Cultivate's Permaculture Blog | Cultivating sustainable lifestyles and resilient communities Keyhole Gardens Keyhole Gardens First made popular in Africa, keyhole gardens are catching on in Texas and other hot, dry places. Keyhole gardens hold moisture and nutrients due to an active compost pile placed in the center of a round bed. Although most helpful in hot and dry locations a keyhole garden will improve growing conditions in just about any climate. From a bird's eye view the garden is shaped as a keyhole. Keyhole Garden in Central Texas, Deb Tolman uses keyhole gardens as the main source of her own food supply, and is working on ways to keep them producing throughout multiple seasons and conditions. Keyhole garden in Lesotho by Send a Cow, who first popularized keyhole gardens in Africa. Keyhole garden. Keyhole garden by Send a Cow. A keyhole garden in Ethiopia. Keyhole garden in Uganda by Send a Cow. Keyhole garden scheme. When it rains or when you water your compost, the nutrients will seep into the surrounding bed. Step by step photos of a keyhole garden build. libertygarden.us How to:
Permaculture Articles This section of the online library contains an expanding offering of permaculture articles on concepts, techniques, practices and related skills. The word “permaculture” was coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and describes a system of design that integrates all aspects of sustainable living, including polycultural systems of perennial and self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to humankind. Permaculture is understood as an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that mimic the relationships found in natural ecological systems. It is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature. It is a design science that is rooted in the observation of nature, and is a positive, solution-based way of thinking, using a practical set of ecological design principles and methods. The principles of permaculture provide a framework that enables people to provide for food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs.
Forest Farming vs. Forest Gardening: What’s the Difference? | Farming the Woods Steve Gabriel In our pursuit of discovering forest farmers for the writing of our book, we’ve received a lot of responses from folks around developing forest gardens. This post describes the difference between the two practices. We are absolutely supportive and encouraging of forest gardens and see the two practices as companions. The topic of forest gardening has been well articulated in Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier’s 2005 book, Edible Forest Gardens Vol 1 & 2. Definitions With many agricultural and horticultural practices out in the world, there are many lines that one can draw in the sand; some useful and some less so. Forest Gardening: mimicking the structure and function of forests in the way we garden, or using the forest as a model for the way we garden. Dave Jacke and others advocate that in Forest Gardening we want to mimic mid-succession forests and woodlands with a 40 – 50% canopy cover. As Dave Jacke says, this is This is gardening/farming IN the forest. Further Distinctions
101 Permaculture Designs, Downloadable Imgur Album 33 Tips: Lawn To Permaculture Food Forest: Booklet Waking Times Does the idea of getting fresh, nutritious food right out in front of you kitchen door sound like a good idea in these turbulent times? A growing movement to reclaim, restore, and re-localize our relationship to food is happening all around us, and you can participate by re-thinking what you do with the under-utilized space outside of your home. The manicured, grassed, perennially green American lawn is a symbol of a passing era when people had little understanding of how the developing industrialized food system could do them harm by overuse of pesticides, anti-biotics and herbicides, by depletion the soil, and by genetic modification of food crops. Permaculture design science teaches us to provide for all of our nutritional needs in a way that is beneficial to the environment and re-energizing to communities. Click here to download - 33 Practical, Down-Home, Head-Ache Saving Tips to get started with Permaculture. This article is offered under Creative Commons license.
Conserving Water In Your Garden: 12 Tips Picture Courtesy Serghei Starus - Dreamstime.com Water conservation is important as water is a limited resource. With a growing population and the indifference at large for keeping our water systems clean and healthy, water will soon become a scarce commodity. Therefore, as gardeners we should try to conserve water as much as we can, in order to do our bit for the planet. USE MULCH - Mulching is probably your most important way of saving water in your garden. There are various mulches that can be used from bark, sugar cane leaves, lucerne, leaves, pea straw, compost etc. Whatever you choose to use in the end it should retain moisture, retard weed growth, be free of weed seed, create an attractive neutral surface, improve the soil as it decays, and be inexpensive to acquire and maintain. PLANT NATIVES - Planting cottage garden plants in an area that receives very little rainfall is as daft as planting cacti in high-rainfall areas. Go from Water Conservation back to Green Living
Beginners Permaculture Garden - Appropedia: The Sustainability Wiki See the talk page for this article: "nice start, but doesn't look like Permaculture yet." A better permaculture introduction is needed for this topic. This How To has more questions than answers. Please help to fill in the missing information. Here is the basic scenario. Can we provide some easy to follow guidelines on how to proceed?  Location and Design Observe the desired location least once in the morning, noon and evening. For example: The front of the house faces south with a tree in the front yard, the backyard has a small patio at the back door and a shed is located NE corner of the yard.  Raised Bed The plot will be a raised bed.  Plot Design A 4' x 8' plot is a good starting size. Although we describe the plot as a rectangle, consideration should be given to other shapes: Build a Keyhole Garden  Bed Frame Our basic design is for a 12" frame. Here are several variations for the raised-bed plot:  Cardboard covers existing ground  Soil  Soil Test
Bullock's Permaculture Homestead Start a Permaculture Nursery A How-To for Starting a Permaculture Nursery and Why You Should by Douglas Bullock My brothers and I grew up in a small California town with abundant open space, some large lots and horse pastures. Down the road from our place lived a man we called Crazy John who had a modest house on a big lot packed with unusual trees he had collected from around the world - almost a jungle. Sometimes John would give us kids a big sack of seeds to plant. Most people thought John was a bit "touched" because he often carried on about international conspiracy theories and the like. If you want to make a positive impact on the world as John did, I encourage you to start a home nursery. Save money and get the right plants One major benefit of starting a small nursery is that you will develop the skills to propagate the huge number of plants required to flesh out the skeletal/framework plantings that so many permaculture sites start with. How do I start? Where to put it? Grafting 1.
Silvics Manual: Guide To N. American Tree Species Russell M. Burns and Barbara H. Honkala Technical Coordinators Timber Management Research Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271, Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965) Forest Service United States Department of Agriculture Washington, DC December 1990 Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. The silvical characteristics of about 200 forest tree species and varieties are described. Oxford: 174, 181 (082, 7). Cover art: Natural stands of southern pine and cypress bordering a lake in Noxubee County, MS. Foreword "Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States," Agriculture Handbook 271, was the first comprehensive document of its kind in the United States. Our store of silvical and related knowledge has markedly increased since that silvics manual was published 25 years ago. "Silvics of North America" describes the silvical characteristics of about 200 conifers and hardwood trees in the conterminous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Jerry A.
What Permaculture Isn’t—And Is Permaculture is notoriously hard to define. A recent survey shows that people simultaneously believe it is a design approach, a philosophy, a movement, and a set of practices. This broad and contradiction-laden brush doesn’t just make permaculture hard to describe. It can be off-putting, too. Let’s say you first encounter permaculture as a potent method of food production and are just starting to grasp that it is more than that, when someone tells you that it also includes goddess spirituality, and anti-GMO activism, and barefoot living. What would you make of that? Humans are a problem-solving species. Thomas Kuhn, in his masterwork, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, uses the word “paradigm” to mean the viewpoint that defines the problems to be solved in a particular field. “Paradigm” has been trivialized through overuse and I’m sure that Kuhn is spinning in his grave. So, why, then, is permaculture so confusing to define? The Permaculture Flower, modified from Holmgren.