Community Projects, Courses/Workshops, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Swales — by Nichole Ross March 9, 2011
Original Atrwork by Anthony Dohanos of Pahoa, Hawaii
Food security and canoes go hand-in-hand in Hawaii. When the Hawaiian Islands were first settled around 750 A.D., and for many generations after that, Polynesian voyagers stocked their massive double-hauled canoes with specific crops necessary for colonization. While a wide variety of plants and trees were already growing when early settlers arrived, the food plants that we have come to know as “traditional” were not. Vine cuttings, root stock, crowns, sprouts, slips, shoots and seeds all had to be carefully prepared, packed and loaded into canoes for long journeys across the unforgiving Pacific Ocean if settlers were to be able to survive on the new land.Comments (3)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Seeds, Trees — by Zaia Kendall March 7, 2011
by Tom & Zaia Kendall, Queensland, Australia
This article talks about how we use biological resources to direct and accelerate the growth of our food forest.
Part of our Food Forest
Tom has been planting out our food forest over the past few years. We use a chicken tractor to prepare the soil. They get rid of the weeds and grass seeds for us, and dig the soil up and fertilize (and they still lay eggs too!!). When the soil is prepared enough we move the chook tractor to another spot in the food forest that needs to be prepared.Comments (6)
Deforestation, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Global Warming/Climate Change, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Trees — by Albert Bates February 9, 2011
by Albert Bates
Getting to the Maya Mountain Research Farm in southern Belize is its own wild side adventure. You can fly or bus to Punta Gorda Town on the coast and then bus or taxi up to San Pedro Columbia, a little village in the highlands of the Maya Mountains that is a jumping off point for river travel.
Toledo, with a population of 27,000, is the least globalized and most rustic district in Belize. The pyramid city of Lubaantun, near San Pedro Colombia, is a late classic Mayan ceremonial and commerce center where the famous crystal skull was found by the teenage daughter of archaeologist F.A. Mitchell-Hedges in 1926. The many small villages scattered at the edges of forests and along rivers look nearly the same today as they looked in 1926, 1826, or 1726.
From San Pedro, a boy with a dugout “dory” cedar canoe poles you up river past Lubaantun for two miles until you reach the shallow bend with the tall stands of bamboo on the starboard shore.Comments (3)
Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems — by Kelly Pagliaro January 21, 2011
Photos by Kelly Pagliaro unless otherwise indicated
Beautiful. Traditional. Functional. Therapeutic. What am I talking about you say? Why borage of course!
Borage is a wonderful plant to have around the garden. Borage (Borago officinalis), also known as starflower, bee bush, bee bread, and bugloss, is a medicinal herb with edible leaves and flowers. In my garden, borage and sunflowers share the honor of being bee hot-spots.Comments (14)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Alex McCausland November 4, 2010
The really fascinating thing about south Ethiopia is its diversity, both cultural and ecological. And the crossover between these two is agriculture. So when one moves about in the south, one encounters different agricultural systems which usually have interesting features specific to the area you are in, depending both on the cultural practices of different ethnic groups and on the local climate.
These last few days I was lucky enough to be able to take the time to visit my in-laws in Siltie country (where my wife comes from). Siltie is an area about 200km south of Addis and about 400km north of Konso where we are based. In Siltie the crop of greatest importance is Enset ventricosum, a species endemic to South Ethiopia which has some fascinating properties making it of great interest to Permaculture applications in other areas of the world. Enset is farmed in a mixed system along with grain crops, coffee and others. It is a fascinating plant, related to and resembling the banana tree, but taller, fatter and with no bananas (which gives rise to its English language name “the false banana”).Comments (10)
Commercial Farm Projects, Economics, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Village Development — by Judith Goldsmith November 3, 2010
Richard Alan Miller likes to tell the classic story of one of the first farmers who came to him for help.
He had 400 acres in Iowa in corn, which was infested with burdock. He had tried everything — spraying, everything — and he couldn’t get rid of the stuff. The bank was threatening him with foreclosure.
He came to a workshop I’d given at Charlie Walter’s Acres U.S.A. conference in Kansas City, and got in touch with me. When the bank heard I’d been hired to consult, the banker gave him a one-year stay of execution. I advised him to: sell half his land; sell half of his capital equipment; and then I had him get rid of his noxious weed — which was the corn! — and grow what nature wanted him to grow, which was the burdock!
I helped him sell all his burdock crop to Asian markets in Chicago, at two dollars a pound fresh (I advised him that he’d only get 60 cents a pound dried), where they couldn’t get enough of it for kim chee and fresh vegetables. After the first year, he was out of foreclosure. After three years, he owned his own land outright . . . and he started buying back his old land, and putting it into timber for his grandchildren!
Miller’s consulting does not always result in such dramatic conversion, but it has brought financial stability to many other small- to mid-size farmers and would-be farmers throughout the U.S.Comments (24)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Medicinal Plants — by Judith Goldsmith October 6, 2010
Judith Goldsmith first promoted winter gardening in her book, “Strawberries in November: A Guide to Year-Round Gardening in the East Bay”. She got her first basics in Permaculture from an introductory intensive with Cathé Fish of the Sierra Permaculture Guild. Her food forest in the San Francisco Bay area includes three kinds of apples (one grafted), plums, peach, persimmon, pomegranate, guava, roses (for rose hips), kumquat, Meyer lemon, Makrud lime (edible leaf), and blackberries.
I hope you don’t mind me being a bit regional here. This article is not for areas that get snow or frequent frost during winter, but a good-sized (and, with climate change, growing) chunk of the world has a “Mediterranean” climate, including western Australia, western South Africa, the ring of countries around the Mediterranean Sea (Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Algeria, Morocco, etc), coastal Chile, and my area, California. (Notice they all have the ocean on their west, which keeps their winters mild.) “Mediterranean” means that during a large part of the year we have no or little rain, and since this arid condition is among those that can really benefit from Permaculture practices, it might benefit many who check in here to talk about the benefits of winter gardening.Comments (6)
Animal Forage, Compost, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems — by Melissa Miles October 1, 2010
Comfrey (Symphytum spp.) has been cultivated and valued by many cultures for almost 2500 years. A native to Europe and Asia, the comfrey plant with which most are familiar, Symphytum officinale, has been used as a blood coagulant, a treatment for maladies of the lung, and as a poultice to aid in the healing of wounds and broken bones. Consumed as a tea, comfrey is said to treat a variety of internal ailments by various folk medicine traditions.
The word comfrey is Latin in origin and means "to grow together”. Though research has recently linked the consumption of comfrey with liver damage in mice, thus halting the development of comfrey as a modern food crop, the plant was once widely grown for its medicinal, food and forage value. Today it is still valued for its use in salves and other topical skin preparations and for its use as animal fodder and fertilizer.Comments (15)
Animal Housing, Bird Life, Compost, Demonstration Sites, Fencing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Insects, Land, Livestock, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Seeds, Urban Projects, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Geoff Lawton September 20, 2010
Editor’s Note: This post is a good reminder to ensure you take good before, during and after photos as you implement projects! Case studies like this become an awesome portfolio for yourselves, and help people to see the practical potential in permaculture. It can be totally inspiring, and help get people moving on the ground!
Case Study – Noela’s Garden, as installed by Geoff and Nadia Lawton
This is a story about a garden that Nadia and I were asked to establish in 2006. It’s a very small space – the area is 95m2. A friend of a friend asked if we could get involved to help to design and implement a garden. Nadia had only recently arrived in Australia and I wanted her and I to put a garden in together as a ‘start to finish’ job so she could get a feel for how we establish small space gardens in Australia, as she already had experience in small space gardening in Jordan.
The area on the North side of Noela’s house.
Animal Forage, Bird Life, Commercial Farm Projects, DVDs/Books, Financial Management, Fish, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Livestock, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation — by Ethan Roland September 7, 2010
Resource alert: At bottom of this blog post is a download option for more than a thousand enterprise budgets.
Permaculture designers: It’s time to get serious about profitability.
Farmers & Greenhorns: You already know what I’m talking about. I’ve been working on an integrated ecological farm design for the Ashokan Center in the Hudson River Valley bioregion. The design calls for a mega-diversity of organic enterprises: Multi-species rotational grazing, hardy kiwi vineyards, mixed-fruit orchards, agroforestry & silvopasture, no-till & greenhouse vegetables, gourmet & medicinal mushrooms, and more. There are 200+ edible & useful species spread across 13 acres of farm and 200+ acres of forest.Comments (16)
Animal Forage, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Rhamis Kent August 31, 2010
Editor’s note: Red clover is a useful leguminous green manure. Growing taller than
other clovers, it can be easily cut down with a scythe or other when it starts to
flower, so that it doesn’t scatter seed where you don’t want it.
You can never have enough information about Earth Repair/Ecosystem Restoration tools, techniques, and strategies. As most of you know, a couple among the many in use are green manuring and cover cropping.
Over the past year of my really digging into this topic I’ve come across a number of useful links to downloadable PDFs that allow for easy access and use.Comments (9)
Animal Forage, Animal Processing, Consumerism, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Health & Disease, Livestock, Medicinal Plants, Recipes — by Marcelo Severo August 13, 2010
I promised last week that I would tell you about the cows here at Zaytuna and I’m going to do just that. I’d like for the vegetarians out there (who will find most of this menu unpalatable) to still be interested in reading about these cows because it’s not just about the beef that ended up on our plates….
Photo © Craig Mackintosh
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees — by Peter Dilley July 30, 2010
IDEP’s Companion Planting Guide
Click here for full PDF
Sometimes you end up wishing you had a resource at hand to make it easier to apply Permaculture principles. This was the case for myself when it came time to start thinking about beneficial groupings of plants and those groupings that do not go well together.Comments (37)
Conservation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Trees — by Ecofilms July 29, 2010
For many years they’ve been seen as a symbol of pride in Australia. Expatriate writers in the 50s and 60s would write about returning to Sydney by ship and about being greeted by the smell of wafting gum tree leaves as they waxed lyrical about the nostalgia they felt for home.
Authorities still plant them everywhere. In parks, next to footpaths, street corners, new housing development estates, Eucalypts are as Australian as the Emu and the Kangaroo. They are seen nearly everywhere and nobody seems to take them as a threat in Australia.
But should Eucalypts be re-examined as a noxious weed?Comments (21)
Animal Processing, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Health & Disease, Medicinal Plants, Processing & Food Preservation, Recipes — by Marcelo Severo July 27, 2010
The farmer and the cook with Ethiopian Cabbage
I’ve just finished my first week working as the farm cook for the Permaculture Research Institute at Zaytuna Farm and already it’s been an amazing experience. To be able to cook at this wonderful and dynamic farm is a delight for all the gastronomical senses. If fresh, seasonal, local, delicious and nutritious ingredients are what good food is all about then consider this….Comments (3)