Category: Food Forests

Aronia in Permaculture

Aronia, also known as chokeberry, is a bush with a long history. It seems to have been forgotten for many years as a food source but has recently been “re-discovered”. There are two well-known species, named after their fruit color — red chokeberry and black chokeberry — plus a purple chokeberry whose origin is a natural hybrid of the two (Aronia arbutifolia, Aronia melanocarpa, Aronia prunifolia). Originally cultivated and used […]

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Food Forests and Natural Pest Control – Observations

Hearing Geoff Lawton speak about the effectiveness of natural pest control in food forests during my PDC studies is what originally prompted me to design and build a backyard food forest garden. Nature taking care of pests in the garden? It sounded too good to believe, and coming from a science background, I just had to test the concept out. After all, any good science can be replicated! Four years […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia, for December 2012

Ripe Solanum muricatum (Pepino, Pepino Dulce, Melon Pear) This is the first monthly post for Summer in the ongoing research project about perennial plants and perennialising annual plants that provide food in temperate climate Australia. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month-by-month basis, then this information is collated and published the following […]

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Integrating Livestock in the Food Forest

Cattle grazing under alder in silvopasture system at Las Canadas, Huatusco, Mexico Integrating livestock seems to be the best way to have a larger-scale food forest (anything over one hectare or a couple of acres). If done properly, livestock integration can greatly reduce labor and fossil fuel needs. It can create the conditions for happy and healthy livestock. Done poorly, it can ruin soils and destroy crops. Here are a […]

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Manual for Creating a Community Food Forest on Public Land

Community — Food Forest — Public Land — Cluster model , by Andy Cambeis and Alexa Forbes Creating a Food Forest on public land in New Zealand (or probably anywhere) is quite possible and I have documented my experiences of creating a food forest at Hawea Flat in Otago to help anyone else who’d like to give it a go. The manual is now freely available and I hope people […]

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Eaglemont Project Matures (Australia)

During the Christmas break VEG’s Dan & family paid a social call to customers-become-friends Julian & Linda in Eaglemont, Victoria, Australia. We documented the large-scale design and implementation project we completed for Julian & Linda last year (see the design and during photos here and some shots of where it was all at about 10 months ago here). The place is maturing beautifully and we took a few happy snaps […]

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Food from Perennial(ising) Plants in Temperate Climate Australia, for November 2012

This is the third monthly post for the research project about perennial plants and perennialising annual plants providing food in temperate climate Australia — we have now completed the posts for Spring 2012. The original article introducing this project, stating its aims, and providing participant instructions, can be found here. Growers are sending me information on a month-by-month basis, then this information is collated and published the following month. The […]

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Fernglade Farm – Mid Summer (January) 2013 Update

What a difference six weeks has made to the food forest here! The change in climate between cool and wet to hot and dry happened in less than a week during early October and since that time there has been no significant rainfall. The rain probably won’t fall here now until about April based on past experience and records. The abrupt change surprised me and I took a while to […]

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Food Forests, Part 7: Watering and Soil Food

Someone remarked to me yesterday that the fruit trees in the food forests here at the farm must require an extensive irrigation system. But, in fact, the fruit trees in the food forest here have to survive on rainwater alone, as I only have enough water for the vegetables and herbs.

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A Permaculture Food Forest in Belgium (video)

Video is in French. Click the ‘CC’ icon at bottom of player to turn on English or Spanish subtitles I think temperate-climate permaculturists could learn a lot from this couple in Belgium. The video above reports that on only 1800 square metres of land they host “more than 2000 fruit trees and 5000 kinds of vegetables” (sounds impossible, but that’s what they report — although perhaps just a bad translation….) […]

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The Gift of the Maya

As we approach the winter solstice and the end of one long count and the beginning of another, our understanding of the Mayan world is rapidly being transformed by new knowledge. The traditional Mayan narrative in western literature is perhaps best exemplified by the writings of Jared Diamond and Joseph Tainter, who ascribe the collapse of the Classic Period to an over-exploitation of resources, and in particular, a deforestation of […]

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Practical Plants Database

Fresh onto the interweb is a project that I had on my own things-to-do list for some time now, but this new site may well have saved me the pain. It’s a great new plant database, with over 7400 plant profiles and the very cool ability to drill-down to suitable plants by ticking off what you’re looking for based on the micro-situation of the spot you want to plant in […]

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