Category: Food & Food Support Systems

Guidelines for Perennial Polyculture Design

Guidelines for Perennial Polyculture Design

Polyculture design can be bewildering and even intimidating. I’ve been planting and thinking about polycultures for over two decades. During that time I’ve planted a lot of failed polycultures that didn’t work for one reason or another, as well as some successful ones. I’ve also visited many sites in many climates and seen polycultures functioning very well – especially in the tropics, where agroforestry systems are much farther along than my cold temperate home.

I’ve assembled a set of guidelines for designing polycultures, that I’d like to share with you. They are a work in progress and far from perfect, but, in concert with the design process shown below, they have helped hundreds of people in my courses and workshops to feel ready to go home and design and install their own polycultures.

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Legumes in the Kitchen: They Are Not Just for Nitrogen-Fixing

Legumes in the Kitchen: They Are Not Just for Nitrogen-Fixing

When it comes to legumes, I come from a fortunate background. Born and raised in the southern Louisiana, where cuisine is something entirely different than the rest of the United States, food has long been a product of love and cherish. It deserves devotion. It is given time. Louisianans know the value of doing it slow. Consequently, I grew up intrinsically aware of the worth, nutritionally and palatably, of a […]

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Social Polycultures: Using Permaculture for Building Resilient Relationships

Social Polycultures: Using Permaculture for Building Resilient Relationships

Many people use permaculture to design physical systems like farms and homesteads, to have the resilience and benefits that are found in natural systems. They use the permaculture ethics and principles, coupled with a holistic design process to create relationships between elements that foster greater ease, mutual benefit and increase positive feedback loops. Like locating mushroom logs in a forest, next to a pond, with ducks for pest control and […]

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Found-Object Garden Design at The Farm Inn in Southern Belize

To The Farm Inn

Something that has thoroughly impressed Kevin during our six weeks at The Farm Inn in the southern depths of Belize, where a paved highway has only just made it, is that we are only using things that are already on the property. When I hear him excitedly describe his concept of permaculture—what we, my wife Emma and I, are doing—to people, he always mentions this fact. Over the last few […]

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Have Questions, Receive Answers, How Easy is This

Have Questions, Receive Answers, How Easy is This

If you have a site specific problem or just a question you would like to have answered from an experienced Permaculturalist, please read on.

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The Transformative Power of Pizza: Eating Your Way Towards Eco-Integration

The Transformative Power of Pizza: Eating Your Way Towards Eco-Integration

The proof is in the pudding. The same can be said for a functional permaculture system. When you integrate cultural and community diversity into your landscape, you are offered the privilege to experience firsthand the valuable combination that social permaculture offers every individual on our rich, blue marble. One surefire way to create a synergistic blend of people and the environment is with food. Pizza is an especially good dish […]

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After the Rain, Wait Before You Harvest

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According to a new research finding published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, farmers should wait at least 24 hours to harvest, after a rain or irrigation event, to protect consumers from food borne illness. A growing body of evidences suggests that, there is strong link between foodborne outbreaks and fresh produce. In the United States it is reported that, 46 percent of the foodborne outbreaks between 1998 and […]

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THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN COMMERCIAL AND ORGANIC HONEY CAN HELP YOU FIND YOUR SWEET SPOT

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For thousands of years, honey has been widely used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. Over 300 varieties are available in the United States alone. These range from those that are nearly colorless and bland tasting, to strains offering rich brown hues, robust with flavor. However, many store-bought honeys are processed, removing much of the pollen content. While preserving pollen is attainable simply by using a coarse filter and minimal […]

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Planting Ginger Polyculture at Maungaraeeda Farm

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By Michael Brahier, practical student at PRI Sunshine Coast. One of the projects that we have been working on the first couple weeks of the Permaculture Life Skills course is making raised beds to plant ginger polycultures. Ginger grows very well in this part of Queensland and is a commodity crop processed by a nearby factory. The other farms in the area tend to grow it as a monoculture which […]

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