Category: Food Plants – Annual

Ornamental Plants That Are Edible and/or Edible Plants That Are Ornamental

When I first began growing food and working with ideas of permaculture, I lived in the tropics where many edible plants leaf out large and are exceptionally stunning. Moreover, the places I found myself building gardens tended to be free-for-alls, where anything goes and HOAs didn’t interfere with what people planted on their property. Last year however, after twelve years abroad, I moved back to the US. Where often people […]

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Planting by Schedule & Plagiarizing Instinct

Planting by Schedule & Plagiarizing Instinct

With a recent transition from the wet-dry tropics to Zone 7b in temperate USA, this year’s planting schedule has been more on my mind than I’m accustomed to. My wife Emma likes to joke with people that we’d just stick anything in the ground down there and it would grow, but in a lot of ways, that was true, not a joke. Other than paying attention to the rain and […]

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Raised Garden Beds in the Bush – Growing Your Own Food in Poor Soil Conditions

A simple aluminum raised garden bed

“We acknowledge and pay respects to the Dhurga people of the Yuin Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country where we live.” When we moved to our bush property two years ago self-sufficiency was high on the agenda. We wanted to produce our own electricity, collect rainwater and we certainly wanted to grow some or if possible most of our own food. This included an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables […]

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Calendula

Butterfly landing on a calendula flower

Calendula is a bright little member of the Asteraceae Family, which includes stevia, sunflowers, and even lettuces. The name Calendula is actually the genus name for around 20 species of herbaceous plants. The most often recognized and utilized species is the Calendula officinalis (English or pot marigold) and is edible. This is not the same as the French marigold from the Tagetes genus. Calendula is often grown in polyculture gardens […]

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Cosmic Carambola

Carambola in the palm of a hand.

Carambola (Averrhoa carambola), often called starfruit, does seem like a fruit that is out of this world. This beauty is a member of the Oxalidaceae family, and is considered a slow growing, fast producing tree with evergreen foliage. The foliage is light sensitive and most often folds in upon itself as the sun goes down. The carambola is thought to have originated in Sri Lanka and Indonesia, but is also […]

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The Charm of Cabbage

Large purple cabbage

Cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. capitate) is a cool season vegetable that comes in both purple and green and is related to other vegetables such as broccoli, romanesco, horseradish, and cauliflower. This Mediterranean native has been around for over 4,000 years and was used medicinally by the ancient Romans and Greeks. Cabbage was brought to Europe around 600 B.C.E., and around 200 B.C.E. the Celts began using it to make sauerkraut. Later […]

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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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Up Market Permaculture

Trailer Only.> Geoff Lawton dusts the dirt off his boots, puts on a clean blue shirt and steps into the manicured green lawns of Montecito, California. Its population has more gardeners than actual residents. Movie stars like Oprah Winfrey and Kevin Costner have holiday homes in this small seaside town near Santa Barbara. It boasts some of the most spectacular and expensive real estate in the United States. But one […]

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Varieties, Additives and Sourcing: What’s Happening with your food?

Photography by Ingrid Pullen Eating: one of the most simple and basic human activities. Yet as our food systems become increasingly more mechanised and complicated, this simple act begins to carry with it a whole spectrum of messages. When you lift that juicy apple to your lips, do you think about which chemicals were used to make it so perfectly red? How many miles has it been traveling in order […]

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Permaculture in Paradise

34 Years ago Dano Gorsich asked his old permaculture teacher, Bill Mollison, what he should do with his land on the island of Molokai in Hawaii? Bill explained how he should design his tropical house, how it should face to capture the sea breezes, the sun angles, slope and orientation. Bill also suggested that Dano could earn a living by growing fruit and vegetables and then selling them to his […]

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Seed Saving, Part 2: Practical Ways to Save Seed

Saving wildflower seeds can be a great way to spread biodiversity – like this selection harvested by Josie Jeffrey Having learned some background knowledge on why you would want to save seeds in the first place (see Part I), you may now be wondering how to go about doing it. There are many ways to do this, and though it can be as simple as keeping a few leftover tomato […]

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