alliums ameraucana Anthony Bourdain aphids Appleseed Permaculture aquaponics arthritis artichokes Asian Vegetables aussie basil baby chicks baby turnips bearss lime bee keeping beet greens beneficial insects benner tree farm Biochar Bitter Melon blight blooming hill farm boothby blonde cucumber brix broccoli brussels sprouts cabbage cabbage hill farm camp hill farm cancer caraflex celeriac chicken coop chickens children chinese tamale chives cilantro cilantro root coconut cold frames collard greens Compost coriander corn crop rotation cruciferous crucifers cucumber Dan Barber dan kittredge Dave Llewellyn detox dirty dozen dragon fruit Dutch white clover dwarf citrus eggplant Elderberries factory farms farm to table farmer's market farmers markets Fava beans ffarm to table fish oil flea beetle flowers food allergies food combining food miles founding farmers four wind growers Fred Kirschenmann french bulldog G6pd deficiency garlic garlic festival garlic scapes geese Glynwood grass-fed beef Great Outdoors Listening Tour green tomatoes greenhouse growing indoors Hanalei Hemlock Hill Farm heritage turkey heritage USA hudson valley farms hurricane Irene hyssop iced tea infections influenza Insect control isothiocyanates joan gussow jolie lampkin joong kaffir lime kale Kauai kohlrabi korean licorice mint Ladybugs late blight leeks lettuces local food locust tree maine avenue fish market menhaden meyer lemon mycelia mycorrhizal natural fertilizers nectary nightshades No Reservations Nurse cropping nutrient density okra organic Baby food organic christmas tree Organic Pest Control Parsley Paul tappenden peas Permaculture pesticides pesto petite watermelon plant sap pH plymouth barred rock pole beans potatoes preserving food purple basil qunice Radish Greens rainbeau ridge farm raised beds rampicante raw food real food campaign red hook Rockland Farm Alliance ronnybrook farm row covers salt-preserved duck eggs sambucus nigra seed saving seedlings Sheet mulching small space soil analysis soil blocks soil conductivity sorrel Squash Vine Borer star fruit sugar snap peas sustainability sustainable fishing Swiss Chard tabbouleh TEDx Manhattan terracing three sisters tomato sauce tomatoes trellis trovita orange turkana farms Tuttle Farm urban zen volt white clover winter harvest Winter Squash Young Farmers Conference
Indispensable Books and Resources
  • Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set)
    by Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier
  • The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    The Winter Harvest Handbook: Year Round Vegetable Production Using Deep Organic Techniques and Unheated Greenhouses
    by Eliot Coleman
  • The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    The Biological Farmer: A Complete Guide to the Sustainable & Profitable Biological System of Farming
    by Gary F. Zimmer
  • The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    The Garden Primer: Second Edition
    by Barbara Damrosch
  • 1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    1500 Live LadyBugs - A GOOD BUG! - Lady Bug
    Organic Insect Control
  • Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.
    Acres U.S.A.

    The best farming and growing magazine money can buy!

  • Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks
    Seed Starter Soil Block Maker Makes 4 Medium Blocks

    2" Soil Blocker

  • Mini Soil Blocker
    Mini Soil Blocker
  • New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    New York City Farmer & Feast: Harvesting Local Bounty
    by Emily Brooks
  • What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    What Doctors Eat: Tips, Recipes, and the Ultimate Eating Plan for Lasting Weight Loss and Perfect Health
    by Tasneem Bhatia, Editors of Prevention

 

 

 

 

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Sunday
May152011

The Intern's Corner: Permaculture Basics

Mycelia in soilForget Pippa Middleton...Pippa Purdy, one of our 4 bright and hardworking farm interns, also a graduate student at Teachers College at Columbia in the Nutrition Education program, reflects on her experiences starting our permaculture edible forest garden a few weeks ago.

 

What better way to spend Earth day a few weeks ago than immersed in planting trees, digging holes, playing with worms and getting to know some plants? The four of us interns arrived at the micro-farm at 10am ready to go! We started by prepping the plants and digging some holes (and becoming well acquainted as to why Rockland County is called Rockland County!) None of us had heard of or knew much about Permaculture prior to meeting Pam and Charlie. Even after our first experience, it is hard to put into words exactly what it is. The biggest impression I came away from this first experience with was that it is an entire ritual of planting that involves much more than nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, sun and water.  Not only is it a brilliant system that utilizes the symbiosis of nature, it is a reminder to step back and consider plants and what they provide as well as the complexities and beauty of nature. An example of the complexities was illustrated through learning about plants that act as dynamic accumulators. We planted comfrey and yarrow, as well as several other types of plants, at the base of the fruit trees.  The plants’ purposes are to act as nitrogen fixers and enhance the ability of the roots to take up nutrients from the soil. Yarrow:Botanical PrintThey increase the nutrients in the soil and enhance the formation of mycelia which in turn allow the plant to absorb more nutrients. We actually saw the mycelia, which appear as white, tiny thread like branches, in the woodchip mulch that we used. It was pretty cool.  Yarrow is also beneficial because it attracts particular pollinators, like ladybugs and bees. Another tidbit – if you are out in the forest and get a cut, yarrow can help to heal your wound!

 


We also had an opening and a closing circle in which we had a chance to say what we are grateful for and what we learned throughout the day. It was so inspiring to hear everyone’s thoughts and experiences at the end of all the hard work. It was the perfect way to sum up a great day of learning, digging, and working hard to create this amazing new system that will grow and evolve for decades to come! As we learn more about permaculture in the months to come we welcome your questions and look forward to sharing this experience.

 

Pippa

Alison, Pippa and Charlie at the Palisade's Farmer's Market. Come and see us next Saturday!

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