Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 10, 2012
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Rehabilitation, Waste Systems & Recycling — by Rick Pickett September 8, 2012
Building soil fertility in the humid tropics is a difficult project. Not only because the soil itself is thin, but due to the fact that below the fertile surface of leaf litter, rotting trees and decaying organic matter is a mineral and nutrient deficient zone of usually acidic clays called oxisols or, less commonly, utisols. With up to 90% of tropical forest biomass living within the plants and organic matter and only a paltry 10% occurring in the actual soil, protection and cultivation of soil is extremely important in sustaining fertility.
For many of our farm partners, like Federico, we’re rehabilitating slashed-and-burned lands that have been heavily leached of nutrients or are lacking the balance of minerals needed to allow plants access to important nutrients like phosphorous. One technique used extensively in tropical climates to take advantage of oxisols is the heavy application of lime or calcium carbonate to raise the soil pH and begin improving the soil structure and mineral availability for plants.
We would love to pump multiple metric tons of lime or calcium into the soil, but our distant location from traditional sources and concerns about mineral extraction practices makes large-scale delivery undesirable. But, our plants need their calcium. What to do?Comments (8)
Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor September 6, 2012
Regular readers will know we are doing what we can to support Vandana Shiva’s "Occupy the Seed" campaign, running between 2 — 16 October, 2012. This worthy "Seed Freedom Fortnight of Action" is a call to respect and liberate the world’s seeds and to maximise their diversity — their being the very basis of our existence, and an absolute wonder of biological ‘magic’ in their own right. On Wednesday September 5th, as an act of solidarity of purpose between the Permaculture Research Institute and Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya Network (an organisation that has to date successfully conserved more than 5000 crop varieties), Geoff and Vandana talked together on how we can recreate a more successful and healthy world through increased diversity, in contrast to the systematic biodiversity loss currently seen through the reductionist systems of Big Agri. Take a watch, and be sure to get involved!Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Susan Kwong
This article and research proposal were initially inspired by reading Eric Toensmeier’s article User-Generated Food Forest Resource is Online, encouraging food forest gardeners to contribute to this expanding database, and the discussion ensuing from Angelo Eliade’s article on Perennial Plants and Permaculture, among others, debating the planting of annuals versus the planting of perennials, as well as, I have to say, a personal obsession about food forests and perennial food plants in general.
I have also been concerned by many comments in discussions about needing to continue with our annual grains. I wish to add some perspectives to these matters as a nutritionist, counselor, herbalist and naturopath, specialising in the use of food as a medicine, whether preventative medicine or otherwise, and to propose a research project that I hope will provide a furtherance of our permaculture goals.Comments (11)
Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Trees, Urban Projects — by Joshua Finch September 4, 2012
November 2010-November 2011 went by quickly with a lot of hard labor double digging our compacted clay to see us produce a fair amount of veggie in a short period of time. After the summer months, we begin cover cropping.
by Joshua Finch
We started here in 2010:
November 2010: One section of our typical American lawn with some potential
pathways being imprinted on the landscape.
By the end of the sixth slide show (see YouTube slide shows further below), we wind up here:Comments (3)
Compost, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, For Sale, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees, Urban Projects — by Wayne Fleming August 28, 2012
With 80% of Australians living in the suburbs, this reality is a hurdle for responsible edible landscapers who know that not all the cookie cutters that we are forced to live amongst share the same vision.Comments (3)
Biodiversity, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier August 25, 2012
Note: this is a piece that was originally to be published in Edible Forest Gardens, which I coauthored with Dave Jacke. Yes, there are parts we cut out, it would have been even longer! Dave reviewed and edited that version of this article, though I have substantially updated it here and he is not to blame for any errors that have crept in. This article only addresses the species present in the Matrix of Edible Forest Gardens and, as such, only covers the eastern forest region of the US and Canada from Zones 4-7. Using the hotlinks in this and my last few posts you can construct a similar layout for any climate.
Compositional diversity, the mix of plant species and other living and non-living elements, is a critical element of a stable forest garden ecosystem. This is particularly important in the case of pests and diseases, which frequently only attack closely related plant species. For example, many of the fruits that grow in our climate are from the Rose family, including apples, pears, cherries, peaches, and plums. While these are delicious fruits, they share many pests and diseases, like the dreaded plum curculio. By diversifying the forest garden to include unrelated fruits like kiwi, pawpaw, and persimmon, you can make sure that curculios will not ruin all of your harvest in a bad year. Maximizing compositional diversity can also help to create resource-partitioning guilds, because plants from different families frequently have different strategies and use different nutrients, have different root patterns, or may be otherwise less likely to compete. For example, plants in the lily order tend to have bulbs or tubers close to the soil surface, while many members of the Apiaceae (in the aralia order) are typically taprooted or have deep, branching roots.
Edible fruits of blue bean, Decaisnea fargesii. A member of the very minor
Lardizabalaceae family, in the buttercup order Ranunculales. This species
is barely related to common forest garden fruits like pears, blueberries, or
grapes, sharing few or no pests and diseases with them, and thus an
example of omega level diversity in action. Plus it looks super cool!
Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Building, Community Projects, Compost, Conservation, Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Energy Systems, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Surveying, Swales, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Harvesting — by Melissa Andrews August 23, 2012
Olive trees stand the test of time in Palestine
All images © Christopher List Photography
It was a brisk, rather harried morning when my husband, photographer Christopher List, and I set off on a trip to delve deeper into the relatively unheard of phenomenon of permaculture.
It felt like only yesterday when we’d announced to friends and family that were were going to Palestine, to study a 14-day intensive permaculture course. After discovering some of the principles of permaculture on a recent trip to SA, I knew we were in for a gruelling, yet worthwhile experience.Comments (4)
Biodiversity, Community Projects, DVDs/Books, Education, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, GMOs, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Seeds, Society, Trees, Village Development — by Navdanya International August 20, 2012
The Manifesto on the Future of Seeds outlines ways and means to strengthen and accelerate the movement toward sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, biodiversity and agricultural diversity and help defend the rights of farmers to save, share, use and improve seeds, as well as to enhance our collective capacity to adapt to the hazards and uncertainties of environmental and economic change.
The Manifesto on the Future of Food develops in detail principles on which to base the transition to a sustainable food and agricultural system as outlined in the Florence Declaration on the Global Rights to Food. Most importantly it sets out practical vision, ideas and programs toward ensuring that food and agriculture become more socially and ecologically sustainable, more accessible, and toward putting food quality, food safety and public health above corporate profits.
The Manifesto on Climate Change and the Future of Food Security highlights the need to change to a productive model that minimizes the system’s vulnerability to external shocks and hazards and that contributes sustainably to mitigating the effects of climate change, based on a strong multifunctionality able to maximize the role of agriculture as a service of the ecosystem and as a tool to strengthen such system, and that guarantees family farming a pivotal role in a new system of production.
The Manifesto on the Future of Knowledge Systems: knowledge sovereignty for a healthy planet makes evident that the multiple crises that face humanity today — the financial implosion and economic collapse, climate chaos and the energy and food crises — are rooted in a reductionist, fragmented and mechanical way of thinking, with the world being equated to a huge machine, free to be manipulated and improved at will. A new way of thinking is vital for the return to a balanced and healthy planet, one based on sustainability, resilience and equity. Some of the themes addressed include: corporate control of science and the merging of knowledge and power; the commercialization of knowledge and biopiracy; the need to integrate traditional and indigenous cultural knowledge with independent science.Comments (2)
With Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bates and Steve Breyer
October 19-20, 2012, Holyoke & Southampton, Massachusetts USA
The best way to learn about food forests is by eating your way through mature examples during peak fruit and nut season. Details can come later. Come eat delights like persimmon, paw paw, Asian pear, hardy kiwifruit, raspberry, fall strawberries, cucumber berry, chestnut, butternut, hardy almond, Korean pine nut, and so much more.Comments (3)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Trees — by Eric Toensmeier August 15, 2012
When I started to learn about useful plants and their scientific (Latin) names, I quickly came to realize that there were many more than I could easily keep track of. Fortunately botany comes with a pre-made filing system to organize every species. Use of this system has made it easy for me to keep track of the 10,000 or so species that are important to me and add new ones as they come into my life. It’s not hard to use once you get the hang of it, and it can teach you a lot about the relationships between plants including fascinating insights that you would not otherwise come across.
First a little basic botany: when you learn a Latin name it’s more than just the word for a plant in an obscure language. Scientific names are the accepted and official international classification system for plants. In my library I have plant books in many languages, but they all feature Latin names. More importantly for our purposes here, Latin names are the entry point to understanding the evolutionary relationships between plants.
Nuts of beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta)
Courses/Workshops, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Medicinal Plants, Seeds — by Zaia Kendall August 10, 2012
Our abundant garden: pineapple, leeks, spring onions, strawberry beds,
greens, broccoli and numerous other edible plants visible in this picture.
I love this time of year! Here on the Sunshine Coast, the sun shines brightly during the day, creating a wonderful 23 – 25 degrees C and then cooling down at night, which enables us to run the wood stove as well. Best of both worlds really!
The garden loves this time of year as well, green leafy vegetables are abundant, as are citrus and strawberries. Some pineapples are ripening, and the snow peas are ready to be picked.Comments (0)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems — by Briana Lyon August 7, 2012
It was recently reported in a research study conducted by Michigan University that predatory insect attracting plants saved American farmers “an estimated $4.6 billion last year on insecticides.” Let us hope they continue to up their creativity in their predatory insect attractant planting techniques and quit using insecticides at all!
Having predatory insect attracting plants will dramatically improve your garden’s safety and health, especially from herbivorous insect plagues. And the best part is that you probably already have a lot of insect attracting plants in your garden already!Comments (4)
Developments, Energy Systems, Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Trees — by Philip A. Rutter July 27, 2012
In any attempt to comprehend a puzzle, or choose a new path forward, the first requirement is to see and comprehend each of the possibilities. We wish to bring to the attention of the energy community a potential food and biomass energy paradigm, previously unknown, to your considerations.Comments (11)
The Apios Institute for Regenerative Perennial Agriculture has spent several years developing a user–generated resource on food forests. Users can add content on species, polycultures, and sites. This content ranges from videos, text, recipes, and photos, and emphasizes personal experience or direct observation of species in other gardens and the wild. Thus far we have focused on cold climates, but we are working on building our system to include (over time) all the world’s climates. We have pilot tested a version in Spanish for Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.Comments (1)