Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Cultivate Simple 23: Permaculture, Beyond the Basics

March 25th, 2013

Bill & Lauren Errickson from Singing Nettle Farm & Conscious Elements Permaculture talk about permaculture, beyond the basics from the The Permaculture Process Podcast. Like them on facebook if you’d like to keep up with what they’re doing.
Bill & Lauren
From Mr. Chiots – Some of the things that Bill & Lauren mentioned reminded me of an episode of The Permaculture Podcast: An Introduction to Nutrient Dense Farming with Mary Johnson If you want to hear more, check it out.

Books of the Week

Cultivate Simple 17: The Permaculture Process

February 4th, 2013

An honest and unrehearsed discussion about trying to live a more simple life. This is episode 17 and today we are sharing a talk given at our local library about Permaculture. Last Tuesday, we headed to the Belfast Free Library to listen to Lauren and Bill Errickson’s seminar on The Permaculture Process: Creating an Edible Landscape
Permaculture Process
PERMACULTURE: a design system focused on creating sutatinbable human habitats modeled on natural ecological patterns and processes

Topics of discussion:

  • setting goals for your property
  • promote healthy ecology, wildlife, and pollinators
  • minimize landscape inputs
  • generate income
  • evaluating and assessing your existing landscape
  • how permaculture principles can be used to expand existing landscape assets while reducing “trouble” spots

Lauren and Bill shared tips for prioritizing implementation strategies, setting realistic timelines, and maximizing your available resources and budget.

Lauren and Bill Errickson own and operate Singing Nettle Farm and Conscious Elements Permaculture in Brooks. They both hold M.S. degrees in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire and Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates from Humustacia Gardens. For further information, visit: www.singingnettlefarm.com

BOOKS OF THE WEEK
Weeds and why they grow

Library Learning and a Podcast

January 31st, 2013

On Tuesday, Mr Chiots and I headed to the Belfast Free Library to listen to Lauren and Bill Errickson’s seminar, The Permaculture Process: Creating an Edible Landscape. Not only did we attend to listen and learn, we actually recorded their talk for Cultivate Simple, our podcast about all things gardening and simple living.
Permaculture Workshop 3
Topics of discussion:

  • setting goals for your property
  • promote healthy ecology, wildlife, and pollinators
  • minimize landscape inputs
  • generate income
  • evaluating and assessing your existing landscape
  • how permaculture principles can be used to expand existing landscape assets while reducing “trouble” spots

Permaculture Workshop 4
Lauren and Bill Errickson own and operate Singing Nettle Farm and Conscious Elements Permaculture in Brooks. They both hold M.S. degrees in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire and Advanced Permaculture Design Certificates from Humustacia Gardens. For further information, visit their website: www.singingnettlefarm.com
Permaculture Workshop 1
If you’re interested in permaculture and how to incorporate it’s methods in your home garden this is the talk for you. Tune in the Cultivate Simple this coming Monday to hear what Bill & Lauren have to say.

Do you ever attend local workshops & seminars about gardening?

Asparagus and Beans – A Winning Combo

July 23rd, 2012

In the past couple years I’ve been reading a lot about permaculture. As a result, I’m always searching for more effective ways to implement it’s ideas into the garden. This spring I was reading a non-permaculture article reading recommended a higher nitrogen fertilizer once harvests stopped and the foliage was allowed to grow.

Instead of adding a high nitrogen fertilizer, I was going to underplant the asparagus with clover. This would both provide nitrogen and protect the soil. Before I got it planted, I ran out of space in the edible garden for my green beans. Off went the lightbulb in my head and I planted them by the asparagus. The asparagus greened up nicely once the beans took root. When the beans are done producing they’ll be pulled and laid around the asparagus to provide an overwintering mulch to protect the soil. If I have comfrey to harvest at that time it’s leaves will be added as well.

I love discovering ways to maximize the small space by layering edibles. An added bonus is saving money by not having to buy a fertilizer. Any time I can keep the circle of the garden closed I’m one happy gardener. Like what goes on my plate, I like knowing exactly where every input in the garden comes from!

If you’re not familiar with permaculture, I’d highly recommend reading about it. Check your local library to see if they have a copy of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture. I had our library’s copy so much that I finally just purchased one. Mr Chiots is reading our copy of this book and is loving it (not bad for a guy that’s not really interested in gardening). He’s already talking of implementing the apple guild next spring in Maine. Perhaps I’ll have him write a blog post about it this winter as he’s planning!

Have you ever heard of permaculture? If so, are you implementing any of it’s principles in your garden?

A Native Hawthorn Hedge

January 11th, 2012

“The beautiful Hawthorn, that has now put on
Its summer luxury of snowy wreaths,
Bending its branches in exuberant bloom,
While to the light enamour’d gale it breathes,
Rife as its loveliness, its rare perfume.
Glory of England’s landscape! Favourite tree
Of bard or lover! It flings far and free
Its grateful incense.”

William Howitt (from The Forest Minstrel)

(note – this is not a hawthorne hedge, but I didn’t have a photo)

I’ve mentioned my love of fences before. This past spring I was trying to figure out how to protect my garden from the deer that love my peas, beets, and other delicious homegrown organic vegetables. I would love to have a beautiful cedar fence surrounding the new garden, but I’d have to make it 8-10 ft tall to keep out the deer. Our homeowner’s association doesn’t allow fences over 3 ft tall and they have all kinds of other rules about them. Not to mention fences can be expensive!

After spending a lot of time last winter reading on permaculture, I decided a hedge would be a better option (my favorite book about it is: Gaia’s Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture). Permaculture focuses on using natural, native and beneficial ways to deal with the problems you have. For fencing, hedges are the best option since they can provide habitat for wildlife, food for birds, they help mitigate pollution and are much cheaper than fencing. Not to mention, there are hedging options that can provide you with food too!

After much deliberation, I settled on hawthorne as my hedge plant of choice. Why did I choose this particular plant over other options? The main reason was because it’s native to our area, and whenever possible I like to choose a native because I know they will thrive. Second, it provides lots of habitat and food for the wild birds, which is another one of the things I try to focus on when I choose plants. Thirdly, it’s an edible and medicinal shrub for humans. Here’s a great article at Way of the Wild Heart about the Hawthorne where you’ll find a lot of information about the uses of the hawthorne.

Last summer I planted about 200 hawthorne plants 2 feet apart around part of the new lower garden (my goal is to plant a few hundred more still). This coming spring, I’ll prune them low to the ground so they grow up nice and thick to provide a good fence alternative. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of these plants this past fall. They’re only 2-3 foot tall now and they turned a beautiful shade of orange/red.  A few of them still have a few leaves clinging to their branches. They will be stunning in fall when they’re 8 feet tall in 5 years or so.

Do you have any hedges in your garden? Have you ever considered installing one?

Shop Through Amazon

Shop through this link and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Reading & Watching
Resources

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Blogroll
Admin