Sunday, 23 August 2020

High Summer in the Forest Garden - The Polyculture Project - Week 23

There's a hint of autumn in the air this week. Although the temperatures have been above 30°c at the time of writing this blog, there has been a cooler feel to some of the nights, and the evenings are definitely drawing in.

Still no significant rainfall, since the end of June however we're fortunate to have a perennial water source which reaches our garden and all the other houses in the village via channels diverted from a mountain river. 

 Raised beds laid out on contour with sunken pathways in the home garden

Flood irrigation is generally used when a stream from a river can be diverted into the site and is what we predominantly use on our sites. We have designed all of our garden layouts based on the use of flood irrigation, positioning access and earthworks to distribute water across the site and slowly sink into the soils.  We've found between is very effective, with the pathways doubling up as irrigation channels. not only does the water sink into the soils but capillary action also draws water up into the raised beds. According to some reports, 90% of plant death following planting is the result of not enough water, so having your irrigation plan and system in place on site before planting makes a lot of sense and is absolutely essential if you are planting on a large scale or running a commercial activity.  

We are now entering the final month of our Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course. We've moved into the Design Implementation phase, and it's excellent to see the how the participants are applying the material to their own projects and coming up with some really great ideas and design elements. This week we cover how to install various methods of irrigation, how to establish access and fencing, and how to prepare the ground in advance of planting. We're planning to run the course next year with modules and weeks available to purchase individually. You can take a look at the program here.

Regenerative Landscape Design - Online Interactive Course

Last week I mentioned fennel flowers stealing the show in regards to their ability to attract organisms, many of which are beneficial for our landscapes, particularly in terms of pest predation and pollination support. Here are a few photos of some of the visitors.

Here Fennel the red husks of Zanthoxylum piperitum  in the background

Once the Zanthoxylum piperitum - Japanese Pepper Tree fruits have opened and shed their seed and it's a good time to harvest the red husks. They are easy to dry in a paper bag left on a window sill for a week or so and than placed into glass jars for storing. Pop the husks into a pepper grinder for a delicious spice on pretty much any savoury dish. Caution - a little goes a long way :) 

This week the figs are coming thick and fast.  I was planning to harvest some today, cut them in half, and put them on a metal baking tray placed inside my car, with the windows slightly open for circulating air.  The fruits generally take a day or 2 to dry and ready for storing (depending on outside temps/humidity etc). Our weather forecast shows we may have a few cloudy days on the way, so we'll hold off for now. This is a very simple but also a very effective method, with the added bonus of being able to reposition the car occasionally to follow the sun's trajectory :) 

 The essential guide to growing figs will give you a good overview of growing and maintaining the plant, and for a list of cultivars that we'll have available this season see here. We have started taking orders now for autumn delivery.

Tagete sp. Marigolds are one of the support species we use extensively in our annual vegetable production beds. They self seed and tolerate drought pretty well, as well as attracting a steady stream of visitors. The flowers also make a decent cuppa. 

What summer would be complete without the obligatory Sunflower photos?!

If you are would like to learn how to  Design and Build A Forest Garden ,we have a webinar coming up on the Saturday, 28th of November 2020 - 19.00 GMT+3.  It's a live session where we'll go through step by step what you need to know to get started and end with a Q&A session. We'll send you a recording of the webinar when it is finished along with our design spreadsheets and plant lists to help get you started with your own Forest Garden Design.  

The webinar will be hosted on zoom and you can book your place here - Looking forward to it!

How to Design and Build A Forest Garden - Webinar

Welcome to our Online Store where you can find Forest Garden/ Permaculture Plants, Seeds, Cuttings, Bulbs, Rhizomes and Polyculture Multi-packs along with digital goods and services such as Online Courses, Webinars, eBooks, and Online Consultancy and finally we've added a Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree order form for Farms, Orchards, Nurseries, and Large Regenerative Landscape Projects. If there is anything in the store you would like to see but is not there, please let us know. We hope you enjoy the store and find something you like :) It's your purchases that keep our Project going. Thank you. Enter Our Store Here

Plants, Seeds, eBooks, Consultancy, Bulk Fruit and Nut Tree Orders for Permaculture, Polyculture, Forest Gardens and Regenerative Landscapes.

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