The Victorian Stumpery Meets Hugelkultur: Timeless Matchmaking With Permaculture (Panama)

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

The Inspirational Stumpery by Jane-Ann Liddle I’m crazy about hugelkultur. I love the concept of burying old fallen and felled trees to provide years of slow-release compost for crops to come. I love using waste material for something useful. I love not having to turn or move compost about. I love the chance to sculpt… Read more »

Seeding Into Frost Heaves: Leveraging a Natural Soil Disturbance Event

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Land, Plant Systems, Seeds, Soil Biology, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure.

A close up of frost heaves A common winter sight in most cold temperate regions are frost-heaves; areas of water-saturated soil that have been uplifted due to freezing. Frost-heaving is generally regarded as an undesirable dynamic, because it evidences a lack of organic material or mulch capable of sheltering the soil (and it’s microinhabitants) from… Read more »

Bone Sauce: A Tool for Deterring Browsing

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

Applying the bone sauce Bone sauce is a product of the destructive distillation of bones — a process which separates the volatile organic components (aka bone sauce, or Dippel’s oil) from the inorganic components (aka bone char — mostly calcium, carbon and phosphorous compounds). Bone sauce has a potent smell, somewhere between wood-creosote and rancid… Read more »

Building Up Soil for a Nutrient-Rich Raised Bed

Posted by & filed under Compost, Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Structure, Urban Projects.

All photos by David Ashwanden A lot of permaculture involves utilising waste streams and turning problems into solutions, and I often bring these into practice by looking at what’s available around me and how I can use it effectively. With this in mind, having come across some old bath tubs, I decided to create some… Read more »

Fernglade Farm – Autumn Update (May 2014, Victoria, Australia)

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Trees.

Well, the summer just past was interesting. Heat and drought were constant companions in all parts of the Australian continent other than the Northern Territory. Down in the south eastern corner of the continent the farm here had to deal with 10 days of temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) during January and February. At one point… Read more »

Designing Food Forests Across Three Climate Zones with Geoff Lawton

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

Got 10 minutes? Here’s a great little video of Geoff Lawton outlining the construction of food forests across three different climate zones. Whether you live in the tropics, drylands or the cool to cold North American climate, there is something to glean from this instructional and entertaining video. Watch it now!

Agroforestry Support Species for Cold Climates

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

A silk tree in my garden, serving as living trellis to arctic kiwifruit; also shade provider for shade crops including currant, mayapple, fuki, and edible hosta. Also fixes nitrogen. Rafter Ferguson’s recent excellent article “Permaculture for Agroecology” (PDF) challenges the permaculture movement to read up on what’s happening in related fields like agroecology and agroforestry…. Read more »

Omaha Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health – Presentation Resources

Posted by & filed under Plant Systems, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Recently, I had the honor of attending a national conference on cover crops and soil health. The conference was held in Omaha, Nebraska on February 17th to the 19th, sponsored primarily by the Howard G Buffett foundation and SARE (Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education). The attendees represented university specialists, seed vendors, farmers, non-profit groups, and… Read more »

Banana Circles

Posted by & filed under Biological Cleaning, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Plant Systems, Waste Water, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

Banana circles can be used in tropical and sub-tropical areas to utilise waste water, run-off or overflow from rainwater tanks, and even urine waste from dry composting toilets. It is possible to use other plants in a similar system, but bananas are an excellent choice as they are very heavy feeders and also need a… Read more »