Land, Rehabilitation, Soil Composition, Structure, Urban Projects — by Joel Dunn August 18, 2012
by Joel Dunn
Raised beds are great for deep, friable soil and good drainage, and also provide a nice structure for annual veggie rotations. However, the set-up costs for both the raised edging and imported soil to fill the beds can be a turn-off. This little photo journal illustrates a couple of simple cost savers I used for raised beds installed this year.Comments (3)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Nurseries & Propogation, Seeds — by Joel Dunn July 7, 2012
Onion going to seed
When I started to take an interest in permaculture, one of the first things I wanted to learn but had no reference to guide me on was seed saving. The idea of seed saving felt close to the core of a regenerative way of life: life loves to live, and regenerates itself, and this can be harnessed to provide for our needs. I felt that, like sunlight and rain, seed should come for free, letting the garden function with a natural life cycle.
To begin with, I bumbled through, with some successes but plenty of unexplained failures as I tried to propagate veggies from saved seeds. Then came a wonderful opportunity to volunteer at Michel and Jude Fanton’s Seedsavers garden and seed bank in Byron Bay, Australia. Six months of working a couple of days a week with these inspiring people in that inspiring environment was a turning point in my understanding of a lot of things about life in general… but also of the fact that seed saving is not difficult at all, and very rewarding. With a few basic understandings, you can make a good start with seed saving, and I reckon a lot of these basics can be distilled into quite a short read that I want to share with you in this article. I intend it to be the sort of easily digested starting point that I wish I had when I started out.Comments (6)
Animal Forage, Commercial Farm Projects, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Land, Livestock, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Salination, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Joel Dunn June 30, 2012
Harvesting oats as green native perennial pasture
grows up between the cereal rows (Seis, 2006)
Pasture cropping is a farmer-initiated land management system that seamlessly integrates cropping with pasture production, and allows grain growing to function as part of a truly perennial agriculture. Annual winter growing (C3) cereal crops are direct drilled into living summer growing (C4) perennial pasture grasses as the pasture sward enters the dormant phase of its growth cycle, allowing year-round growth and eliminating fallow and bare ground. This cereal production for grain and fodder is integrated with an intensive time controlled grazing system. There are important sustainability benefits of maintaining more perennial plants across agricultural landscapes, and the low input costs and flexible nature of the system make it attractive to producers.
Pasture cropping has already captured the imagination of the permaculture community because of its potential to make grain cropping compatible with permanent, regenerative agriculture. This review provides an in depth discussion of the development of pasture cropping systems in the NSW Central West, techniques and strategies of the system, environmental and economic factors, the dissemination of the technology around the Australian cereal-livestock zone, and potential future development and adoption.Comments (9)