Sheep Vegetation Management in British Columbia, Canada

Posted by & filed under Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Livestock, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees.

Permaculture principle #11: Use edges and value the marginal. The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place, these are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system. — Holmgren Let’s talk about clearcuts in Northern BC. Clearcuts are edges, between the forest and cleared land where fast growing… Read more »

Alihuen: An Agrarian Conservation Story (Chile)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Trees.

Click the ‘CC’ button to choose subtitles (English and French available) Alihuen means big tree in the language of the indigenous Mapuche peoples of Chile. When Jeroen Beuckels decided to settle in the rural Chepu province of Chiloe with his wife Grecia this name was not taken lightly, for the farmland which it would represent… Read more »

Accidental Propagation, For the Best in Gardening (Panama)

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees.

Many of the most successful gardens we’ve propagated have been as much luck and accident as they have been my astounding wits. We’ve made lots of special garden beds, no-till expressions of fertility and decomposition, but often times it’s the rogue plantings, the spots where seeds have fallen from a pocket or simply tossed away… Read more »

Oh, The Beds I’ve Made: No-Till Gardening in Tropical Panama

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

One of the most exciting parts of taking the reins to a hectare of lakeside land in Panama was planning just exactly what kind of experimenting was going to be on order. We knew there would be a food forest. We knew there’d be a vegetable garden, fresh herbs, and lots of very dense clay… Read more »

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 »

Air Pruning (video)

Posted by & filed under Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Trees, Urban Projects.

Here is an interesting and simple-to-manage technique that will promote better root growth for your potted plants. It can be applied to plants that will stay permanently in pots or for those that will end up in your garden. Those interested in this should also check out the ‘Air Nursery’ chapter of the Farmers’ Handbook.

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 »

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 »