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 »

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 »

Grow Food and Soil With A Food Forest

Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Urban Projects.

Soil before and after After ten years of learning from and collaborating with a mega-diverse, globally inspired, edible forest garden, new wonders are under foot. Paradise Lot, here in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA, has a soil story to tell, and we are finally getting around to deciphering its wonders. Since 2004, each year we installed a… Read more »

Saving Seed on the US/Canadian Border

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

For the last three years, the best-performing seeds in my garden have come from a little local outfit called Heart of the Highlands LLC. It helps that they’re locally grown: adapted to the same arid, frosty-hot climate that my garden struggles with. Now that I’ve learned a little more about the proprietor and her farm,… Read more »

Making Seedballs: An Ancient Method of No-till Agriculture

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds.

Dried and Finished “Clay Dumplings” What’s a Seed ball? Seeds balls are an ancient technique for propagating plants from seeds without opening up soil with cultivation tools such as a plow. The rediscovery and popularization of seedballs (or “Clay Dumplings” as he called them) in modern times is typically ascribed to Japanese natural farmer and… Read more »