Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Trees.

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed… Read more »

Design and Build a Low Maintenance Perennial Fruit and Herb Front Garden (UK)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Urban Projects.

Perennial Fruit and Herb Garden Not many people use their front garden. Front gardens are often laid to turf. Except for mowing the grass, or using the front door, the front garden goes largely ignored. Some people plant a mixture of plants including pollen plants which bring colour and can contribute towards the local ecosystem…. Read more »

The Role of Trees in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture in the Tropics

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Plant Systems.

by Roger R.B. Leakey, Department of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Abstract Shifting agriculture in the tropics has been replaced by sedentary smallholder farming on a few hectares of degraded land. To address low yields and low income both, the soil fertility, the agroecosystem functions, and the source of income can… Read more »

New Trees in Guatemala That Are Not Just for Reforestation

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Education Centres, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Processing & Food Preservation, Trees, Village Development.

Special bicycle for shelling coffee beans It sounds strange to speak of poverty as an exciting opportunity, but many of the projects in Guatemala make me do just that. I’m particularly impressed with those working with trees. Reforestation is often not so simple as just planting trees. Mass agriculture has created a need for serious… Read more »

The Tropical Salad: Leaves of a Different Cut (Panama)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants.

Leaves of a different cut I love the tropics as a place for permaculture, specifically the ability to grow tropical fruits and the capability to plant stuff year round. I like the interplay between rainy and dry season, the way things get incredibly green and grow uncontrollably in the wettest of times, and all that… Read more »

Winter Pruning Techniques: Spur-Bearing Fruit Trees

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Trees.

I’ve always been a bit confused about proper pruning techniques. You’ve got your winter pruning for spur-bearing fruit trees, winter pruning for tip-bearing fruit trees and summer pruning to keep your trees at a manageable height. There are some people like Sepp Holzer and Masanobu Fukuoka that even advocate against pruning at all, although they… Read more »

Green Winter at 63 Degrees North (Norway)

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects.

Stephen Barstow with Angelica atropurpurea, a North American species. In a garden which can freeze solid down to the bedrock for three months a year, Stephen Barstow supplies himself with a wide selection of fresh vegetables throughout the year. Over 2000 edible plants are found in his unique garden. Many consider the Norwegian climate to… Read more »

Minor and Uncultivated Fruits of Eastern India

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Trees.

Averrhoa bilimbi A new agricultural paper describes the wild, uncultivated fruit that have long been an excellent source of nutrition and ayurvedic medicines in India (Paul, 2013). Due to rapid urbanisation and the concurrent erosion of traditional knowledge, these crops are under threat. Conservation plans need to be developed in order to re-popularise these fruits… Read more »

Tips and Insights from Miracle Farms (Canada)

Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Markets & Outlets, Trees.

Recently Michelle, Rowan, Naomi and I embarked on a cross-country train trip to attend a family reunion in the eastern townships of Quebec. With a little extra time left over after the festivities, I decided to connect with Stefan Sobkowiak of Miracle Farms for a day, having come across Stefan’s work in the amazing YouTube… Read more »

Fukuoka’s Food Forest

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees.

Mandarin orange, a main crop of Fukuoka’s food forest. At one time he was shipping an impressive 90 tons of citrus fruit annually Many of us in the permaculture and organic movements have read Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka’s One Straw Revolution, which lays out his ingenious (though hard to replicate) no-till organic rice production system…. Read more »

Useful Plants from Robert Nold’s “High and Dry”

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Trees.

One of the more challenging environments for food production is cold and arid. I’ve been investigating useful perennial plants for that climate for many years. A few years ago I purchased Robert Nold’s High and Dry: Gardening with Cold-Hardy Dryland Plants. Robert isn’t interested in growing these plants for food, but he has an incredible… Read more »