Deer-Proof Permaculture (With Plant Lists!)

While our garden supplies a variety of 300 species of fruit, nuts and vegetables, many of which are choice delicacies rarely found even in expensive health-food stores, the greatest yield we obtain from our Permaculture garden is our interaction with nature. We love watching the fleet of deer, turkeys, a huge variety of birds, groundhogs, squirrels, voles, moles, shrews, deermice, rabbits, toads, snakes, fox, owls, bats, etc. and a micro-managerie of colorful, whirling invertebrates who are all frequent guests in our garden. “Our garden.”  A uniquely human but certainly in-humane concept.  Really, there are quite a few individuals, friends, we’ve … Continue reading Deer-Proof Permaculture (With Plant Lists!)

Low Maintenance, Resilient "Food Forest:" A Case Study

There’s a stretch of bike path in McHenry Illinois where the wild has long been attempting to reassert herself. It’s a place where many come to forage on berries, wild fruits and vegetables, one I’ve written about many times as an “unofficial” community forest garden tended lightly by those who come to share in the harvest.  And those who do harvest this site have much to share in. With almost no mainteance, the site produces a wide diversity of fruits and vegetables, including strawberries, black raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, chokeberries, highbush cranberries, particularly nice wild grapes, elderberries,  black walnuts, hickory nuts, … Continue reading Low Maintenance, Resilient "Food Forest:" A Case Study

Living with a Forest Garden

Our scholars are learning that forest gardening has been nearly universal amoung human cultures, “the oldest human land use,” it’s being called. It’s certain that some form of “Agriforest gardening” system has been a large part of the way that most humans who have ever lived have met most of their needs, right up until very, very recent history.  Becoming forest gardeners, we re-take our rightful place as the gentle, kind “keystone species” of our ecosystems, learning to work with nature, as a part of it, rather than against it as an outsider.  How to start? You already know. We … Continue reading Living with a Forest Garden

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´