The Americorps NCCC Team assigned to Jug Handle beginning in January 2015 have been working steadily at the Farm to accomplish major site enhancements and beautification. Working with Jug Handle naturalists Adrienne Long and Fern Tahja; the 8 member team has been diligently carrying out a long task list developed by SIte Enhancement Project Director, Helene Chalfin.
Americorps has completed two of the three back meadows at the Farm in removing young gorse seedlings. The end of this week, they began work on the third meadow, near the viewing platform on the campground loop trail.
Two full packages of black trash bags have been filled with the gorse uprooted so far by the Americorps team.
The team has also completed all the weeding around the front and back of top of hill building; north side of Eucalyptus Cabin, north side of Top of Hill Building; Areas surrounding the Greenhouse garden fence and the Alder Cabin.
The team has installed native plants around the Eucalyptus cabin; including Fairy bells, columbines and wild strawberry; mugwort to the west of the Grand Fir Cabin and Coltsfoot in shady areas near the Orchard cabin and east Greenhouse fence.
More chips were hauled over to cover the weeded areas to create a thick mulch for the installed native plants.
They have also completed the weeding of the wild ginger bed east of the picket fence behind the Farmhouse and installed more fairy bells and columbines on both sides of the fence. A team member repaired the picket fence close to the laundry room where it had broken down.
Among other jobs in the overall site beautification project, the team removed debris, old wood and garbage from the east side of the Top of Hill Building; from behind the Greenhouse; cleaned up fallen branches in preparation for mowing near alder cabin; and began weed eating around the periphery of nursery area and garden fence as well as inside the food garden area after pulling many weeds by hand. The scrap lumber pile was reorganized and unsalvageable wood taken to the burn pile.
We have completed clean-up and reorganization of nursery area and periphery; still a little to do; and the food garden area is in process of a major overhaul; plus more weeding.
The team spent 3 days with Jug Ha ndle Gardens coordinator Ariane Fuller working on terrace gardens; Creamery garden and Farmhouse back yard garden. The 3rd day, 2 of the team members helped to replant in other areas several plants dug up from the terrace gardens the day before, so that the plants would survive.
The team also repotted several trees at the nursery; helped divide and cut back a few species of plants; sterilized many pots and prepared needed dirt mixes. The team also helped to extract seed of Bishop Pine and Pygmy Cypress from the cones; and extracted seed was planted and set up in outdoor cages for next year’s crop of trees.
Among the other jobs completed by Americorps was the complete weeding and mulching of the entire western hillside to the Farmhouse. Plants that needed to be moved were dug up and replanted further down the hill. More plastic and cardboard was laid down after weeding and covered by chips–hard job pushing wagons and carts uphill from the chip pile.
Still to do is broom removal on the north field and highway fence and Jug Handle’s property of the trail to the beach, as well as continued gorse removal near campground and adjacent meadows. Another job coming up in the team’s last two weeks is creating cuttings from plants such as pink flowering currant salmonberry and wax myrtle to set up for future nursery stock.
Also still to do is a check of trail work on two trails completed last year for accessibility. Dead branches behind the Grand Fir cabin will also be cleaned up and taken to the burn pile.
Our Coastal trail Day with Americorps is scheduled for March 17th, when the team will install Deschampsia and Douglas Iris which is part of a new plant order for the City of Fort Bragg. March 17th is the last day we will have the team.
If there is enough time; we will also take a day to do a restoration project at Point Arena/National Monument–still to be determined.