Indigenous Land Lab Update

This is an excerpt of an email to the Indigenous Land Lab mailing list.


  1. June 8th Willow Harvest Meetup went great!  With the help and enthusiasm of our Land Lab partner, Liz, we were able to harvest about 30 pounds of willow poles and reeds.
  2. We received donations of:
    • Weed whacker, from Naomi!  It worked great in knocking down those weeds at the Land Lab.
    • Beautiful Pots and Monstrously Large Sage Trimmings from Laura!  The pots are marking the outline of the site.  The sage has been trimmed and is now drying.
  3. The Acorn Granary Challenge begins on July 7th!!!  


Collecting as much materials for Acorn Granary construction as possible.

What do we need?

  1. Willow and Hardwood poles to create the legs and superstructure of the granary.
  2. Willow reeds to weave the sides of the granary.
  3. English Ivy, Honeysuckle Vines to use as cordage and help keep everything together.
  4. Large rosemary “spears”.  Like, “big ‘ol stems or branches”.  These are for pest control.
  5. Large bay tree boughs, very important for pest control.
  6. Eucalyptus boughs, experimental non-tradish pest control.

There are other, more serious plants, like stinging nettle, which I would like to take the time and make some cordage from.  Just like splitting the willow reeds to make strips for weaving the granaries.

Hard-to-find materials would be redwood bark–which would be nice to use on the outside of a granary.  And then Pine Sap–which simply won’t be readily available until later, and will require some travel into higher elevations to gather.

 If you would like to help gather more natural materials for Acorn Granary Construction, please sign up for the Indigenous Land Lab Email List, to help plan what dates and times work best to plan a meet-up to harvest materials.

Next Steps for the Land Lab:

These are the next steps we are anticipating.

  1. Meet up to harvest materials for acorn granary construction.
  2. Weed and Hemlock Management.
  3. Cover with silage tarp for 1 month.
  4. Plan 3 Sisters x Victory Garden (create Garden Design)
  5. Harvest local plant seeds from around Indigenous Land Lab and Greater Bay Area
  6. Source heirloom and native seeds.
  7. Till soil.  Make rows according to Garden Design
  8. Build mini-greenhouse and tray/propagation tables
  9. Fence important stuff
  10. Begin planting cover crops or actual crops or both.
  11. Install Acorn Granary
  12. Begin propagation

You are invited to participate in any or all aspects of planning and working.  We’re assuming tilling should happen sometime in August.

Tool & Equipment Drive

We’ve received a lot of interest, support, and some very generous donations of equipment, supplies, and money!  (All donations are tax deductible!)

What do we need?

We’re still looking for the basics:

  1. Shovels
  2. Metal Rakes
  3. Pickaxe
  4. Hoes & Scrapers
  5. Saws
  6. Post driver

Specific things we need:

  1. Silage tarp (for area 30′ x 30′)
  2. 8 fence posts
  3. Chicken-wire (120′ x 4′)
  4. 3-5 Cubic Yards of Compost
*Once the size and design of the restoration nursery is finalized, we will be adding construction materials to our list of specifics.

We managed to find a roto-tiller we can use when we’re ready!

Some of these things we know we can borrow, like a post driver.  But other stuff–like shovels and rakes–we need to keep on hand.

Luckily, we don’t need a large amount of anything other than Silage Tarp, Chicken-Wire, and Compost.

Best ways to support?

Join us in harvesting Willow, Bay Leaf, and Nettle for granary construction. 

Donate tools:  If you have some tools, supplies, or equipment on this list, we can pick it up.  If you have a truckload of compost, we can meet you at the land lab for a drop off.

Purchase directly from our wishlist.  Indigenous Land Lab Wishlist is available here.

Donate to the Alameda Native History Project.  Tax deductible donations can be made to the Alameda Native History Project here.

Alameda Native History Project is fiscally sponsored by The Hack Foundation (d.b.a. Hack Club), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (EIN: 81-2908499).  Any monetary donation, or donation in-kind is tax deductible, and you will receive a donation receipt whether you want it or not.  LOL.  I mean, if you say no, then we won’t, but who doesn’t like a small write-off?

What Next?

  • Check your garden for the plants we need.  Check your neighbors’ too!
  • Come out and harvest materials for granary construction!  (Plan on about 2-3 hours. Sometime next week.)
    We’ve got lots of water and snacks.  Please bring a bag lunch.
  • The next meeting should happen in early July.  Think about when you’re generally available for a 30-60 minute Online Meeting.
    Our meetings are fast, agendized, and focused on business and planning.  Feel free to ask questions or submit a topic for the next meeting and I’ll do my best to make sure it’s covered/included.

Anyway, it’s Pride Week, so things are totally hectic as I volunteer for the Gay American Indians.  Check out the attached fliers for GAI events.  Consider marching with Gay American Indians at Pride!

Be well; and talk to you soon!

Yours truly,
Gabriel Duncan

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