Category: Food Plants – Perennial

Green Winter at 63 Degrees North (Norway)

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 be a challenge for growing food with its long, snow-rich winters, but Stephen finds his […]

Read More >

Minor and Uncultivated Fruits of Eastern India

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 and preserve their sacred value to local people.

Read More >

Herb Spirals and Herb Circles

Fresh herbs right outside the kitchen door The herb spiral is more or less an ubiquitous installment at the permaculture farm, so when we came to work on a property in Panama, building a spiral as near to the kitchen as possible was a top priority. Not only would it supply us with fresh and flavorful meals, but it wouldn’t take long to establish a useable system, a harvestable, sustainable […]

Read More >

Fukuoka’s Food Forest

Fukuoka’s Food Forest

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. I was surprised and pleased when, in my job as librarian for the New England […]

Read More >

Useful Plants from Robert Nold’s “High and Dry”

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 11.35.25 am

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 wealth of knowledge and years of experience in growing plants in his Littleton, Colorado garden […]

Read More >

The Victorian Stumpery Meets Hugelkultur: Timeless Matchmaking With Permaculture (Panama)

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 a really raised bed, something behemoth — hulking if you will — that makes a […]

Read More >

Grow Food and Soil With A Food Forest

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 8.44.35 pm

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 portion of our design of perennial polycultures of multi-purpose plants into sheet mulched garden beds. […]

Read More >

Saving Seed on the US/Canadian Border

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, however, I recognize there’s also extensive experience, expertise, and attention to quality involved in producing […]

Read More >

Summer Berries in a Humid Cold Temperate Climate (USA)

Lowbush_blueberry_bush

Berries are quick to bear and just make life better As the perennial vegetable season dries up, berries are coming into full swing. Foraging for fresh fruit in the backyard was a key goal in our garden and this is reflected in the diversity and abundance of berries we enjoy. Within two to three years, all of our berries were yielding well and many were filling in to form nice […]

Read More >

Jonathan Drori: Every Pollen Grain Has a Story (TED video)

Pollen is the essential link towards abundance. When observed under a microscope, it reveals an exciting diversity and ingenious creativity — one unknown to most people yet mind-boggling for archeologists, forensic scientists and gardeners. Enter the fascinating world of pollen, thanks to Jonathan Drori.

Read More >

Growing Cassava in the Perennial Main Crop at Zaytuna Farm

Growing_cassava_IMG_2277

Cassava is a perennial. I have eaten cassava eight years after planting and it was fine, with just a small thin woody core that needed to be stripped out like a strong woody cord. Cassava can easily be planted as a cutting, 150mm to 200mm (6 to 8 inches) with 2/3’s in the ground and 1/3 out.

Read More >

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

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 bringing the first germinating winter clovers, grasses and lush annuals that most people call weeds. […]

Read More >