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Collecting cardboard for Elderberry Wisdom Farm green fence construction

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We are asking for our volunteers to help us this next week to collect cardboard for our new living green fence at Elderberry Wisdom Farm. made a lot of progress at the farm the past two years, mostly thanks to our amazing group of volunteers. Just this past month, we potted over 800 Native plants in our temporary greenhouse. They will be gradually planted on the property here in the next 6 months.

We are now getting ready to create our living green fence along the property line by the road where many of the potted plants will be planted later this year. (description below)


Help is needed this next week through Wednesday, April 14:

We need our friends to help us by calling around and finding recycled cardboard for us this next week. If any of you can help us to collect cardboard between now and the 15th, it would be so welcomed. Just email or call me and keep me updated on progress. You can either bring it to the farm or you can also email me with details and our team can pick it up by Thursday, April 15.

Thursday, April 15 (from 10 am to noon and then 1 pm to 3 pm): Our volunteers will lay the cardboard down on the property line by the road. This is approximately 250 feet x 6 feet so a lot of cardboard is needed in preparation for wood chips being added the next two days. More info on this "lasagna method" of habitat restoration is below.

Friday, April 16: a friend of board member Alana Johnson is coming in with his tractor to scoop up the piles of wood chips we have been able to accumulate this past two months since the ice storm. He will pile piles on top of the cardboard along the fence line. We won't request volunteers that day since the heavy equipment will be moving around on the property.

Saturday, April 17from 10 am to noon and 1 pm to 3 pm: We are asking volunteers to help us rake the wood chips and create a level surface on top of the cardboard.

Background on our Living Green Fence: A living green fence, instead of being constructed of barbed wire, metal or wood, is constructed by planting and growing living bushes, shrubs and trees, and ground cover. In our case, these will all be Native plant species, including pollinators, first foods and medicinal species. Many of these plants are the starts you helped us to pot this past month.

  • The roots of a living fence protect the soil and reduce erosion.
  • The foliage of a provides shade and creates a windbreak for our new greenhouse being constructed this summer.
  • The branches will offer wildlife habitat to bees, birds, squirrels and chipmunks and other small mammals and other welcome critters, including the family of Black Tailed Deer that walk through the property daily.
  • Living fences also act as a sound barrier since we are so close to I-5 to the east of us, and Delaney Road SE which runs along the south side of our property.

Background on the "Lasagna" method of building the garden: We will add layers of organic materials, in our case, mostly recycled cardboard and wood chips, that will "cook down" over time, resulting in nutrient-rich soil that will help the Native trees, shrubs and plants in our living green fence thrive. Also known as sheet composting, lasagna gardening is beneficial for the environment because you're turning yard waste you'd add to a normal compost pile into organic fertilizer to grow the new plants.

If you can help us this month, or if you have Q's, just let us know. We have 3 rakes here, but if you have a rake that you can bring, that will help us since we still have limited supplies of farm tools and equipment.

Special thanks to our new Volunteer Committee which includes two Elderberry Wisdom Farm board members, Sadie Watson and Alanna Johnson and our new staff member, Kali Harrison. They will join me in planning all the activities at the farm this year and sharing the details on social media.

Thanks, Rose

Rose High Bear (Deg Hit'an Dine, Inupiaq) Founder

Elderberry Wisdom Farm

2281 Delaney Road SE


2 More opportunities with WISDOM OF THE ELDERBERRY FARM




Mission Statement

Mission Statement: Wisdom of the Elderberry Farm is a Native American nonprofit which provides educational opportunities for diverse community members. Special emphasis is provided to Native Americans to receive experiential horticultural and agricultural workforce training, strengthen health and wellness, and increase workforce readiness so they can achieve prosperity and well-being for their families. We develop collaborative partnerships in order to sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities with volunteers that promote organizational objectives.


Wisdom of the Elderberry Farm is located south of Salem near Sunnyside. We provide opportunities for community members to participate in activities with Native Americans engaged in horticultural and agricultural initiatives that integrate Native American principles, including Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) practices.

Specific objectives and purpose of this organization are:

To provide instruction and service learning activities in horticulture and agriculture workforce training

To provide pre-apprenticeship training in environmental assessment and habitat restoration

To provide opportunities for participants to engage in micro-enterprise internship training, including business plan development

To provide workforce readiness skill development, including training that strengthens health and wellness resiliency

To provide facilities, equipment and a team of educators so participants can engage in career pathway planning into related fields

To sponsor, host and/or participate in public and volunteer events and activities that promote organizational objectives

You can reach Wisdom of the Elderberry Farm at 2281 Delaney Road SE, Salem, OR 97306. Our phone number is 971 803-2348.

Race & Ethnicity


We'll work with your schedule.


2281 Delaney Rd SESalem, OR 97306



  • Habitat Restoration
  • Environmental Education
  • Farming
  • Botany
  • Gardening
  • Horticulture




  • 2 hour commitment before April 15 to find recycled cardboard for us
  • You can deliver the cardboard to our farm or give us the address of the location and we will pick it up.

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