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Old 03-20-2010, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default Fukuoka Inspired Permaculture Garden

These are videos I found about a month ago. I want to apply the same method with part of my garden. Be warned that part 1 opens with a duck honking for a good minute and I found it annoying. The narrator too ... well English isn't her first language but she gets better as it goes on.

Basically the method is to use compost piles as raised beds. Rather than buying $300 worth of soil I say clear off a layer of leaves that didn't compost but leave on enough so the soil isn't exposed directly to the sun. The excess leaves that didn't degrade are mounded up next to the pile and so on every year until the desired length of the row is achieved. Older parts of the mound are maintained as explained in the video; after harvesting cut up the remaining parts of the plant to act as mulch for the fallowing year. This sounds like an excellent way to slowly get rid of a lawn, though personally I'd lay down a thick layer of cardboard to stop out any grasses. Dried grass clippings or mulch can be used to hide the cardboard.

So you have the full gambit of gardens and crop rotation all in one row. Legumes growing in the oldest parts of the mound, Potatoes and cucumber family next, root vegetables, and brassicas and tomatoes growing in the newest parts. The tomato plants might even fight against the smell of decomposing wet grass which can be offensive.

Old canes of hallow stem plants, such as sunflowers, goldenrod, raspberry, joe pye weed, etc... can be used the fallowing year as for vine crops to grow up. Sunflower canes may need a little beautification. Raspberry canes need to be cut back anyhow and have a nice curve to them already. Some varieties are thorn-less. This applies to thorn-less blackberry too but only fruiting canes are cut.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:59 AM   #2
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Permaculture is famous for their food forest designs. Here is one model -- there are others.

Food Forest: An Example from a Northern Michigan Forest
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:41 PM   #3
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Awe come on...I thought the duck quacking away at the beginning of the video was funny! Perhaps the duck was trying to narrate?

I read Fukuoka's "One Straw Revolution," and was quite inspired by it. I experimented with a part of my garden last summer and created these mounded rows using cardboard as an underlayment, then lots of leaves. I mounded up the soil first, but not quite as high as the mounds in the videos. I planted tomatoes and beans in my mounded rows and they did really well. The mounded growing areas were warmer, and because I live in a cool climate, this really helped out my crops. I was impressed with these two nearly weedless areas of my garden all summer.

I'll be expanding this method to other areas of my garden this summer.

Good luck with your experiement, and let us know how it turns out for you.

Thanks for posting the interesting videos!
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #4
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I am in the expansion phase also. I have had an invasion of ground ivy in one part of my yard. So I planned to use the permaculture technique of smothering with cardboard, and then building soil into a raised bed with a combination of finely ground pine bark mulch, cleanings from the rabbit pen, and shredded junk mail. This is also called lasagna gardening - if anyone cares to search it. My aim is to smother the ground ivy and get some new beds for vegetables.

I have previously used this method for winter gardening -- I use hoops made from electrical conduit covered with plastic sheets for starting lettuces, chard, and spinach in the early spring. It works very well. The rabbit manure does not need to be composted. I keep one end of the bed for adding kitchen scraps but they compost very rapidly in the soil. I do not have a compost pile. Its not needed for the permaculture style beds.
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fukuoka, garden, inspired, permaculture

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