Category: Plant Systems

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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How to make your garden have less weeds?

How to make your garden have less weeds?

In crop gardens, we sometimes get into a spatial race with weeds, and the solution is to replace the weeds with “designed weeds” to take up the space. This can be done with green manure mulches to fertilize the gardens and supply quality mulch. This is an example of how understanding the inner workings of weeds allows us to harmonize with natural systems to both repair the earth and create […]

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THE END OF THE POLYCULTURE STUDY 2018, AQUATIC PLANT PROPAGATION AND NUT HARVEST.

The Polyculture Study 2018 has now officially come to a close for the year, and we will be publishing the annual report and results by December.  Once again we have been supported by a truly amazing team of people, without whom, the study would simply not be possible. This year we have been able to work on two trials across two gardens, as well as developing a plan for a […]

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Multi-Functional Living: Wood Heat

This year Emma and I are taking something we did last year and making it more functional: We are heating with wood, full-time. Previously, we often had fires at night, giving the heating system a break and enjoying the atmosphere, but it was noncommittal. Some nights we didn’t bother. We used the wood-burning cook stove even less than that, though we did love the event it made of a meal, […]

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Useful Garden Projects for Autumn Leaves

Despite having spent many of my most recent years in the tropics, and despite having grown up in Louisiana, where the number of seasons is pretty wishy-washy, I’ve always kind of assumed that autumn could possibly be my favorite time of year. My birthday is in right in the middle of autumn. It’s a time when the weather slowly cools down to a comfortable temperature, which seems better than slowly […]

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7 Ways to Use the Humble Choko Vine

Its spring time in Australia, and our area in Far North Queensland has gratefully received a decent fall of rain. I’m gleefully anticipating the springing to life of our un-irrigated areas that had gone dull and dormant during the dry weather. Among other things, I’m looking forward again to abundant chokos. I used to think of choko as a bland, boring vegetable. I didn’t like skinning it, and I didn’t […]

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The Results – A Trial Looking at 5 Ways to Prepare Beds for Tree and Shrub Planting – Which one is the best?

Last year we started a trial to discover the best ways to prepare the ground for tree and shrub planting. We trialed five different methods and recorded the performance of each method looking at how long they took to implement and manage, how much they cost and how effective they are. I’ll start the post with why we prepare our ground in advance of planting then we will look at the […]

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Prickly Pear: a Miracle Future Fruit

THE IMPORTANCE OF CROP ECOLOGY After doing the blog post on water purification systems and Phytodepuration and the benefits of several plants. I thought this was a good time to step back and talk about plants ecology and one in particular, the Prickly Pear.“Green gold”, “fruit for the poor,” “treasure under its spines,” “world vegetable dromedary,” “future plant,” “sacred plant” and “monster tree” are all nicknames for this cactus. Why so […]

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Horseradish: Why I Should Try It Again

Earlier this year, in the spring, I was able to acquire a handful of horseradish roots to plant in a garden my wife Emma and I were putting together. I’d first encountered it as a plant the year before and was happy discover the leaves were edible with a flavor reminiscent, though milder, of the root. I’d never had horseradish in anything besides cocktail sauce, possibly some other condiments here […]

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Invasive Thoughts: A Battle with Conscientious Consciousness

I did a lot of research. I hummed and hawed, danced around the issue, came up with a veritable pros and cons type of list. Ultimately, the base of our food forest needed some fast-growing, nitrogen-fixing trees, and whether or not they were native came to feel somewhat moot. I found a good tree species. It was readily available (and free). What difference did it make if folks had deemed […]

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How to Green the Desert: Europe’s Heatwave and some Holistic Suggestions

In the Northern Hemisphere, the balance of light is turning ever more towards darkness as we approach the Autumn Equinox. This is following a summer which in many places was unusually hot and dry(1, 2). This is perhaps not unexpected; climate change scientists have been predicting extreme temperature spikes for a number of years(3). However, it seems that a lot of farmers were nevertheless unprepared and many crops have been lost(2). […]

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