Category: Food Plants – Perennial

Bone Sauce: A Tool for Deterring Browsing

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 meat. When applied to the bole, branches, and shoots of dormant woody perennials it deters […]

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Plant Cuttings Made Simple

CERES plant propagation brings back some memories. I volunteered for a day when it was first launched. The CERES team was prepping the site for the first polytunnel and I spent the day potting on dozens of herbs with a handful of other volunteers. Five years later and the propagation enterprise has grown steadily. They now have a dedicated propagation area, sheltered from the elements with benches at the perfect […]

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Please Help Us Save Heritage Organic Seed Collection From Loss on 6 June 2014

We need your help to save New Zealand’s largest organic heritage or heirloom seed and tree collection by June 6th 2014. We are asking for your support for this campaign to secure the land the New Zealand organic heritage seed collection grows on before we lose it. Background: 30 years of organic heritage seed saving The Koanga Institute, founded by Kay Baxter, has spent 30 years building up a living […]

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Spreading Seeds

The seed regulation proposal from the European Union (1, 2), which could have severely disrupted the biodiversity of the entire continent and ultimately the planet (3), was dismissed in March (4); recognised as the bad idea so many thought it was. Regardless of your opinions on the EU, the fact that the act was proposed in the first place shows the power of a well-organised international network, and the significance […]

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Designing Food Forests Across Three Climate Zones with Geoff Lawton

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Got 10 minutes? Here’s a great little video of Geoff Lawton outlining the construction of food forests across three different climate zones. Whether you live in the tropics, drylands or the cool to cold North American climate, there is something to glean from this instructional and entertaining video.

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Natural Pest Control – North American Survey Worth Revisiting

I just had a lovely phone call with my sister. One discouraging note was her recent decision to finally give in and purchase some pesticide spray. (She’s usually a greenie, but as she put it, “I just want to have some plants.”) Her tomatoes and other starts have been eaten down to little nubs several years running, despite trying various methods like beer traps and soap sprays. She’s in sunny […]

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Urban Garden Demonstration Update (New Zealand)

by Kay Baxter, PRI New Zealand (Koanga Institute) This is an update on our urban permaculture garden experiment which integrates the best ideas from our Permaculture Design Course students into a working urban garden here in our North Island, New Zealand temperate climate. Our end product includes rabbits, chickens, a 36 sq m biointensive garden, 2 vines, 19 fruit trees, 15 berry bushes, 1 olive and 3 nut trees. We […]

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Agroforestry Support Species for Cold Climates

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A silk tree in my garden, serving as living trellis to arctic kiwifruit; also shade provider for shade crops including currant, mayapple, fuki, and edible hosta. Also fixes nitrogen. Rafter Ferguson’s recent excellent article “Permaculture for Agroecology” (PDF) challenges the permaculture movement to read up on what’s happening in related fields like agroecology and agroforestry. I’m particularly interested in learning from the well-established agroforestry practices of the tropics to see […]

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Banana Circles

Banana circles can be used in tropical and sub-tropical areas to utilise waste water, run-off or overflow from rainwater tanks, and even urine waste from dry composting toilets. It is possible to use other plants in a similar system, but bananas are an excellent choice as they are very heavy feeders and also need a lot of water to be productive. The fruit from banana palms is highly nutritious and […]

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Spring: Season of Perennial Vegetables in the Cold-Climate Garden (MA, USA)

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Excerpted from Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier with contributions from Jonathan Bates. Bates and Toensmeier will be hosting a perennial vegetable tasting and edible landscaping workshop at their garden in Holyoke, MA, USA this April 26, 2014. Jonathan Bates with spring perennial vegetables From the beginning of my interest in plants for permaculture and edible landscaping I identified perennial vegetables as a real gap in the available information. Nobody seemed […]

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Exploring Sustainable Livelihoods in Laikipia (Kenya)

Elin Lindhagen, Director, PRI-Kenya Some members of the women’s group Since it started in 2013, the Laikipia Permaculture Project in Kenya has rapidly grown with the help of the inexhaustible passion of Joseph Lentunyoi, founder and manager of the project. From the first women’s group, Nabulu, which approached the newly established Laikipia Permaculture Centre, wanting help and advice on how to grow their aloe, combat pests, improve productivity and also […]

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Edible Weeds

Last monday morning I had a chance to go for an edible weed foray with my friends Adam and Annie from Eat That Weed. It was early autumn here in south eastern Australia and quite dry but we still managed to find some of their favourite edible weeds including dandelion, purslane and sow thistle. They shared with us why weeds are important to pay attention to and how to broaden […]

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