When we moved into our house I hated the driveway right away. It is on a busy road with the only way to get out through backing out. People constantly park too close to the driveway as there is a baseball field across from us leaving little visibility for us to leave. Next to the narrow driveway we had a large bland grassy area that had a cement wall. I thought what if we got rid of the grass and make a turn around. When I talked with people who were landscapers about my idea of tearing the wall they told me it would cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to get a team to transport the soil somewhere else and the landscaping. So it became a dream for many years. Never knowing if it could work.
Spring of 2012 I ran into an old family friend, Jonathan Francoeur who is a farmer, landscaper, wild food expert, awesome guy. We met again at an wild food talk on how to eat acorns from our local trees. The presenter explained how after drying and then grinding the nuts you need to soak them for a few days to get rid of the tannins, and change the water until it eventually has a clearness to it. The presenter then made a simple, very plain, bread with the acorn flour. I asked the presenter if he thought about adding flavour to the bread like spices and he said he had never tried. So the last time I saw Jonathan he was in his teens. After the talk a tall guy with a big beard and large sweater, who looked like a guy who lived in the wild forest asks me if I was my dad’s daughter and I said yes. He than gave me a hug and as we were hugging I realized who he was. The last time I had saw him was 15 year ago.
I told him my idea about my front yard and he loved it. He was also totally into trading. We worked out the details of my plans together. He said we didn’t have to move the soil but just transfer it into the beds we were going to build. He also helped find the rocks and driftwood that we used. I traded him a certain amount of shiatsu sessions and he worked on my front yard for me. Actually the two of us worked on it together with occasional help from other friends.
Here is a video of Chris and I breaking down the wall for the first time. We had dug out the turn around partly. Jonathan is singing. After watching it 2 years later it makes me laugh just as much as the day we took the wall down.