Lettuce

Taking Root at Whisper Valley

Lettuce Networks has come together with Whisper Valley, a new sustainably designed community being built 20 minutes from downtown Austin. (Right south of Manor) The vision is to build an energy neutral, eco-smart housing model. Lettuce has been charged with the task of putting down roots for a local and sustainable food production within and around the community. We have a few initiatives we are thrilled to share! 

(Sub)Urban Orchards:

Here, Lettuce Farmer Kat and the team are planting our first 100 fruit trees. The trees are a mixture of peaches, plums, pomegranates, figs and a few other experimental species. We have mixed in rich organic compost with the local soil to establish a strong foundation for these trees to take root as well as a highly efficient drip irrigation system that will ensure these plants get adequate hydration without depleting the community's water allocation. Within the next 2-3 years we will start to see their first harvest. We can't wait to see when the first neighborhood kids jump off the playground to grab a fresh, neighborhood grown peach.

 

Soil Revitalization

Whisper Valley sits upon blackland prairie, some of the richest soil in Central Texas. (See how dark and rich the soil is below?) We want to help the future citizens of Whisper Valley utilize this incredible resource in a respectful and sustainable way. 

As you can see below, some of the construction going on has moved this soil around. When we see bare soil, we see opportunity. We've begun several amendment and planting tests to see how best to activate the soil and help give future resident's the richest, most biologically activated soil possible. Adding organic matter, grass and plants' root systems, decent hydration and the occasional compost tea will be taking this soil from dormant to alive in a matter of months, over the years to come it will continue to improve as plants roots dive deeper, earth worm population grow, and we continue to apply good fertilization and mulching techniques. 

Community Gardens

Hal and Yogesh are at it again installing one of our famous garden labyrinths. Beautifully (and cleverly) designed, these garden labyrinths become a joyful maze of vegetables, flowers and perennials providing its visitors with a peaceful place to explore and even plant if they want to get their hands dirty. (Bit of advice: always get your hands dirty)

Before plants:

After plants: 

 

All in all, it's been an eventful July! We will be carefully attending to these new trees and gardens, watching how the soil and plants respond and using these lessons to develop plans for other acreage at Whisper Valley. If you know anyone looking for a new home and community to break ground at, connect us! We'd love to show people the exciting work happening at Whisper Valley and invite y'all to come help grow this exciting sustainable village in the making!