Category: Plants

How Plant-based Permaculture Is Possible

I get laughed at a lot. It’s frequent enough that, when I tell people of my intention to build a permaculture system without using domesticated animals, I sort of give a preemptive grin. While I believe most permies mean well in advising me, most seem pretty dead-set on the idea that a vegan permaculture garden just can’t work. In a lot of ways, I won’t lie, the proposition scares me, […]

Read More >
102 Comments

Basil: What Every Permaculturalist Should Know

In a design system in which we are looking for each element to perform multiple functions, there are few plants that can show off quite the way basil does. As a rule of thumb, things are expected to warrant their placement within our designs with at least two useful attributes, but basil performs well all over the show. It dazzles in the kitchen, the garden, the herb spiral, the food […]

Read More >
2 Comments

Successional Planting Spreadsheet Tool

After reading an article in the latest Pip (Australian Permaculture magazine) a couple of weeks ago on pages 38-42, about how to plan planting of food so that there is an on-going harvest instead of periodic gluts and then scarcity, I got inspired. Evita and I are both poor at keeping a notebook/diary of what is planted, where, and when. And we’ve had the feast and famine cycle happen a […]

Read More >
53 Comments

Dig the Fig – The Essential Guide to All You Need to Know About Figs

Man and fig have come a long way since then but have remained very much good friends, travelling and setting up home together all over the world where summers are warm and dry and winters are cool.

During this article, we’ll be focusing on the common fig – Ficus carica. We’ll look at fig types, hardy figs, fig cultivation, fig reproduction, fig propagation, good companions plants for figs, and growing figs commercially.

Read More >
20 Comments

The Problem with Growing Tomatoes Where I Live

Somewhere in this country people are doing it well, and truth be known, I now work at a conscientious, mindful organic farm (organizing volunteers and a farmers’ market) with vast biodiversity, animals and plants, that manages to pull enough crop to keep me in organic tomatoes. However, despite what appears to the contrary, what seemed illogical to me not so long ago, in a climate that never gets too cold […]

Read More >
8 Comments

Learning More on How to Think about Soil

I don’t know why it is, but I’ve taken to waking up at about five every morning. I kiss my wife Emma on the head, creep downstairs from the loft of our apartment and spend the next hour or more watching Geoff Lawton videos from the PDC course. She knows I’m doing it. It’s nothing weird. But, for the most part, we don’t talk all that much about it. This […]

Read More >
20 Comments

The Food Forest: A Shining Example Of Permaculture in Australia

The Food Forest: A Shining Example Of Permaculture in Australia

A direct pupil of Bill Mollison, the father of permaculture, Geoff Lawton takes his decades of experience on the road, with a visit to one of Australia’s most interesting and longstanding examples of permaculture. The Food Forest, owned by Graham and Annmarie Brookman and a joint venture with their two children, consists of more than 160 varieties of food products and timber over a 15 hectare space of land in […]

Read More >
3 Comments

From Yacon to Pumpkin

The Yacon has been harvested and processed into Yacon Syrup. Now the bed needs to be re-established , but to grow what? Yacon is a root crop so ideally growing something that is not a root vegetable is preferred. Well, the choice is pumpkins because it is also time to start a new patch for them. With our climate pumpkins will just keep growing all year around only slowing down […]

Read More >
1 Comment

Guilds for the Small Scale Home Garden

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 […]

Read More >
9 Comments

7 Perennial Shrubs and Trees with Edible Leaves

Mama always insisted I eat something green. I think a lot of moms are that way. Frankly, now, some thirty-odd years later, I’m quite thankful to her for teaching me to appreciate a variety of flavors and textures for making sure I stayed on the healthy straight and narrow. As an adult, I don’t find it difficult or disconcerting to try new foods, but in fact, it’s exciting. Eating leaves […]

Read More >
1 Comment

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

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 […]

Read More >
0 Comment