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 »

Reverence for the Bunya Bunya: A Seasonal Retrospective From Melliodora (Australia)

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Trees.

Dedicated to the memory of Peter Brew 1954-2010 Classic bunya bunya canopy profile at the Bunya Mountains National Park Equinox gift from the subtropics It feels like a classic autumn break after a horrible gardening season with alternating cool and scorching hot dry conditions, insect plagues and disease. We’ve had a series of nice rains… Read more »

Bone Sauce: A Tool for Deterring Browsing

Posted by & filed under Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees.

Applying the bone sauce Bone sauce is a product of the destructive distillation of bones — a process which separates the volatile organic components (aka bone sauce, or Dippel’s oil) from the inorganic components (aka bone char — mostly calcium, carbon and phosphorous compounds). Bone sauce has a potent smell, somewhere between wood-creosote and rancid… Read more »