Category: Bird Life

Soil Testing, Discovering Local Plants and Woodland Coppice

Robinia Coppice We have a small woodland plot where we have been experimenting with coppicing. The dominant tree species in the woods are Robinia pseudoacacia – Black Locust  a North American native that naturalized in the area after being introduced here many years ago. Last spring we felled some of the trees in order to start the coppice. The aim is to grow the support stakes for our market garden from the coppice. […]

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The Polyculture Market Garden Study – Results from Year 4 – 2018

Here are the results from the fourth year of our Market Garden Polyculture Study. This study looks at the differences between growing annual vegetables and herbs in polycultures vs growing them in  traditional blocks. In this post you will find an overview of the trial garden and the polycultures we are growing, a description of what we record and the 4th year results from the trial. You can find results […]

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Fastest Growing Trees in the Temperate Zone, Seed Harvesting and a Green Toad Gathering – The Polyculture Project

If you follow our project you will probably know that I like to name our gardens after concepts and terminology from the classical period of Ancient Greece or at least you may have noticed that the gardens have weird names . Ezekiel who joined us last week asked why the market garden did not have a such a name which prompted me to fix that, so from now on the […]

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Winter Arrives, Planting Garlic, Bird Life and a New Forest Garden – The Polyculture Project

The winter has arrived, two days of sub zero temperatures and some strong wind and there is not a leaf left to vouch for the growing season. It’s just a short cold spell we are having here and it’s expected to be mild until the new year, so we’ll use the last of the good weather to make some final planting in the gardens and then go into hibernation until […]

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Backyard chickens, and the interconnectedness of all things. Part 3

This article is Part 3 of a Series that is mostly about chickens. It’s not a how-to-care-for-chickens article, but a how-to-appreciate-the-specialness-of-chickens article. If you are interested only in chickens and would like to read about the funny things one of our roosters gets up to, this article will be fine to read by itself. But if you missed the earlier articles in the series, and you’re interested in what backyard […]

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of all things. Part 2

This article is Part 2 of a series that is mostly about chickens – not how to care for them, but how to appreciate them as being more complex and interesting than most of us give them credit for. If you are interested only in chickens, and especially mother hens and chicks, this article will be fine to read by itself. But if you’re just tuning in and you want […]

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Permaculture chickens – 6 practical lessons from the evolution of chickens

One of the fundamentals of permaculture design is to observe, understand and work with natural ecosystems.  It sounds simple enough to apply permaculture principles to chicken keeping. Can’t we just observe wild chickens in their natural environment? The problem is, modern domesticated chickens don’t exist in the wild. Junglefowl are the immediate ancestor of chickens, however it’s not that simple. Modern chickens were domesticated more than 8,000 years ago and […]

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Texas Food Forest and the Results of Good Design.

Five years ago we moved to our current property in North Texas.  While the general area is not particularly challenging, the property itself was.  The three acre property has anywhere from 11 inches (28cm) to as little as 3 inches (7.6cm) of soil, sitting atop a limestone slab.  Note: not rocks but solid slab. An insane place to build a permaculture property but we set to making it happen. In our […]

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A Beginners Guide to Egg Laying Chickens

Egg laying chicken sitting in nest box

With spring upon us in the northern hemisphere, lots of people are adding baby chicks to their homestead. Keeping your own chickens is a fantastic way to produce healthy, home-grown eggs and is easier than you think. In this guide I will outline everything you need to know to get your chickens laying eggs! Picking the Right Breed First of all, you need to make sure you choose a breed […]

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The Perks of Raising Chickens

For many people who have grown interested in gaining a certain sense of autonomy through taking responsibility for growing a part of their own food, a simple backyard garden or even a container garden on your window will is considered a good place to start. Making the leap from growing tomatoes and peppers to raising a small flock of chickens, however, is a step that not everyone is ready to […]

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A Rare Example of Mutualism Between Humans and Free-living Wild Animal

A new study confirms the existence of mutual partnership between humans and a free living bird species. When the honey-hunters of the Yao tribe call for the greater honeyguides, the bird recognizes, understands and responds to the hunters call and leads them to honey in the forest. Collaboration among different plant and animal species for mutual benefit is a known phenomenon. The mutualism between oxpecker – a kind of bird […]

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The Use of Ducks in Rice Fields in the Control of Weed and Pest

The Use of Ducks in Rice Fields in the Control of Weed and Pest

Various communities have used ducks and geese as a weed and pest control strategy. Indeed, there exist studies that have been conducted looking into the efficiency of the strategy in terms of yield, weed control and also pest control. Ducks and geese offer an organic method of controlling pests and weeds. Ducks have a high affinity of consuming seeds made by weeds, snails, a variety of bugs and also the […]

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