Permaculture Jardin de Cure´

The French “Jardin de Cure´” might just be the original “Permaculture garden” of temperate Europe. I believe we have a lot to learn from these old, evolved gardening systems of traditional cultures, so our front yard at Lillie House was deeply inspired by this style of garden. Let me take you on a tour of our “Permaculture Jardin de Cure´” while I share some garden pictures from this morning.   The “Curate” or “Cure´” was the head parishioner in the French Presbyterian Church and his garden had to be multi-functional and easy to care for. The curate himself would have … Continue reading Permaculture Jardin de Cure´

Food Forest Tours

This summer, we will be collaborating with Forest Gardener PJ Chmiel to host a series of informational tours of our forest gardens. We think this is an interesting chance to see a whole range of management techniques at two different forest gardens throughout most of the growing season. Since there’s so much to see at a forest garden, each tour will have a theme that we can discuss in-depth. We’ll be handing out free information and we’ll even have a few interesting forest garden plants available for sale or trade. For more information about these tours, please visit:  http://www.vankalpermaculture.org/forest-garden-tours/ Continue reading Food Forest Tours

Stir-Fried Food Forest

With a home forest garden, our meals usually start with a quick trip out the front door. And when we’re busy, “Stir-Fried Food Forest” is often on the menu. Today’s perennial or self-sown veggies all came from within 50 feet of our front door. In about 5 minutes of work, with no required yearly digging or planting, I found perennialized garlic, perennial spring onions, self-sown carrots, sorrel, lovage, turkish rocket “broccoli,” asparagus and a few herbs to spice things up.  A quick chop and a light stir-fry meant dinner went from “farm to table” in about 15 minutes.  You want … Continue reading Stir-Fried Food Forest

How Much Work is a Permaculture Garden?

“Boy, that garden must take a lot of work!”  “I see you out here working on this all the time!”  “I wish I had time for a garden like that!” We get comments like this all the time from people, and they never seem to believe me when I tell them that our garden actually saves us time. Sure, people see us out in our garden a lot, especially compared to how often you see people out “enjoying” their lawns, but that’s because our garden is one of our favorite places to be and we enjoy spending time there. How … Continue reading How Much Work is a Permaculture Garden?

Establishing a Food Forest Garden: Planting Density

(A view of one of our forest gardens with high density. Looks like a natural system!) What’s the correct density for a Food Forest Garden in the Great Lakes region? How close do you plant the trees? How should density change as the forest matures? We’ll look at a variety of perspectives on the topic and discuss how we can pick the right strategy for each garden and gardener to maximize productivity and minimize maintenance. First of all, there’s no wrong way to forest garden. We humans seem to have a built-in ability to garden this way. It is, after … Continue reading Establishing a Food Forest Garden: Planting Density

Can Permaculture Feed the World?

This weekend at a Permablitz event I had a great discussion with another Van-Kal member, and we discussed the idea often sited by Chem-ag that chemicals and corporations are “feeding the world” and that systems like Permaculture would lead to mass starvation.   My knee-jerk judgement was that, yes, it would be difficult for a system like Permaculture to feed 7 billion people. But, would it?  Permaculturists like Geoff Lawton and Bill Mollison often claim that Permaculture could feed the world a healthier, more diverse and delicious diet than chem-ag.  So, who’s right? Chem ag or the Permies? Well, lets … Continue reading Can Permaculture Feed the World?