| 07 February 2011
A fresh vision for Corbett Slope
Permaculture is a holistic, systems thinking approach to ecological design. The philosophy and embedded principles can be applied to support someone as they design as backyard garden, to the layout of the kitchen, or bedroom to larger-scale city.scapes. In permaculture we strive to harmoniously re.create balance, aligning design with the elements; restoring health to the waters, enhancing fertility to the soil, while growing food to nourish human and non-human communities.
A team of budding permaculture designers enrolled in the Urban Permaculture Design Course this winter season connected with the Urban Permaculture Institute of San Francisco [http://www.upisf.com/] has chosen Corbett Slope in the Upper Castro neighborhood as the site for our design project. Working in conjunction with Kitchen Garden SF and the Corbett Heights Neighborhood Association, we intend to create a design to transform this wild green space into a place that can be enjoyed for recreation, education, inspiration, growing food, building resilience and as a community gathering space.
As a member of the design team, I’ve had the pleasure to spend some time on the Slope in the past couple of weeks; meeting with Gary of Corbett Heights Neighborhood Association and Karla of Kitchen Garden SF as well as the members the design team. This week, I walked and observed the existing elements of the slope on a sunny, clear Tuesday afternoon.
I began creating a simple base.map, identifying areas of interest, noting the native wildflowers, trees and fruit trees growing on the slope. Peach and avocado, cedar and jade, wild cucumber, lavender and nasturium, citrus and a coast iris are a few of the species that I was able to identify.
At this point in our design, we are visioning…some of my dreams for the design include: carving out swales and burms to catch rainwater, irrigate plants and steep fresh water into the vast ground reserves. I envision lots of food growing in round, curved mounds facing south, I see gathering spaces in the shade of the old trees, places to picnic and to learn in community, I imagine pathways winding their way on contour through the space, so folks of all ages can walk through the landscape, enjoy the views and connect with the earth while witnessing the changes in edible, herbal and ornamental plants growing in abundance throughout the slope.