In-Season Recipes: When Gardening and Cooking Become the Same

(Golden beets, Galapagos tomatoes, Fern Tomatoes, Lillie House Landrace carrots, red potatoes, thyme, and basil) The true beauty of a productive home Permaculture garden is found on the table. The act of “gardening” becomes so casual that it’s no more than wandering around the yard finding inspiration. In between picking carrots, you pull a few “weeds” to nibble on and use the rest to mulch a basil plant. You stop to watch a butterfly on the way to the tomatoes and “harvest” some “mulch” (pull weeds) there, too.  It’s the most natural thing in the world to clean up some beautiful … Continue reading In-Season Recipes: When Gardening and Cooking Become the Same

How to Make Better "Native Plant Gardens" with Permaculture

(This post is accompanied by this morning’s pictures of some charasmatic native flowers at Lillie House)  Hovering from flower to flower, the bumble bee embraces her partner and begins to sing. This is a new song, not the regular hum of flight, but a deliberate and intricate buzzing sung aloud for another living being. This is called “buzz pollination.” She knows exactly the notes and frequencies that will make the flower release its pollen, a living demonstration of how sound, song, and music can move something inside of us, too.  I learned this, and many other beautiful things, by watching … Continue reading How to Make Better "Native Plant Gardens" with Permaculture

In-Season Recipes: Warm Carrot, Broccoli, Summer Vegetables Salad

From garden to table in about 10 minutes. Carrots and broccoli make a beautiful warm “salad” with a light vinaigrette or in this recipe, a quick garlic and shoyu dressing. I never tire of the wonderful, complex flavors of these fresh vegetables–fit for the finest restaurants.  I’ve been experimenting around a lot this year with reducing or eliminating “stable” carbs like grains from my daily diet to make meals that come 95% (oils, salt and condiments are the imports) from our garden. Right now, carrots are one of the main “carb crops” I’ve been building meals around, since they are … Continue reading In-Season Recipes: Warm Carrot, Broccoli, Summer Vegetables Salad

Community Permaculture Parables: Give People Freedom, Not More Work

Plan Projects that Support Social Structures, instead of Planning Social Structures to Support your Projects That’s a longer way of saying the same thing, for those who aren’t into the whole brevity thing.  And I hope that’s you, because it’s taken me a long time to really learn that, so this will be a long post. For me, this was clarified greatly by something I’ve heard both Permaculture originator Bill Mollison and his student Geoff Lawton say in several different ways, to paraphrase: If you build something that demands more time, energy and work from people than they started with, that’s not … Continue reading Community Permaculture Parables: Give People Freedom, Not More Work

Free Garden Tour with a focus on Designing Polycultures: Sunday the 19th, 3:00

This Sunday we’ll be offering a free garden tour with a focus on designing practical polycultures. I’m making up a nice handout with online resources on Polyculture design and a summary of the techniques and strategies I’ll be covering and demonstrating.  We’ll be checking out the garden and tasting some plants while we explore current theory and research on interplanting strategies including: Basic “Root type” polycultures based on the “carrot, onions, lettuce” model.  Naturally modelled plantings that mimic locally found plant communities. Time based “advanced polycultures” such as the “Ianto Evans Polyculture.”  Strategies for mixed Annual/Perennial Polycultures  “Plant Guild” roles: … Continue reading Free Garden Tour with a focus on Designing Polycultures: Sunday the 19th, 3:00

Permaculture Life Design: "Wealth"

(Monarda in our home food forest garden) As “a system for designing human habitats to meet our needs,” Permaculture can be used to improve the function of ANY “structure” we “inhabit,” including invisible structures like economies.  Its basic method is to emulate the processes in nature that make natural systems accumulate life-enhancing energies such as water, fertlility and energy, rather than constantly declining the way most man-made things do.  (A “Forest garden” modelled after a natural ecosystem, to grow more fertile over time.) Those same principles can be used to design our home economies so that our families can grow … Continue reading Permaculture Life Design: "Wealth"