Tour a Food Forest 4 Months After Planting | Full Course at Organic Life Guru

>> Michael: Hey well, Hi! Welcome back to
the medicinal food forest in Hot Springs, Montana. I’m Michael Pilarski, and I just
wanted to show you the stage of this year’s development. As you saw in earlier videos,
this was just bare grass, or grassy pasture like all that dry stuff out there. We tilled
it this spring, added some soil amendments, planted it into a medicinal food forest, and
here we are on August 29th, in the height of its exuberant summer exuberance. So, we
wanted to show you what it looks like. It worked! Amazing! It didn’t look very good
in those early days when it was just that dusty patch of ground. So this medicinal food forest is divided into
4 sections. So we’ll just look at each of the sections in turn. Come on down here. So here we are. This is one quarter of the
garden here. And its easy to see that theres a lot of green stuff out there and you can
see rows of things. So I’ll just explain it kind of starting from the top. Along this
edge here is a row of trees and berries. Raspberry, raspberry, raspberry, I think I see a mulberry
down there, a bunch of oak trees. So this is a row of trees and berries. And then there’s
a row of potato, and then there’s another row of trees and raspberries. Raspberries,
raspberries, there’s blackberries, black locust, uh so there’s very, and most of the trees
and shrubs are just- a lot of them aren’t even visible above the potato canopy, because
the potatoes are planted right here, here’s one of the hills, and it’s flopped over onto
the tree rows. Next year, the potatoes will be gone. The tree rows will grow big and robust
and I’ll put a narrow crop of, an annual crop between in here where the potatoes are, but
it’s got to be narrow; it can’t be wide like the potatoes this year. This year the potatoes
had room. So I’m going to get a good crop of potatoes out of here. We’ll dig one up
in a bit. Next, this is mainly an herb and tree area
of the medicinal food forest. Here is some Figwort. It’s been harvested just two days
ago. Here is Elecampane, a two-year root crop, a medicinal root. Here is a row of marshmallow,
it’s already been harvested twice for leaf. I’ll get one more harvest out of it. And I
usually harvest the root in year two. Then I have a row of beets and we have here cylindrical
beets. So, they’ll grow out of the ground. They’ll be, oh probably five times this big
by the end of the season, they’re just really taking off at this point. So we’ve got a lot
of cylindrical beets. Here’s a row of Black Cohosh along the term four-year medicinal
crop. They never have looked very good this year, but they keep coming back, shows me
the roots are alive. Next year it should really take off. So this year is sort of like the creeping
year. Here’s a row of, we looked at this another time, but here’s a row of Oat straw for milky
oats. This was just harvested a week ago and I’ll get a second regrowth- minor regrowth
of it. I got a little mulch out of some of the tops, see I have two rows here, and there’s
two more rows in the next section. So between the two of them, I got twenty-five pounds
of milky oats. So that’s worth $300 to me. Then I’ve got thirty-five pounds of dried
oat straw, which is worth about $300. So I’ve made about $600 on these little, these two
rows, you know this little bit of rows of oats here as a catch crop. Just to have a
little bit of space this year and so I was able to squeeze this crop in, and made good
money on it! Back there, were more rows of beets. The beets
were really kind of stunted by the oats, they didn’t get much sunlight, but now I’ve harvested
the oats and the beets are now what we call released. They’re released, they’re going
to get the sun to thin them some more, and I’ll get a beet crop out of this as well.
See, there’s two rows of beets. In between the beets, is this multi-dimensional system
here of this is Currant and Apple tree. This is probably, I don’t see. Here’s another currant
here, and then here’s another currant here, and here’s another apple tree, another apple
tree, and here’s another’85here’s another Gooseberry that didn’t make it. We have some-
here’s a Gooseberry that did make it. So in between the trees are herbs. Here we have
the Goldenrod. Here we have Feverfew, it’s already been harvested once. Here’s Oregano,
which needs to be harvested. Here is a Rosemary. Here’s Catnip, which was just harvested. I
just shipped 8 pounds of catnip the other, or 6 pounds, yeah. So it was thirty-six bucks
worth of catnip just for, you know, a few patches of catnip. Here’s the Anise Hyssop
for the bees, and for medicine. So at any rate, so here’s a row of trees, shrubs, and
herbs, and beets, and oats, and they’re all working! I’m pleased to say, I was wondering
if it would work. (chuckling) Here’s a Joe Pye Weed, I see a lot of bees
working it. Again this place has more bees than anything else in the neighborhood, you
can see its dry and brown out there, and so I’ve created a little island for the bees.
And here’s Boneset, eupatorium perfoliatum. Here’s a little bit of Baikal Skullcap, this
is a long-term four year root. Bee balm, or monardo didyma, which is again a medicinal
plant. Finally, here’s a row of well, not finally, but next is this row of Jerusalem
Artichokes, which are doing very healthily. And I can be, I can count on getting a good
crop out of them. Finally the last row here is squash, winter
squash, and here`s a melon, actually. So the winter so- yeah, there`s- the deer really
hurt my first planting of winter squash. There`s one there, there`s another one, there`s a
big green one, anyway’85 There`s winter squash in here. And the deer, by the early depredations
definitely didn`t help things on that front. But at any rate, that worked. Okay, so there`s section number one. Section
number two is fairly similar. What`s different about it? Well, instead of the Jerusalem artichokes,
I`ve got a row of potatoes here. Here`s a row of, by the way here`s our row of trees
and shrubs that go back and forth. See we have there`s five rows of trees and shrubs
that go this way, and here`s a’85 that`s a chokecherry and here`s a phelodendron. That
one`s barely alive. There`s another chokecherry. Here`s a linden tree, which is a medicinal
tree. But the- what I did in this potato row, here`s an oak tree. So every now and then
in this potato row, there`s a row of trees in here, with relatively wide spacing. Here`s-
I haven`t even looked at them lately to see how many made it. Here`s another oak tree.
It`s alive, it`s not doing particularly great, but as long as it stays alive the first year,
next year it can really go for it. And so, I`m going to get a good row, a good
crop of potatoes here while I get the trees established. The squash that were on this
other row have been of course running around, so here is, here for instance, winter squash.
So besides getting potatoes out of this bit of sunshine, I`m getting squash as well. They
sort of intermingle. They can both coexist, both produce a decent, you know, a good crop.
The crop of both of them combined is better than if I`d kept them out of there. In other
words, I may lose a little bit of potato production, but I`m going to more than offset it with
the squash production. Plus, I`ve got the trees coming in here for the long haul. For
instance, here`s a black locust, really got its head above the crowd here. But there`s
a bunch of trees in there. And look at the size of the squash leaves this year. I`m really
impressed by, I have a lot of squash in here with giant, giant leaves. And so here`s a
crop of Holy Basil, I just harvested the other day. Here`s some columbine. Here`s Olympic
Mullein, for the Mullein flowers, the medicinal flowers. And then back to our system again
of the palm meadow suite. Here`s our system of oats, beets, trees, shrubs,
apples, herbs, oregano, oregano, here`s a hyssop, oregano, oregano, oregano… A lot
of oregano in here I see. And then another row of oats. Here`s black cohosh again. Here`s
a black locust coming up with one of them somehow or another. I like it when trees start
volunteering on the site. You know, there`s our cylindrical beets coming along nicely.
Holy Basil, I just harvested, I`ll talk more about that, but there`s Holy Basil, Lemon
balm, Catnip, Motherwort, Lovage, Celandine, Hyssop, Marshmallow’85 So you see, this is
Betony, so you can see this is a big herb area, but I`ve got a lot of vegetables in
here this year. Next year, the herbs will be more dominant. And then finally up there, there`s the trees,
potatoes, trees again. So that`s section number two. This section, number three, and this area,
I designated as partly, part of its role is home garden, for the people that are staying
at this household. So, here is for instance, I`ve got a lot of big tomatoes coming on that
I have to pick here. But anyhow, I`ve got a lot of these probably Black Prince here.
Black prince, one of those kinds’85 But anyway you can see I have a lot of tomatoes in here.
And this is a Mustard, that`s going to seed so I’m going to get a seed crop, there’s already
ripening and falling so I’ve probably got.. You harvest this at the optimum time when
you, you know, some are going to be fallen while others are still ripening, and so you
have to try to hit it- I’d like to do a one-shot harvest here- is when the maximum amount are
ripe or almost ripe, and that’s probably only a couple days away. I’ll get a really bunch
of seed out of this. This is one of the crops is the seed crop. So every year I count on
the seed crop as part of the income, part of the production. Here’s Kales and so far so good, no aphids
et this season on these. And here’s some celery leaf for salad. Lettuce going to seed, I’ll
get some lettuce seed. Getting a lot of basil in here. The basil is getting, you know, overwhelmed
by the Sunglobe tomatoes here a bit, but what the heck. I didn’t have time to trellis the
tomatoes. That was one of my faults this year. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa, as we used
to say back in Catholic camp. Little bit of greens’85. But look ’96 here’s a row of the
oats. This went in later than my oats already harvested. These are about ready for harvest. You harvest them when there’s a lot of milk.
See, there’s a bunch of white milk comes out? If I squeeze it, white milk comes out. So
you want to get it when: white milk, white milk’85 maybe these ones down here don’t have
so much milk. Down here, yeah. So, I’m waiting for the perfect day. Again, and probably two
or three days from now, I’m going to strip the oats, I’ll cut off the straw, and then
whatever’s living here has more light. And I’ll get my catch crop here. See, I got some
corn here. You can see back there there’s a lot of squash. It’s our squash row again,
with winter squash growing in there. More seed crop. There’s arugula seed, mustard seed,
here’s a little carrots. Here’s some’85what do we got here’85.some nice eggplant. So,
yeah. I like these just- they’re pretty! Look at all this food. We’ve got eggplants. See,
here’s our basil here, out in the open. Just cropped that the other day. I’ve got three
cuttings or more. Here’s peppers, here’s Hungarian wax, here’s some green peppers, here’s jalapeno
peppers. And so what I’ll do later in the season, when I have my tomato production peaking,
late in the season, I’ll take a lot of the tomatoes and I’ll take all the peppers, and
I’ll make a big batch of salsa. So these are, you know, I eat a little bit as I go but mainly
this is for storage waiting for the salsa. See the tomatoes are really covering a lot
of territory here, but they’re producing, so it’s alright. Here’s one good pumpkin plant. I’m impressed
with this pumpkin plant. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight! Eight good
sized pumpkins and they’re already bright orange. These are going to be very ripe. Oh
look! Here’s a mushroom! Ha! I love it when I start getting mushrooms in the system; shows
that there’s fungi moving in, and they’re really good for the soil. So, I haven’t seen
many of those yet, but they’re starting. And of course no garden is complete without
zucchini. So we have zucchini, of course. More basil. Oh yeah! And here’s a patch of
beets. Here’s more of an idea of the form of the cylindrical beet. Makes this big cylinder,
and got a lot of beet greens on there too. So, I have enough beet greens to feed the
town for a meal, I think. Okay so, there’s a just to finish this section
off, the food section’85 you know here’s a whole lot of rhubarb. I’ve got two sections
for the rhubarb row. This will be, you know, I’m going to get a lot of rhubarb production
for a lot of years out of this. So this is a perennial food crop. Here’s onions in here.
This is called horse onions, a type of bulbing onion, kind of like a shallot. There’s some
tarragon. There’s some French sorrel, I see some skullcap up there, garlic chives, and
some more onions. Here’s a row of a different kind of potatoes. These are Ozette potatoes
from- a fantastic story! We should do a special section on it later. And then here’s a row
of Brassicas. There’s broccoli going to seed, and look how the bees are on it so that’s
feeding the bees and I’m going to get a seed crop out of it. I’ve got brussel sprouts in
there, and kohlrabies, and cabbages. You know, more food crops. Okay, so finally! The four sections of, the
four, once again there’s a row of trees and shrubs across the wind here. Here’s linden
tree, and autumn olive, nitrogen fixing, Nanking cherry, aronia berry, Nanking cherry, aronia
berry’85 and look at this! I’ve got 1, 2, 3 nice gingkoes in here! These are ginko trees
and I’ve got two of these cornelian cherry dogwood. Mmm yum! Cornelian cherry dogwood.
And in between the trees, I almost always plant bush beans. See here’s bush beans? I’ve
already harvested most of these, but look at this one here. This is a good example of
the bush beans are growing in between the trees for the first year. They’re fixing nitrogen,
helping the tree grow up tall by providing a little side shade. And I get all these beans.
Alright, so we got a lot of beans in here. Alright. So then you can see the squash is
sort of escaping its bounds a little bit this way, but, it took up the path, but I didn’t
need the path that much, so you know, I got some squash out of the deal. So this section
is mainly an herb section, once again. So here’s Holy basil, this was just harvested
three days ago, all this holy basil here between- this is a row of trees and shrubs, again.
Here’s Nanking cherry, Nanking cherry, Nanking cherry, chokecherry, chokecherry, service
berry, rugosa rose, service berry, and so forth. A row of, this is all a shrub-berry
row for the over story- or the middle story, eventually. But this year I just harvested
50 pounds of holy basil in my holy basil patch! Which is, I’m pretty happy about, because
that was worth almost $500 to me. So the garden is starting to pay its way back. So one of the permaculture principles is obtain
a yield. And so obtaining a yield here, I want to get, as I pointed out in every session
of this, I want good production in the first year. I’m putting a food forest in, but I
don’t want to wait for years for the food forest to bear. I want good production, and
I’ve achieved that this year. So this holy basil is an annual herb, but if I made- I’ve
already had two other cuttings before that, I’ve got one more cutting. So this may end
up being worth $900 bucks or something, perhaps. And just that crop. And I’ll probably have
$700 off the oats. And some of the other herbs are starting to
harvest too. I’ve got money for the Perfoliatum, Catnip, blah, blah, blah. So I’m just starting.
It’s really, in the last couple weeks I’m really starting to harvest medicinal herbs
from this first year. But the big crop this year, of course, is going to be the vegetables.
The potatoes, the beets’85 See here’s another row of beets way out here. See, again, I was
just filling in this row. Here’s another row of cylindrical beets in between the boneset,
the stevia, the valerian, the anise hyssop, bugleweed, etc. So, got to have good money
from the vegetables as well as the herbs. I’ve already got two cuttings off this Eupatorium
perfoliatum, and I’m sure I’ll get another cutting. It’s growing quite nicely, so I’ll
get a third cutting. Here’s Bugleweed Lycopus, this is for hyper thyroid. People use it for
medicinal use. It’s a mint family plant and I’ll be getting another good cutting here,
you know, a little bit later on. Of course we’ve already mentioned the fact
that we have the potato row and the squash row. This is the area that’s, that the deer
hurt the least so I have a really nice squash that’s coming on here. Look at this one here,
this is cute. You’ll never find this variety in a store because I created this variety.
I’ve been letting my squash breed, and I’ve been selecting for this particular form. It’s
sort of a turban kind of look, but I’m going for colorful, good size- this isn’t as big
as I like them, but still- this will be worth saving the seed for next year because very
nice coloration. So I’m after something that looks good, and is tasty to boot, and productive.
So, I’ve got that. I’ve got a number of those guys in here coming on. But yeah, there’s
all colors and sizes of squash. Take a look at this one. See, this one’s more of a cross
between probably a buttercup and one of the orange squashes. Here’s one that’s got a nice
turban form, but is green, not so colorful. So, and it’s not that bi, so I won’t tend
to save seed from that one. Any rate, you know, you can play around and get new things.
You know, it’s fun to experiment. Here`s a Goji berry. You know and they`re
just starting to flower. These little, cute little purple flowers. Solanaceae family.
This won`t fruit this year, but the fact that it`s flowering in its first season, after
transplanting, I`m expecting- yeah, I`ll get fruit next year. Here`s Autumn Olive, nitrogen
fixing, fruiting. Here`s a Linden tree, here`s more of our beans in between the- here`s another
linden tree, a bean. Here`s a Goji berry’85 Here`s Sea Buckthorn, there’s hippophae rhamnoides’85
Caragana, caragana, and then here I`ve got some caraganas’85 I see 1, 2, 3, 4’855 caraganas
in here, nitrogen fixing shrub. We`re almost there. Here`s an example of me
leaving this particular type of weed in the system because I just cut it back over here
because it was sprawling onto the beets. Don`t want the- but here I have an area that didn`t-
You know, this apple tree made it, King Sherry made it, but this gooseberry and this gooseberry
didn`t, and that one. So, I have sort of a gap here. And I don`t like gaps in the garden
so I’m letting this weed grow here to, you know, just pump the system a little bit. Here’s
another one here, I just cut it back away from my plant. This is the barest ground you’ll see in the
whole garden, partly because I just harvested all the holy basil and a bunch of things,
and partly because some of the herbs didn’t grow that big this year like this Black Root,
or Verona castor, they didn’t do that well this year. But next year I’m expecting they’ll
really take off and bush way out. And there’s a bit of annual crop in the system. Again,
here’s onion, which I may not get great bottoms on it, looks like some of them are bulbing
out. Yeah, looks like I’ll get some bulb, but I’ll probably harvest it for the Inland
Northwest Permaculture Convergence and just you know the tops can substitute for buying
in bulk onions if we need it. Here’s the rhubarb again, the row of potatoes, and then up there’s
another row of trees and shrubs intermixed with, in this case, there’s tomatoes, there’s
summer savory, all kinds of stuff on the upper row interspersed. Yeah, oh here’s one of the weeds I let go.
This is a wild lettuce here. I let it grow, again, because it’s a bare spot, but it’s
crop for me, and you know, I sell this. So I’ll take this and put it in the dryer. And
that weed will probably be worth, I don’t know, a buck’s wroth of product or something.
Echinacea flowering, I need to get more Echinacea. This is just my first year, so, I’m just getting
started. Here’s some thyme, and here’s a piece of grass, and so I’ll just use it to illustrate
a point. Some time back, about a month or so, I noticed that my weeding was so well
caught up on, that I declared this a ’91grass-free zone garden’. In other words, if I see a grass,
I stop and I get it out. Usually I have my hori hori and get it out at the roots. Here’s
another one here. So, as you can see, I’m a little behind, but
you know if you look around this garden you’ll see very, very, few- you know, not that many
weeds period but- you’ll find very little grass. My goal is a ’91grass-free zone’. You
know, I consider grass one of my worst weeds, so to speak. Here’s a weed I like, by the
way. Here’s Sheep Sorrel, or rumex acetosella. It’s in the ESIEC anti-cancer formula and
it’s related to Yellowdoc it’s incredibly yummy leaves and I get orders for it. Make
a nice creeping ground cover, so I’ve been letting that grow on the garden in various
places to establish a partial ground cover of Sheep Sorrel. So it’s a ground cover, plus
a medicine that I can harvest; so there’s a weed I’m encouraging. Oh, here’s some holy basil I forgot! I could
have harvested another pound here. But this is, see beautiful flowers, very powerful medicinal
plant from India. So I’m selling, I just harvested a bunch of that. Here’s another grass trying
to grow, we’ll get it though. Here’s a’85 I can see the yellow jackets working this,
interesting. This is dagga plant from South Africa, medicinal plant, motherwort family,
but I grow it just because I think it’s gorgeous. See, it’s growing in between the Gooseberry
plant, here’s another gooseberry plant, gooseberry plant’85. So this is a row of trees and shrubs
up here. Here’s a couple of weeds that escaped, here’s Clary Sage, that’ll be a seed crop.
Here’s a lovage and a currant, here’s back currant, currant, here’s a black currant,
there’s even a few berries left on it drying. Here’s some Nasturtium, more black currant,
and then there’s more berries in here. Here’s a black currant peeking out, here’s a black
currant. They’re kind of weighed down by the tomatoes. The tomatoes and the potatoes have
mingled here and just created a jungle, but see I’m just starting to get- these tomatoes
went in late, just starting to get production in them, but we’ll get something. Again, but this is closed-canopy gardening
folks. You don’t see any soil. It’s all sunlight being captured by plants and turned into medicines
and food. That’s the goal: capturing as much sunlight as possible. And, in my first year
garden as you can see, I’m very much a meticulous weeder. In future years, we’ll show you how
this develops and over the years to come, they’ll be more weeds in the system. As the system really, as the robust perennials
just capture the ground and there’s no holding them back. In the meantime, I need to weed
and care for all these little babies and these little trees so that they get a good start
in life, so that they can produce for me for years and years, and years to come. So we’re planning for the future when we put
this kind of garden in. We have many waves of succession here, all the way up to a climax
forest species, and we’re going to make and have good production and yield at every year,
at every step of the way. The yields will change over time, but as you can see in this
first year, I’m getting herbs, I’m getting seeds, and I’m getting a lot of vegetables. Next year I’m going to start getting berry
crops as well as all the above. So it will change, but the goal is: put it all in that
first year. That’s one way, not the only way, but one way of doing a medicinal food forest. [outro music]


  1. thanks for a very informative video, can you please tell me which way you have the sun running?  across or along the rows?  thanks

  2. Won't the raspberries outcompete the trees the first few seasons?  I am also wondering why you planted in rows rather that shaping the plot with swales on contour?  It seems like more a blended vegetable garden with annual crops and a few rows of perennial plants.  What are you using for mulch?  Cover crops?  Nitrogen fixers?

  3. Looks like a garden to me. I also have a garden, so do alot of people. I guess the rest of us don't shoot videos of ours. Just saying —

  4. Have a cousin who has a ranch up there. When he brought it a guy live on 1 acre of land right beside it. he was a A$$ hole. He would come out every time they worked in the fields. So he put up a 10 foot privacy fences around that 1 acre parcel. It blocked his view of the mountains, He got made tried to sue him. he lost. Next he tore down the fence, He got arrested. My cousin put up another fence, He tore it down, He got arrested and order to replace the fence. The 3rd time the Judge had enough of him and order him to pay him $10,000. He paid him the $10,000 after that he left him alone

  5. That's a gar-den…. not a for-est.
    The difference between garden and forest is that a garden is irrigated, like yours. We are not as stupid as we look. 😉

  6. I'm seriously overwhelmed with everything you have there. I want to try to grow a food/medicinal forest and dear lord, that's a lot.

  7. He establishes his future trees with annual crops and perennial herbs. In 3-4 years, the trees will be dominating everything else, with a productive undercover… He leaves half of the garden open for the more sun-loving plants. His main income is from medicinal herbs.

  8. Last year was the first time I tried any kind of gardening, this video is really interesting.  No magic plan, just try it and if it works great, but keep trying.  Thank you.

  9. thx for the share chris, your site and projects are an inspiration.  this particular video helped me realize how much more densely I can plant.  Thx.

  10. does he not realize the trees will live for like 100+ years and shade the entire garden?

  11. Many of the programs such as this one make for poor watching, as the cameraman, invariably swings the camera one and then another. It amazes me that many people do not understand that the camera should be stationary and look at one patch steadily without moving. The curse of the moving, shaking, swimming camera has been going on for many years now. I must be the only one on the planet who brings this up time after time after time. Video-makers should learn to the basics of holding the camera steady. I could write a whole chapter about it, but will stop here. I only watched 2 minutes of this video before stopping and moving on.

  12. Many of the programs such as this one make for poor watching, as the cameraman invariably swings the camera one way and then another. It amazes me that many people do not understand that the camera should be stationary and look at one patch steadily without moving. The curse of the moving, shaking, swimming camera has been going on for many years now. I must be the only one on the planet who brings this up time after time after time. Video-makers should learn the basics of holding the camera steady. I could write a whole chapter about it, but will stop here. I only watched 2 minutes of this video before stopping and moving on.

  13. When using beans as nitrogen fixers, they should be pruned as often as possible.
    Letting your beans go to flower and produce fruit is counter productive if you're using them to fix nitrogen into the soil. But your garden looked amazing, going to check for updates

  14. Interested in the fencing system. I have seen other examples of this type of "scrub" fill in. Are there other examples? Can you explain how it was done?

  15. I'm a newbie at all this, so forgive me if this is a really dumb question, but aren't the trees planted too close together? Won't the compete too much as they grow?

  16. Fantastic video and garden. Can you tell me why you went for Oak trees? I am on a similar project and am planting more "nut" trees such as Hazels to eat and for a possible cash crop. I didnt think there was a market for acorns? New sub and working my way through your vids. Thanks for posting

  17. Thanks for sharing. I am only a beginner in permaculture, but look forward to becoming better versed. Where do you get your seeds for year 1?

  18. Emily and Patrick just watched this 30 minutes of permaculture from Montana, and we listened carefully. Some of the plants were new to us, and some were old friends. I know Micheal from Washington State. It is great to share this bit of time and know Micheal has opened up to the world his skill and knowledge in this digital way. blessings for the planet!

  19. Nice video guys! Really beautiful garden and some really great trees getting their start too. I was thrilled to see the Cornelian Cherry Dogwood too 🙂 I've recently made jam from those and also a tasty liqueur. I can't wait to get started on my own in the spring – just finishing up the earthworks/terracing.

  20. Cool that you're doing permaculture but ever think of just ditching the rows altogether? I'm looking at designing a potager garden based on companion planting principles.

  21. I'd have a FUCKING HEART ATTACK with that MUCH FOOD!!!! it looks absolutely GORGEOUS!!! This Elder knows how to GET DOWN WITH HIS BAD SELF!! I been doing gardening for 23+ years and this video just makes my mouth WATER!!!! INCREDIBLE!!! ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!!!! ^_^

  22. Lol! "deer depredations" depredations
    Plural form of depredation, (dĕpˌrĭ-dāˈshən)►

    A predatory attack; a raid.
    Damage or loss; ravage: "[Carnegie Hall has] withstood the wear and tear of enthusiastic music lovers and the normal depredations of time” ( Mechanical Engineering).

    lol further: A browsing deer, doubtless a widely used symbol of innocence. Try deer fencing. But then upon hopefully cedar posts, posted higher than fenceline. Then string bailing twine along tops of fenceposts along fenceline to give that extra height, partic where a downhill slope leads in to garden area….yadablah

  23. Very impressive production in just 4 months. A lot of very healthy looking veg among those medicine plants and trees. I'm hoping to do a lot better as I step up my permaculture garden plan this year.

    Also, I see you have used sticks to one side of the garden. I guess this is mainly to keep deer out.
    I too have a twig hedge to one side of my garden (although much deeper and piled sideways against a wire mesh fence). I had put them there for 2 reasons – one to keep the deer out and the second to break down and help regenerate a thin layer of soil over rock, and it's doing a great job.
    The shrubs that I'd planted on the other side of this fence just hadn't grown well, staying small and vulnerable for years. Now the twigs are starting to break down, the soil is deepening, the shrubs are growing, and nutrients are being released. At the same time, frogs, toads, newts, beetles and birds are moving in and thriving in this cool, shady habitat – to the detriment of the slugs and snails (previously such a bad problem).
    This form of hedge needs regular topping up, but I think it is a job well worth doing, and much better than letting the twigs and sticks lay in the nearby stream, where they rot and stink of methane.

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