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a permaculture food forest would be an excellent thing to have in the event of an emergency (think BOL). For those who dont know, Permaculture is a method of growing food (mostly perennials) in a way that, once established, requires very little external input. The idea is to mimic a natural forest (which is naturally self sustaining) while selecting which plants grow in the forest. So for instance, for large trees you can have pecan, walnut, oak, mulberry, and maybe even a pine or two. for smaller trees you can have just about any fruit trees that can grow in your area. underbrush could be various berry bushes, perennial herbs and medicinal plants, whatever else. groundcover can even be selected for its multiple uses. and of course, you will still have your regular annual vegetable garden, but even those can be mixed in your food forest in properly selected microclimates.

The designing process includes things like water catchment, wind and fire breaks, and the analysis of what each plants do for other plants. You can even integrate your wastewater into the system as well and your own waste treatment via an artifical wetland. In the eco system that we can create, every plant in there will have multiple uses. Animals are also incorporated into the design. The idea is to create a system that stays in balance and will not need external input like fertilizer and mulch. It will take a few years before it gets to that point, but once it does nautre keeps everything in balance and we get food and very little work to keep it.


If interested, there is a free course on itunes offerded by NC State. it is a video course that talks about the principles of permaculture. (This course is OK, but getting some books on the subject would be much better. I got gaia's garden, which is about permaculture for suburban and urban sized yards)

This idea makes so much sense to me. Just wanted to pass it along
 

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The wanderer
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What an awesome idea! Prepping at it's best!
 

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YourAdministrator, eh?
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This is something that has been written into a couple of Jerry's stories .. I really like the idea.
 

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The wanderer
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Jerry's stories are a great "casual" way to learn tremendous amounts of real-life useful information. I recommend them to everyone.
 

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That's cool. If I ever get the acreage I'm after I'm definitely going to have to try it.
We practice permaculture and the beauty of it is that large swaths of land are not need though they are more productive.
 

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Retired Army
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I will have to look into the NC State class.

I have been planting Fruit, Oak, Walnut, Almond, Goji Berries and numerous other berry and nut trees.

I do the numbers and the output of these trees is above and beyond the sweat equity required to till the earth in a garden.

Last year I had some toss out apples from an orchard. I fed my chickens a diet of half apples/half layer ration over the winter and they produced eggs like no tomorrow. It definitely gave me some satisfaction to know I do not need to depend on bagged feed.

I have also heard chickens will thrive on a substantial diet of acorns.

The trees will also supplement my firewood.

Love my trees and bushes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will have to look into the NC State class.

I have been planting Fruit, Oak, Walnut, Almond, Goji Berries and numerous other berry and nut trees.

I do the numbers and the output of these trees is above and beyond the sweat equity required to till the earth in a garden.

Last year I had some toss out apples from an orchard. I fed my chickens a diet of half apples/half layer ration over the winter and they produced eggs like no tomorrow. It definitely gave me some satisfaction to know I do not need to depend on bagged feed.

I have also heard chickens will thrive on a substantial diet of acorns.

The trees will also supplement my firewood.

Love my trees and bushes!
In the course, the instructor talks about how he uses his chickens to help keep japanese beetles at bay. His coupe is built under his grape arbor. in the morning, when he goes to feed the chickens, he gives the arbor a shake. apparently, due to the colder temperatures in the morning, the beetles natural response is to simply let go of the grape plant and fall to the ground when they sense danger like that. the chickens then eat the beetles efore they are let out into the yard and fed their normal diet.

also, what are Jerry's stories?
 

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Off topic - it was Jerry's stories that first brought me to this site. :) Gypsy Sue - I really enjoyed your stories, too!

I guess if blackberries and black caps are considered permaculture, I've got that started here, lol.
 
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