A Happy Garden

Lentils sprouted

When growing a garden, we rarely plant just one vegetable or fruit. We like to have many of favorites growing from early spring to late fall, yielding an enchanting bounty for both the palate and the eyes to enjoy. When we plan our gardens we visualize beautiful robust plants full of nourishing edibles. To get these types of plants we must fully care for our gardens. Caring for our gardens […]

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Tim Wickstrom: Forging Permaculture Hand Tools, Part 1

Forging Permaculture Hand Tools feature

My name is Tim Wickstrom and I’m a blacksmith in southern Alberta. My focus is forging permaculture and garden hand tools for others who love to work with their hands. I love to be out in my garden and young food forest working with hand tools. My partner Lorinda enthusiastically agrees to test my creations and if you were to visit our home during the growing season, you’d very likely find us working away in our yard. Last October, I founded Reforged Ironworks with the intent of sharing with others the tools I create and why I make them the way I do.

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Integrating Beekeeping with Permaculture

Integrating Beekeeping with Permaculture feat

Insects and wildlife are an important part of a permaculture design. Without them your design will not be complete, the forces will not be in balance like the Jedi without Darth Wader. Bees particularly have outputs we all can enjoy, even some vegans are bending the rules for honey and I am sure cavemen were enjoying the honey during palaeontologic times, you know what I mean bullet proof coffee lovers. […]

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Aquaponics Green House

Koi swimming in a decorative pond.

My aquaponics system is the heartbeat of my hoop house. I created this system as an experiment which has been going on for over 2 years now with minimal intervention. I built this system to provide water to my soil in the hoop house. It used to get really dry since I rarely ever water it myself. I don’t like watering anything unnaturally (with my water hose). I only do […]

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Broccoli Rabe

Green Vegetables

There’s little dispute that including vegetables in our diets does indeed improve our overall health and supplies our bodies with valuable nutrients to function properly and perform at our best. To ensure that we are receiving a full range of these nutrients we need to be mindful that we work to vary our diets. Often, we can get in a rut, eating the same few veggies, week in and week […]

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Growing Perennials

Growing Perennials feat(1)

I love growing perennials! Perennials are plants that can grow for 3 years or longer with proper care. They are time savers, money savers and allow you to share plants in most cases. Perennials are soft greens not woody and flower. Some examples you should be familiar with are; – Grapes – Mint – Lavender – Water Cress – Lemon balm – Horseradish – Jerusalem Artichokes – Broccoli – Chives […]

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Just Enough Is Plenty (Book Review)

USA - CIRCA 1967 : stamp printed in the USA shows Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, circa 1967

In my early twenties I came across Henry David Thoreau and attempted to read Walden.  I admit I struggled.  If only Just Enough Is Plenty was available then I am sure Thoreau’s concepts would have been much easier to grasp.  Samuel Alexander has written an excellent introduction to Thoreau’s works.  Just Enough Is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics not only summarises Thoreau’s ideas it is also a pithy statement of Alexander’s work itself: it is short, […]

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Healing Your Soil

Healing Your Soil feat

Sometimes soil needs our help. When we over-utilize our lands, kill them with chemicals or deforest them, they are made weak and can die. Soil is living and a lot like us. The top layer of soil is like skin that offers the first layer of defense that can be easily damaged. We have done this damage to our earth, but we can help undo some of that damage by […]

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The Quincessential Guide to Japanese Quince – Chaenomeles Speciosa

The Quincessential Guide to Japanese Quince feat

We have planted a fair bit of Japanese Quince – Chaenomeles speciosa in our gardens over the years, all of them grown successfully from seed. Initially I was disappointed by the rock hard, sour fruits that arrived in the fourth year after sowing, but have always had an appreciation for the profuse beautiful reddish pink flowers that appear in the early spring attracting bees and other pollinators. These days I’ve […]

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Mini-Documentary Trio: Forest Gardening, Edible Landscapes and Urban Permaculture

Mini-Documentary Trio: Forest Gardening, Edible Landscapes and Urban Permaculture

Three unfortunately not great picture-quality but information-packed UK ‘mini-documentaries’ by Iota. First, an introduction to temperate permaculture pioneer Robert Hart (1913 – 2000), one of whose “guiding principles” is given as Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of “democratically organised, self-sustaining communities”. Next, a visit to The Field in Cornwall, where plant database Plants for a Future founder Ken Fern introduces his work. Finally, an interview with Mike and Julia Guerra, who grow almost a fifth of their food in their city back garden. “Nature is the biggest teacher”, says Mike.

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Hügelkultur

hugelkultur feat

Hügelkultur is a German word that means mound culture or hill culture. This is a growing method that has been used for years, but was made popular by the greats like Geoff Lawton, Sepp Holzer, and (Wild man) Paul Wheaton. Hügelkultur is a process that mimics what happens in a forest on an annual basis. Trees fall, leaves fall, seeds get covered, winter and rains germinate: from death, life begins. […]

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Designing a Lifestyle, Not Just a Garden

Ladybug (Courtesy of Anderson Mancini)

Implementing a permaculture design is much more than building a garden. It’s also more than a house that utilizes passive solar energy or barrels to catch rooftop runoff. While these things often are incorporated into permaculture plans, the practice itself is getting at something much deeper. It’s redesigning the way we live. Growing at least some of our own food is a step in a different direction from the mass […]

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