Grow Your Own Produce!

image: permaculture food forestAre you tired of buying produce that’s been shipped from across the country or even across the world? Do you want to grow your own food but don’t know where to start? Look no further than permaculture food forests! These ecosystems mimic natural forests and are designed to be self-sustaining, low-maintenance, and highly productive. Here are ten foods that you can grow in your own food forest:

Leafy greens (such as kale, spinach, and collard greens)
Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts)
Berries (such as blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
Nuts and seeds (such as almonds, walnuts, and chia seeds)
Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and sardines)
Sweet potatoes
Legumes (such as lentils, chickpeas, and black beans)
Whole grains (such as quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread)
Herbs and spices (such as turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon)

But how do you grow or source these foods? That’s where permaculture food forest courses come in. I developed a course to teach you how to design, plant, and maintain your own food forest, no matter where you live. You’ll learn about companion planting, guilds, and other techniques that maximize productivity and minimize maintenance. And best of all, you’ll be part of a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion for sustainable living. If you’re not convinced yet, consider the benefits of permaculture food forests. They:

Provide fresh, healthy food for you and your family
Reduce your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for long-distance transportation
Promote biodiversity and support local ecosystems
Save you money in the long run by reducing your grocery and even power bills
Create a beautiful and peaceful environment that you can enjoy year-round
Increase the value of your property

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for my permaculture food forest course today and start growing your own food!

Homestead Animals Ranked By Utility and Cost

If you’re a permaculture enthusiast, you know that having farm-type animals on your homestead can be incredibly beneficial. They provide food, fertilizer, and other resources that can be used to encourage the growth of agricultural resources. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most useful farm animals for a small homestead, along with estimates of the cost per animal.

    • Chickens
      Chickens are one of the most useful farm animals for a small homestead. They provide eggs, meat, and manure for fertilizer. The cost to purchase chickens can range from $5 to $20 per bird, depending on the breed and age.
    • Ducks
      Ducks are similar to chickens in terms of their utility and ease of care. They provide eggs, meat, and manure, and can be raised in a small space. The cost to purchase ducks can range from $5 to $20 per bird, depending on the breed and age.
    • Rabbits
      Rabbits are a good choice for a small homestead because they are relatively low-maintenance and can be raised in a small space. They provide meat and manure for fertilizer. The cost to purchase rabbits can range from $5 to $20 per animal, depending on the breed and age.
    • Goats
      Goats are a good choice for a small homestead because they are relatively low-maintenance and can be raised in a small space. They provide milk, meat, and manure for fertilizer. The cost to purchase goats can range from $50 to $200 per animal, depending on the breed and age.
    • Bees
      Bees are a valuable addition to a small homestead because they provide honey and wax, as well as pollination services for fruit and vegetable crops. The cost to purchase bees can range from $50 to $200 per hive, depending on the type of bees and the size of the hive.

5 Inspiring Ways to Create a Sustainable and Resilient Outdoor Space

image: grow food sustainablyCreating a sustainable and resilient outdoor space is not only good for the environment but also good for your health and well-being. Here are five inspiring ways to create a beautiful outdoor space that is also ecologically sound:

1. Use Eco-Friendly Materials and Plants

Using ecologically friendly materials and plants is an important part of creating a sustainable and resilient outdoor space. Using materials that don’t harm the ecology of your local area is one way you can save money and keep your outdoor space healthy for you to use. Consider using recycled materials and low-maintenance plants native to your zone. Incorporating native plants in and around an outdoor patio will provide even more benefits, like promoting biodiversity and erosion prevention.

2. Apply Principles of Ecological Design and Permaculture Practices

When growing food in your outdoor space, it boosts productivity to apply principles of ecological design and permaculture.  This helps ensure that your food production and garden systems are integrated with the wisdom of the natural environment and avoids contaminating your soil and water. Sustainable residential landscape architecture practices can help build a network of productive and also resilient landscapes. Multifunctional plants can be used to regenerate degraded landscapes and provide critical habitat at home and in neighborhoods. When growing food, gardeners should look for organic and nontoxic products as well as follow the principles of permaculture to ensure the food they grow is healthy and supports beneficial wildlife that reduces maintenance.



Southampton New York Top Five Plant List

Plants To Boost Your Southampton Property

In permaculture design, I use elements that offer multiple benefits.  This is known as stacking functions.  This is no different if you are considering plants or hardscape features.  Today I’m going to share my top five plant picks for Southampton yards, plants with more than just one beneficial quality.

image: southampton plants

      1. Agastache nepetoides – Yellow Giant Hyssop is a beautiful native plant that is threatened statewide.  Planting it in your yard can help save this plant as well as provide critical habitat for birds and other beneficial pollinator species which rely on it for food and shelter.  Agastache as a genus offers many colors, and this species has the same beautiful greyish-green leaves as others in this genus.  The scent is no less than glorious, explaining what drives bees so crazy around these plants.




3 Top Healing Plants For Your Immune System

Keep Healthy Naturally With Plants

If you are worried due to all the noise on TV and piped over sound systems in stores, don’t worry; you can take simple action now to sidestep all the fear.

Using plants to stay healthy is tried and true, tested and proven over millennia of human civilization.  Most pharmaceutical drugs were derived from the plants that miraculously grew the medicine within their branching architectures.  For-profit corporate interests focus on making money, and so if shouldn’t surprise us that a return to the source – Nature – is powerful and inexpensive.



Hardscape Landscaping – What’s Included

Do You Do Hardscape Landscaping Too?

We often get this question.  Many homeowners are understandably unfamiliar with landscape industry terminology.  This is why they want to know if we do hardscape landscaping as well as planting design.  The answer is yes.

Our professional training includes a graduate degree in landscape architecture as well as the permaculture design certification.  This means we don’t just look at plants but create a full master plan that considers all elements.  Our plant choices are partially dependent upon the hardscape elements we design to solve our clients’ problems and give them the experiences they seek.

Hardscape Landscaping That Solves Problems

We combine our formal training in both permaculture design and landscape architecture to integrate plants and hardscape landscaping into one cohesive plan for a property.  From our permaculture knowledge base, we design each element to accomplish multiple goals.  This is referred to as stacking functions.  When each feature in the landscape does multiple things for the property and its owner, it reduces maintenance and cost.  The plants we specify also typically add multiple layers of value.  From shading smaller species to building soil structure to suppressing weeds to attracting mutually beneficial organisms, each species has several roles in the design.



Natural Health and Wellness Tips During Coronavirus

Health and Wellness Tips for the COVID-19 Panic

As we all grapple with the changes brought to our world by the COVID-19 panic, I was inspired by something I saw this morning to offer some natural health and wellness tips, as well as the dose of joy and empowerment that permaculture has to offer all of us.
While even most hiking trails are now closed, many citizens are still able to take daily walks.  I hope you’re taking some time each day to breathe in the delights of Spring and enjoy what sounds like heightened birdsong in the absence of normal levels of motorized human activity.
This morning on my walk up to a 180 year-old Deodar Cedar tree, which just happens to have a perfect chair shape just up from its base,  I found this lovely scene: