Category: Plants

Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

We’re extending the Polyculture Project to include experimental perennial polycultures on various plots of our newly acquired land. Our aim is to develop models that are low cost to establish and maintain, can produce healthy affordable nutritious food and will enhance biodiversity. We’ve been looking into fencing our plots, and how to meet fertility demands of the establishing perennial crops such as fruits, nuts, herbs and perennial vegetables without relying […]

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8 Common Plants to Grow for Their Medicinal Benefits (All Great for Indoor Container Gardens)

Oregano (Courtesy of cyclonbill)

Just about the same time I started getting into permaculture, I began developing an interest in the power of food as a preventative medicine. Permaculture appealed to me because it seemed obvious that the way we were cultivating our food with an overabundance of chemicals was destructive to the planet and to our own health. When it came to farming, doing what came naturally seemed, well, the natural solution. Letting […]

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10 Edible Perennial Vines for Vertical Gardening

Courtesy of Deborah Austin

Vertical gardening is a concept that is well promoted these days, especially when considering urban and suburban gardens in confined spaces. A quick search on any server will reveal a great collection of reused plastic bottles or PVC pipes suspended alongside walls and fences, little bunches of salad greens poking up periodically. Everything from old pants pockets to upcycled dressers to old pallets are used to grow food beyond just […]

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Awesome Ways to Make Seed Balls with Kids

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Growing plants from seed is not always an easy task. It requires careful planning and proper follow through to germinate and survive long enough to send their nascent roots down into the soil. Though seeds are amazing structures designed to provide everything for a plant to start growing, most of them still need a bit of help to keep them secure from their surroundings. Seed balls, also referred to as […]

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Zone Four Chop and Drop

tom zone four 01

Even though its getting to the end of the wet season and is possibly a bit late I have started the chop and drop process on the zone four swale. It has been planted out to timber trees and support species and of course quite a lot of natures additions have germinated as well. I have plenty of other things that I could be doing however I think that the […]

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A Site Specific Nuts and Bolts of Zone 1 Gardening in Rio Dulce: Tropical Wet/Dry Climate

feat Sweet Potato, Chaya, Habenero, Okra, Cuban Oregano, and More - Copy

Recently, I put together an article outlining the (or my) basic theory of Zone 1 gardening, both for a specific NGO project I’m working on as well as in the hopes that it might be helpful for others in similar situations. For it, I wanted to present broad, accessible ideas that could apply across the spectrum of climates and, in the case of charity projects, cultural practices. Ultimately, though, we […]

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Upside-Down Tomato Garden DIY

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We know that a lot of people want to grow tomatoes but simply do not have a backyard spacious enough for it or do not even have a backyard at all. Here’s a simple solution to remedy that: the upside-down tomato garden. You’ll be able to plant tomatoes and hang them vertically and they’ll consume only a very small amount of space. Do you want to build your own upside-down […]

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Potato Planting

Tom Potato 01

What better way to get the garden in order than to re-establish beds and get them planted out. On occasion I have found that I have been weeding and mulching beds and not getting to plant them only to have to come back and re-prepare to plant. So we are focusing on just get them ready and plant immediately. Today’s focus was on two narrow beds that had a lot […]

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Perennial Vegetables and The Other Reasons You Should Consider Them for Your Garden

Turkish Rocket (Courtesy of Eric Toensmeier)

Luckily for me, my mother was the sort who insisted that I taste something before deciding I didn’t like it. The habit has served me well in later life. As a traveler, I’ve been able to shift my palate from one country’s cuisine to the next, enjoying whatever ingredients seem common to the local fare. As a vegan, those versatile taste buds have kept the doors open to many more […]

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Time to Plant the Garlic

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Autumn Equinox has come and gone in the southern hemisphere and this is the signal to plant the garlic. We had harvested and stored our garlic from last season so it was time to sort through it all and start planting it out. We like to grow Russian garlic as it is great to use because of its size and it seems to grow well enough in our climate and […]

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Tropical Orchard Establishment Practices and Concepts: Part 3 of 3

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I’m building an agroforest. An orchard of tropical fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, tubers and vines. And this is how it is happening. This is the final piece on the tropical orchard establishment patterns we use at Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center in Costa Rica. Part 1, found here, looked in depth at our site goals, layout patterns, and water management. Part 2 continued this succession of thought into […]

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