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

8 Patterns for a Permaculture Kitchen Garden Make-over

Check out this new short video of Geoff Lawton’s Kitchen Garden Make-over at Zaytuna farm: The garden beds you’ll see in the video above, like most of Geoff Lawton’s kitchen-garden designs, look very much like the kitchen garden beds you see in our pictures at Lillie House, and that’s no coincidence.  I wanted to share this video because it shows a collection of classic Permaculture patterns that go together well to create a style of vegetable gardening that work well almost anywhere. This video is at Zaytuna, Geoff Lawton’s farm in subtropical Australia, but the patterns can be adapted … Continue reading 8 Patterns for a Permaculture Kitchen Garden Make-over

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

Selecting Plants for a Food Forest

With 10+ years of experience in observing planned food forests and similar “wild” ecologies, as well as 3 seasons of co-evolving with a home food forest, I’m just starting to form some good conclusions about what makes a really good forest garden in the Great Lakes bioregion. Interestingly, some of those opinions are quite different now than they were a dozen years ago when I first became passionate about the concept of forest gardening. When first introduced to the concept, here are some of the criteria I would have had for a successful food forest:–High yield.–Would focus on productive trees.–High … Continue reading Selecting Plants for a Food Forest