Hugelkultur mound from 1 month growing over 20 years.

A colourful example of how a hugelkultur mound grows over 20 years:

http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-1_month

 

hugelkultur_1_year_later

 

 

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-2years

 

Hugelkultur_raised-garden-bed-20years

Hugelkultur – you can do this in your garden, no matter how small!.

Hugelkultur – so easy and you can do this in your garden, no matter how small. No digging required.

Hugelkultur swales and a food forest growing in harmony – a great example of permaculture synergy.

Hugelkultur which is German for ‘hill culture’ are simply no-dig raised beds with a difference.

Packed with organic material: trees, wood, trunks, roots, shrubs, branches, leaves, grass clippings, straw, cardboard, petroleum-free newspaper, manure – they hold moisture, build fertility, maximise surface volume and are great spaces for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs.

Cover the organic goodies waste mound with soil then plant your veggies. Finito!

Try a mini Hugelkultur raised bed with all your organic garden waste in your garden today. Any size will work

Instead of throwing the organic waste in the green bin, build your mound, cover it with soil, scatter and push some seeds in the soil.

The Hugelkultur mound will retain much more moisture, water and nourishment from the composting organic waste within.

 

Hugelkultured_Swale_Food_Forest

Food forest – so easy, any garden can have one!

Food forest – so easy, any garden can have one!

Another feature of any good garden of Permaculture is a food forest.

A food forest can be big or small, or just a few plants, growing in companionship with each other over several canopy levels. This mini forest could just be the crop of plants in the corner of your garden.

Nature grows in a highly optimised pattern, utilising multiple layers and making the most of both horizontal and vertical space.

A food forest may not have all seven layers, but it does have multiple layers, and even more importantly, it is a virtually self-sustaining living ecosystem.

A food forest offers:
– High Productivity
– Natural Mulch, Compost & Fertiliser
– Natural Pest Control
– Resilience Through Biodiversity – Strength in Numbers
– Easy Soil Repair – Chop n’ Drop.

Real forests do not need any work, they self-maintain — no pesticides, herbicides, weeding, crop rotation, mowing or digging. Food forests do not need any of this either – less work, more food, all natural.

A food forest typically is comprised of seven layers:
– High canopy: The canopy layer is comprised of tall trees — typically large fruit and nut trees.

– Low canopy: Between the tall canopy layer trees, there is a layer of low growing, typically dwarf fruit trees.

– Shrubs: Nestled between all the small trees are the shrubs – which are well represented by currants and berries.

– Low shrubs: Filling the remaining space are the herbaceous layer, these are the culinary and medicinal herbs, companion plants, bee-forage plants and poultry forage plants.

– Ground cover: Any remaining space is occupied by ground cover plants. These form a living mulch that protects the soil, reduces water loss to evaporation, and prevents weeds growing.

– Underground root level: We can still go a level deeper to the rhizosphere, or root zone, the underground level which is occupied by all our root crops, such as potatoes, carrots, ginger, yacon, etc.

– Vertical Vines: While that might seem like a lot of plants in one space, we still have one more to fill, the upright vertical space. This is filled by climbers and vines, which can be run up trellises, arbours, fences, trees or any other vertical support. This category includes grapes, climbing beans, many berries, passionfruit, kiwi fruit, climbing peas, chokos and many other species that love to climb.

Thank you – http://permaculturenews.org/2011/10/21/why-food-forests/

Food_forest_layers

What does a swale look like?

What does a swale look like?

Here it is – and it can be created in any small garden or even in a big pot on your balcony as just a slight slope and ditch will focus the water where it is needed most.

A great to conserve water.

swale_profile

Permaculture 101 Basics – quick lesson on the top 3

Permaculture basics – for any garden design, big or small.

In this order from most important to consider:
1. Water
2. Access
3. Structure.

Some time ago we posted some great Permaculture tips e.g. the herb spiral garden, planted swales (curved ditches) down a slope to capture and retain water for your vegetable garden.

To create a Permaculture garden or a permanent culture of sustainable ecology, even before the above tips, the 3 most important features to consider in any garden project are:

1. Water – where does the water enter and exit your property? In what direction does water naturally flow? This is the best path to capture your water, retain it to nourish your garden. Its all about retaining water with less run off as possible without waterlogging your garden whilst relieving the need for mains water.

2. Access – how can you access your property by foot or vehicle? How easy is it to access your water, main garden or structure? Is access blocked by a structure or potential pooling of water?

3. Structure – where are the buildings on your property? Are they in the way of water flow, or access, on a hill or close to the perimeter? If we had a choice, where shall we place our structure – house or shed?

Permaculture_design_house_enviropedia

Fermented foods – a natural probiotic for an immune boost.

Happy New Year folks!

To help us digest away all our indulgence over the holiday break – at last we have a favourite, tried, test in almost all cultures for many centuries – traditionally fermented or pickled foods – the natural probiotic!

As Mercola notes:

“Traditionally fermented foods, or “functional foods,” are highly beneficial because they give you natural probiotics, now recognized as crucially important for your immune health

Probiotic bacteria, either from fermented foods or as a probiotic supplement, have been shown to help with many problematic health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, atopic dermatitis, diarrhea, allergic rhinitis, and even the common cold.

Traditionally fermented foods also offer enormous benefit for your baby, including lowering her risk for adverse vaccine reactions.

Though the term “fermented” sounds vaguely distasteful, the results of this ancient preparation and preservation technique – produced through the breakdown of carbohydrates and proteins by micro-organisms such as bacteria, yeasts and moulds – are actually delicious.

Even more so, they are so beneficial to overall health that some of these “functional foods” are now considered to be “probiotics,” increasing your overall nutrition, promoting the growth of friendly intestinal bacteria, and aiding digestion and supporting immune function.

This also includes an increase in B vitamins (even Vitamin B12), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid, and other immune chemicals that fight off harmful bacteria and even cancer cells.”

(http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2004/01/03/fermented-foods-part-two.aspx)

Many cultures have used pickled vegetables to aid health e.g. Captain Cook in the 1700′s took sauerkraut, high in Vitamin C, on board his ship for long journeys to prevent scurvy of the crew.

Similar pickled and fermented vegetables and cabbage in other countries include:

– Korean kimchi
– Japanese tsukemono
– Chinese suan cai
– Filipino atchara
– Salvadoran Curtido.

Sauerkraut is the most important ingredient in the shchi, a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, the time of the import of cabbage from Byzantium.

Enjoy your Sauerkraut or Cornichons (mini gherkins/cucumbers) in your burger, sandwich, favourite salad or on a cracker anytime!

 

 

Eat a Rainbow today!

Singing the song ‘I can eat a Rainbow’…well it went something like that, is great for all of us to remind ourselves of the healthy foods we can eat, especially our kids. Sing the song and make it fun to eat healthy fruit and vegetables. Cut them up in fun shapes and sizes using cookie cutters e.g. hearts, stars, butterflies.

For us adults, this chart below is a good reminder to visualise in colour what delicious options we have every day to eat a Rainbow!

A Rainbow plate means = more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, cancer-fighting foods, fibre and a boost to your immune system. Plus a cleaner digestive system, glowing skin, less stress, more energy, more focus, a more confident, clearer mind and attitude and a wonderful night’s sleep.

 

Eat a Rainbow today!

 

 

Plate up a Rainbow and enjoy!

 

 

20 reasons to go Organic

What is Certified Organic?

Organic produce is grown and processed without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, or GMOs with a focus on environmentally sustainable practices.

Organic systems are an innovative method of farming and production focused on soil and land health, and balanced eco-systems. Techniques used in organic agriculture deliver a diverse range of benefits and their potential is increasingly being recognised in the development of sustainable food and fibre technology for the future.

Organic food is not just chemical-free. Organic farmers take a holistic approach to food production and handling, and the whole system is linked – Soil. Plants. Animals. Food. People. Environment. Health.

To read more on the benefits of organic click here.

 

 

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