Category: Plant Systems

The Oldest Forest Garden

The Oldest Forest Garden

Small is not just possible, small is inevitable. Creating autonomous control of our economics requires people to be creative – and that means within the resources available. Graham Bell asks, where better to start than a forest garden?

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Guilds for the Small Scale Home Garden

A Mixed Bunch

Building guilds is a clever way to put gardens together. Instead of toiling over providing this or that nutrient for plants or battling with pests or relying on the success of just one crop to provide the food, a massive mixture of productive growth is but a few preparation steps away. We often talk about guilds as a grand scheme, part of growing a food forest, starting with something huge […]

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Intercropping: What It Is, What It Isn’t, and Why We Do It

Strip Intercropping (Courtesy of Oregon State University)

Get into permaculture and within no time an entire field of jargon is sprouting up around you, and while it can be exciting to have all these new ideas to ponder and play with, it can also be a bit intimidating…bewildering…intense. Well, at some point or another we’ve all felt that way, but even so, it’s time to talk about one of those mysterious terms: intercropping. In order to have […]

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How to Harvest Enough Dry Beans and Other Legumes to Feed a Family

Scarlet Runner Beans

I’ve been growing beans now for a while. They are a big part of my diet, and the nitrogen-fixing bacteria many legumes (not just beans) have are a huge factor of garden design. It’s common practice for me to simply plant a load of beans and peas as soon as a bed is made, both to chop-and-drop but also to pull a good harvest from the first planting. Something I’m […]

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My New Take on Self-Sowing Plants for Low Maintenance Gardening

Raised Bed

It happened this week, just yesterday actually, I was piddling through some old sheet mulch garden beds I’d made, beds still providing plenty, and discovered the next generation of plants coming up. There were three or four leafy outcrops of arugula sprung through the mulch. There was collection of pigeon pea saplings, about 15-20 centimeters high that were hiding amongst the weeds I was pulling. A cranberry hibiscus had dropped […]

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Suzanne Simard: How Trees Talk to Each Other

Suzanne Simard: How Trees Talk to Each Other

“A forest is much more than what you see,” says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery — trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.

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The Chai Guild

The Chai Guild

The Chai Guild is your homegrown one stop shop for refreshing vitalizing herbal teas and a living first aid cabinet. It also serves to attract a host of beneficial insects, provides habitat for many others, accumulates essential mineral nutrients and displays beauty and interest throughout the year.

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Crop Rotation – A Vital Component of Organic Farming

crop rotation feat

Long before we had synthetic fertilisers to maintain the land’s nutrients, and chemical pesticides and herbicides to keeps pests and weeds under control, we had crop rotation. Crop rotation is a system of designing how to cycle a parcel of land through various crops, reducing the reliance on chemical fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. It is how successful farmers nurtured their land over generations, and remains vitally important for farmers today […]

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Comfrey – BELIEVE the HYPE!

Comfrey – BELIEVE the HYPE!

There’s a plethora of info out there about comfrey but not much detail regarding establishing and managing a comfrey patch so I thought I would write an article to share my experience on this and how we grow comfrey as part of our fertility strategy in the market garden. When writing this article I could not resist to include some of the stories of this incredible plant and of the […]

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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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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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Upside-Down Tomato Garden DIY

step-by-step-grow-tomato-2-feat

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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