1: The location of this garden is near a wetland behind the freeway. I observed a couple of homeless people walking by and figure if this garden was growing edible foods, it could be utilized by people who are not always able to access healthy food.

Observation 2: One of the striking observations that I came across was the amount of wildlife that flourished around and within the garden. The nearby wetland provided habitat for a countless number of bird species that would swarm around the garden premises. Another observation and concern was the high deer population that threatened the efficiency of the garden last season. With a proposed fence to be built this should solve the issue of deer eating staple food crops this time around.

Literature Review

Hugelkulture Basics

A Hugelkultur is a raised bed, with multiple organic layers of different varieties that decompose over time. This is a great way to use spare tree trimmings lying about, for enriches the soil with biodiversity. These beds are get filled like a lasagna with composts, lawn trimmings, dead logs, manure and so on to make an excellent home for fruits and vegetables.[1] [2]

Vertical Garden

Vertical Gardening has many different components with the process, but the finished product can be super satisfying. We need to create pods for the different plants to make sure that they have room to grow. Irrigation, Light, and Air exposure is key for vertical gardening. Drip irrigation will probably be our best option.

Hydroponic Garden3.jpg

[3] [4]

Vertical Gardening deeply depends on light, water, air and nutrients. By focusing on natural soil additives that hold moisture. Rather than strain through the soil, you are giving the plants more resilient structures to work with. [5]

Native Plants

Garden .jpg

A variety of native plants that thrive in Northern California’s temperate rainforest climate can be implemented into Abuelita’s Garden. Some potential species include the Fuchsia-flowering gooseberry, Pink-flowering currant, Common Snowberry, and the Bluff California Lilac. These specific varieties provide habitat for local wildlife and have aesthetically pleasing blooms or berries during the winter months. While native perennials are not the focus of this project they still do provide positive impacts upon the overall environment especially when companion planted with conventional food crops.[6]

Being aware of the seasonal patterns that affect native plants and all crops in general is extremely vital to the success of any garden design. Planting during the winter season must be devised around the potential frosts that could threaten the survival of young saplings or transplants. The best season to plant native species is during the winter months as this provides exponential amounts of rainwater to help establish fresh transplants. Based on the information provided in this book our group will begin planting native species just in time for the newly established plants to receive a substantial amount of rainfall.[7]

With Abuelita’s Garden having a relatively close proximity to the coastline, being aware of potential flooding and threats of sea level rising in the near future would be very important. Specific native marsh or wetland species would be a beneficial addition to the garden in order to provide education for the public on the preservation of our endemic coastal plants that are currently under threat of extinction. [8]

Community Inquiries

Abuelitas serves Eureka's Homeless Community Garden, the garden is dedicated to providing homeless clients of Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA) fresh produce year-round, with oppurtunites to learn environmentally friendly growing practices. In the past Abuelitas has had free workshops on pruning fruit trees and how nourish soil. [9]

Community Gardens have adopted a political performance by a number of radical social movements. They are mentioned in writing from global justice and anti capitalist movements, for example cuba went through a Green Revolution after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Cuba was left without resources for food so they started building and creating community gardens so they were able to harvest their own food without relying on other resources. Community gardens are a way for communities to come together and create a sustainable and free way of eating healthy food. [10]

Community Gardens can be beneficial to the environment and to the well being and health of community members. The introduction of community gardens may be able to reduce the impact of food deserts in low income areas and allow residents an opportunity to access nutritious foods that they may otherwise not have access to. They can be a helpful addition to many communities by increasing the availability of healthy food, strengthening community ties, and creating a more sustainable system [11]

Abuelitas Valentinesday 2020.jpg

Designing interpretive materials

According to ______ interpretive materials for composting should include....


  1. Hayden, Nancy J., and Hayden, John P. Farming on the Wild Side: the Evolution of a Regenerative Organic Farm and Nursery. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019.
  2. https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur
  3. https://www.appropedia.org/Hydroponic_Vertical_Garden_at_Sembradores_Urbanos.
  4. Kozai, et al. Plant Factory: an Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production. Academic Press Is an Imprint of Elsevier, 2016.
  5. López-Rodríguez, Glenny, et al. “Behavior and Evolution of Sustainable Organic Substrates in a Vertical Garden.” Ecological Engineering, vol. 93, 2016, pp. 129–134.
  6. Rubin, Greg, and Lucy Warren. The California Native Landscape the Homeowners Design Guide to Restoring Its Beauty and Balance. Timber Press, 2013.
  7. Popper, Helen Ann. California Native Gardening: a Month-by-Month Guide. University of California Press, 2012.
  8. Garner KL, Chang MY, Fulda MT, Berlin JA, Freed RE, Soo-Hoo MM, Revell DL, Ikegami M, Flint LE, Flint AL, Kendall BE. 2015. Impacts of sea level rise and climate change on coastal plant species in the central California coast. PeerJ 3:e958 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.958
  9. People Powered Produce. (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2020, from http://www.northcoastgardens.org/
  10. Nettle, Claire. Community Gardening As Social Action. Ashgate, 2014.
  11. Lawson, Laura J. City Bountiful: A Century of Community Gardening in America. Berkeley: U of California, 2005. Web.