Thursday, 28 August 2014

How To Use Comfrey In Your Garden - Why Most Permaculturists Love Comfrey

Hello!  Do you know a plant called Comfrey? Do you know how to use Comfrey in your garden? 

Comfrey is a very popular plant in the permaculture designs and permaculture gardens.  It has many advantages in the garden.  It's also called the queen of multi-functional plants (Toby Hemenway).

Main advantages:

-  Brings beneficial insects to your garden - bees love it! Earth worms love rotting Comfrey!
-  Fantastic 'chop and drop' plant for your fruit trees.
-  Leaves great in the compost pile - makes your compost heating up quickly
-  Makes great Comfrey 'tea' as a liquid fertilizer for your plants (by cutting leaves and soak them in the bucket of water for a couple of weeks.)
-  Great biomass (biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms) accumulator for your garden.

-  Spreads by a root division - very hard to get rid off by digging a plant out. Make sure you plant Comfrey to a right place in the ground or plant it in the pot. 

I found this great video from Paul Wheaton titled with Why Permaculture Folks Like Comfrey.  It'll give you more great information on Comfrey and how to use it in your garden.

Hope you'll enjoy it!


Do you grow Comfrey in you yard?  What experiences you have had with the plant?

We'd love to hear from you. Leave your comment below :-)

Heli & Allan       
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Thursday, 21 August 2014

Starting A Food Forest - Growing For A Long Term Food Supply

Hello!  Do you have a block of grass land that does not have much value and you don't know what to do with it?  Have you ever thought of starting a permanent, food forest for a long term food supply?

Growing a food forest by using permaculture principles, is gaining interest in all over the world.

What is a food forest in permaculture?

Basically it is about designing a food forest by mimicking a natural forest ecosystem.  It produces food without too much human intervention when it's established.

There is no need for artificial fertilizers, pesticides and only little watering.  As long as the soil is looked after, it will look after plants that are growing in it. 

So how to start a food forest? Here's a great video on starting a fruit forest from Frank Gapinski and Geoff Lawton.


Heli & Allan     

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Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Permaculture Swales - What Are Swales And How They Work?

Hello!  Have you heard of swales in permaculture design system? Many of you have asked what are permaculture swales and how they work.  Why are swales used in the permaculture design?

Well, these swales with 'flat bottom' (drenches or ditches) in permaculture are quite amazing water harvesting features on contour of a land.  This means water in swales slowly soak into the surrounding landscape and helps passively irrigate plants and hydrate the earth.

The soil dug out from swales is placed (not compacted any way) on the downhill slope where long term (perennial) and annual (short term) plants are planted to stabilize the soil.  This is also great way to establish a food forest.

Swales also help slow down running water on the down slope and prevent erosion of a top soil.   A level sill spillway is set up 100mm higher than a bottom of a swale to discharge excess water in the swale.  Any excess water in the swale can be directed into another swale, a dam or where ever you need it to go.

I am excited about this passive irrigation system and thought you might be interested in it too.  So here is a great video from Jack Spirko on Large Scale Swales in permaculture design system and another video from David Spicer on A Backflood Swale with 2 Levelsill Spillways .



Did this post help you to understand more of swales?

Heli & Allan     

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