Permaculture Jardin de Curé

(Originally published, May 2015, updated January 2021) The French “Jardin de Curé” might just be the original “Permaculture garden” of temperate Europe: diverse, beautiful, abundant, easy, and custom designed for the circumstances at hand. 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 … Continue reading Permaculture Jardin de Curé

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