Category: Food Plants – Perennial

Hardy Gingers for the Food Forest Understory

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Turmeric (Curcuma longa) can handle 5°F/-15°C. The rhizomes make a great tea and are wonderful shredded into stir-frys or cooked with rice. When I visit tropical and subtropical forest gardens I often see ginger, turmeric, galangal, and cardamom in the understory, beneath and between the fruit trees. In fact, according to P.K. Nair’s fantastic Tropical Homegardens, ginger and turmeric are universally found in tropical homegardens (ancient, traditional food forests) around […]

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Seeds of Permaculture – Tropical Permaculture (video)

An interactive film about permaculture in the tropics, with education and inspiration as the main threads running through this hour-and-a-half-documentary.

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Bhaskar Save, the Gandhi of Natural Farming

Sage of a minimalist farming system based on non-violence and all of nature’s biodiversity that produces in abundance with no chemical inputs. by Bharat Mansata Bhaskar Save, acclaimed ‘Gandhi of Natural Farming’, turned 92 on 27 January 2014, having inspired and mentored 3 generations of organic farmers. Masanobu Fukuoka, the legendary Japanese natural farmer, visited Save’s farm in 1996, and described it as “the best in the world”, ahead of […]

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From Desert to Oasis in 4 Years (Jordan)

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Geoff Lawton’s next video in his ever-expanding lineup takes you to Wadi Rum in Jordan where he consulted on a 10 acre organic farm and rebuilt their failing farm into a commercial success. Wadi Rum looks very much like your classic inhospitable desert region. It was used in the early 1960s as the backdrop set for the David Lean’s masterpiece, “Lawrence of Arabia.” If you’ve ever watched the movie as […]

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Over 200 Food Plants on Just a Tiny 1/10th Acre of Cold Climate Urban Land

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The scattergun technique in permaculture – planting over 300 edible plants in your backyard to see what sticks, what takes off and what dies in the process. This is the technique used by Permaculture authors Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates when they converted their 1/10 acre suburban backyard into a perennial food garden of exotic plants located at Holyoke in Massachusetts. They transformed it into a functioning cold climate urban […]

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Keyline Design as an Organizing Pattern for Permaculture Design, Part 3 (Sweden)

This is the third of a series of articles looking at design considerations for our Cold Climate Permaculture site using the Keyline Scale of Permanence as a organizing framework, as well as an informative read for anyone interested.

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Weeds – What Are They Good for? (Victoria, Australia)

The subject of ‘weeds’ has always seemed to me to incite far more controversy than it should. The best description of a weed is, “a plant out of place”. It seems to me that if you have a weed, then you have an available niche in your garden that an unwanted opportunistic plant has taken advantage of. To remove that unwanted, opportunistic plant, you have to perform the act of […]

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The Fruit Hunters (video)

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Narrated by David Suzuki, this two-part CBC series is a fascinating look into the world of fruit hunters — people who travel the globe seeking rare fruits, to preserve their diversity, or just to enjoy. The documentary also covers some interesting background history on some of the fruits we’ve come to take for granted, and you’ll meet interesting characters worldwide who have recognised the immense value of the diversity of […]

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Cold Climate Permaculture Video

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A lot of people wonder if they can apply Permaculture design to their farm if they live in a cold climate. When Geoff Lawton visited Ben Falk’s farm in Vermont earlier this year, he saw the fruit of good permaculture design when applied with skillful observation. The end result is a beautiful, cold climate permaculture paradise. Ben’s farm is a wonderful place to walk through and to visit. Fish rise […]

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America’s Forgotten Food Forest Suburb Rediscovered!

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Years ago, Permaculture founder, Bill Mollison made a TV series called Global Gardener. In a 10-minute segment of that series he visited a particular 60-acre intentional community called Village Homes, located at Davis, California. Mollison visited this estate many times. The reason he kept returning there was the way it was constructed. Passive Solar designed homes, water harvesting swales and a forest of fruit trees that were planted in the […]

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Desert Food Forest and Organic Commercial Production in Three Years – Update on Wadi Rum Consultancy (Jordan)

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Outside the fence On August 6, 2010 Craig Mackintosh posted on my initial consultancy for the site I’m reporting on today. Three years and three months later, I can give an update on what has transpired since.

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Addressing the Causes of Land Degradation, Food/Nutritional Insecurity and Poverty: a New Approach to Agricultural Intensification in the Tropics and Subtropics

by Roger RB Leakey, Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia. Photo 1: A multifunctional agriculture landscape in Viet Nam with many income-generating tree-based production systems on hillsides surrounding an area of intensive food production on the most fertile soils. Abstract The shortage of new land for agriculture and the poverty of smallholder farmers in the tropics are serious constraints on […]

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