Below the semi-wildland planting , one small terrace was created on the upper portion of the fairly steep slope, to plant an apple orchard row (Riverbank Area). This upper small terrace was used for an interplanted row of apple (Malus x domestica and Malus sieversii), plum (Prunus domestica), pear (Pyrus communis ssp. communis) trees, grape (rootstock Vitis girdiana/topstock, Vitis vinifera"Cabernet Sauvignon"), and olallieberry (Rubus hybrid), utilizing principles from permaculture, agroforestry, intercropping, and agroecology, to start. Research has shown that a minimum of 5 species constitute a plant community. For example, plants grown separately, each in their own one gallon pot, will use more water and nutrients than they would all growing together in a 5 gallon pot, because they share nutrients and water. This is a wonderful example of cooperation, not competition.
Between the orchard rows, is the cover crop/meadow area (This is actually a wildland area that is being tweaked, to benefit the agricultural component of the whole garden, and so kept in mostly indigenous annuals, to increase pollinators, and nutrients for the orchard area), which is now, a weedy field consisting of mostly filaree, (Erodium botrys almost exclusively, with occasional Erodium cicutarium), some weedy brome, (Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens), Yellow star thistle Centaurea solstitialis, and trace amounts of wildflowers. Diversity will be increased by weeding out the alien species, reintroducing indigenous annuals, and allowing the companion, annual wildflowers to spread, such as species of Lotus, Trifolium, needlegrass (Nassella spp.)(perennial), Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia spp.), Lupinus, tarweed (Hemizonia spp.), Lagophylla, goldenaster (Heterotheca, spp.) California carrot (Daucus pusillus), California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Chia (Salvia columbariae) etc., using mostly principles from agroecology .
Also, throughout the slope, dotted here and there, is another useful legume, deerweed (Lotus scoparius), a short-lived subshrub, which will be left to grow, and pruned periodically to add more nitrogen to the soil.
The purpose here is to keep this area in mostly annual cover crop, so weeds must be pulled mostly in the winter and spring, recruitment plants such as chaparral/oak woodland/coastal sage scrub shrubs and trees should be pulled. The area will not be tilled. No soil tilling will be done, for a while, to observe how the annual and perennial herbaceous plant composition changes over time, only hand-weeding and/or some high mowing.
The second lower apple orchard row (Riverbank/Bridge Area) was interplanted with apple, pear, alder, hops, and olallieberry, with occasional plum, (again, the native companions of the apple in its wild/semi-wild state) and located just above the vegetable garden. The purpose of the orchard areas are for food, and nesting sites for birds,
One large terrace, created 2/3 of the way down the slope, will be used for the main vegetable garden. The ideal would be to have the vegetable garden at the lowest point, but the area is used as a driveway, so the driveway will be the lowest point. Here plant choices were made utilizing concepts from ecology, intercropping, and agroecology.
Lower Alluvial Area of the vegetable garden- A swale will be created through the center of the vegetable garden, and this lower area will be delineated as the lower alluvial area, to grow kale crops (Brassicaceae family of plants), and carrots, parsley, etc.