Designing and Establishing Edible Hedges, Hedgerows, and Windbreaks

https://instagram.com/p/BnCsKIWgVj_/ You want to LEARN JUST ONE WEIRD TRICK that will have a guaranteed positive effect on a huge range of features including: Farm and garden productivity and profitability Reduced irrigation requirements Reduce cost of fencing and livestock management and feeding Home and garden security Improved livability and reduced home heating and cooling costs Reduced pest and disease pressures Increased pollinators, native flora and fauna, Increased soil health and fertility,  Increased water health, Increased biodiversity and overal ecosystem health Fight climate change by sequestering a whole lot of carbon And provide more food for less work than just about any … Continue reading Designing and Establishing Edible Hedges, Hedgerows, and Windbreaks

Permaculture and Money: Investing in Transforming our Lives, Livelihoods, and Society

“I’m not interested in what you do in your garden. You can read any one of 1,000 books on the topic. What I want to talk about is where you’re banking your money, and how you’re spending it.”  Bill Mollison, the Founder of Permaculture As a system of design, Permaculture can be applied to almost every aspect of our lives, including how we structure our finances and fund our endeavors. It’s worth noting that far less than half of the Permaculture Designer’s Manual is about growing food. And for me and Kim, it is the materials on Social Permaculture design, … Continue reading Permaculture and Money: Investing in Transforming our Lives, Livelihoods, and Society

Gardening Against Climate Change – 10 Tips and Techniques

“You can solve all the world’s problems in a garden.”  – Geoff Lawton, The Permaculture Research Institute RELATED VIDEO: Permaculture ideas for positive direct action! Hot enough for ya? If not, just wait: According to NASA 2014, 2015, and 2016 were each consecutively the hottest years on record globally, and 2017 was the hottest year on record without an El Nino, coming in second after 2016. Already, 2018 is looking like it will be a contender.  This next couple of paragraphs are the bummer part, so first: LOOK! A BUNNY! Of course, it would be nice if heat was the … Continue reading Gardening Against Climate Change – 10 Tips and Techniques

French Intensive Methods for Permaculture

(Dynamically evolving French Intensive spacings and planting design at Lillie House)  I love French Intensive Gardening, or French Intensive Method (FIM.) This old evolved set of French techniques using planting designs with precise, tight, non-row spacings, interplanting, and clever companion planting – all to achieve the highest possible productivity and quality –  has a lot to offer the Permaculturist and expert gardener or producer. And this goes beyond the lessons that FIM teaches us about true sustainability, companion planting, soil building, plant spacing and size, and producing top-quality produce.  FIM is one of the major things that gives our garden … Continue reading French Intensive Methods for Permaculture

We Deserve Beauty: Finding Inspiration in Patterns

“When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer.”  — Ron Finley   To live in a beautiful, uplifted situation with dignity should not be seen as an exclusive privilege for the elite. It is the birthright of every being born to this earth. The idea that rest of us should content ourselves with stodgy utilitarianism is oppressive. We all deserve beauty.  To surround oneself with beauty is old, powerful magic. It’s no wonder it was seen as so revolutionary, so dangerous for Ron Finley to create a beautiful food forest garden in his poor LA … Continue reading We Deserve Beauty: Finding Inspiration in Patterns

What is Permaculture – A Primer in Pictures and Patterns – PART 1

Is it a community of doomer hippies? An incomprehensible internet meme for do-gooders who hate lawns and love fermenting things? A clever rebranding scheme for the organic farming movement thought up by wayward corporate marketing gurus? A cult for Gaia-worshipping environmentalists? A secret society for foraging herbalist hedgewitches? WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?  After 6 years, 100 posts, over 100,000 page views, and hundreds of followers, I’ve never written a post answering that question!  Why?  Because there are already so many good treatments of the topic on the nets. Why re-re-reinvent the wheel when the internet’s rolling along just merily without me. … Continue reading What is Permaculture – A Primer in Pictures and Patterns – PART 1

Fall clean up VS. chop & drop, mulch, and wildlife habitat

Question and Discussion: Eliminate debris to reduce pests and diseases (clean garden practice) VS mulching, chop & drop and creating wildlife habitat: which is better?  Question from one of our students:  “I’ve read that one major way to inhibit garden pests organically is to eliminate debris to get rid of places the pests hide.  But you taught us the value of mulching and chop and drop which also make sense.  So I have been putting freshly chopped leaves down in the fall.  I think it helps with weeds and retaining moisture and must also add organic content.  But I am … Continue reading Fall clean up VS. chop & drop, mulch, and wildlife habitat