Tag: Permaculture

Garden Tip: Squash Your Lawn

By Jack Kertesz Sheet mulching your lawn can bring about short-term food and long-term garden expansion for future production in your yard. The photo shows a 4-by-8-foot plot, or roughly 50 square feet.  Coarse, dead plant material, gathered from MOFGA’s perennial flower beds, was placed over the sod in the spring of 2022. A layer

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Brushing Up on Soil Improvement

By Jack Kertesz There is an area of MOFGA’s fairgrounds where we have placed various types of fences to restrict human entrance to where livestock activity happens during the Common Ground Country Fair. Among some traditional and sometimes crude wooden rail fence designs are examples of even cruder types of make-do arrangements. There is a

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More Than Just Apples: A Polyculture Orchard

By Jacob Mentlik There is a lot more than just apples growing at the Maine Heritage Orchard. While most commercial orchards lean toward monoculture, featuring long even rows of one particular species of fruit tree, the goal at MHO is to create a polyculture orchard, with many species growing together in harmony, mimicking the diversity

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Agroforestry With Plants of the Eastern Deciduous Forest

A blight-resistant American chestnut tree growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. Butternuts shown in the Exhibition Hall of the Common Ground Country Fair by Claudette Nadeau. Aronia melanocarpa growing at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center. Permaculture with a native twist By Heather McCargo     Agroforestry is the practice of adding trees and shrubs to

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To Till or Not to Till

A heavy hay mulch, as promoted by Ruth Stout, smothers weeds (until some, such as quackgrass, creep in) but is not suitable for closely set plants or for grain crops. English photo By Will Bonsall No-till is the rage now and for some good reasons. Plowing, spading and rototilling disrupt the natural soil structure and dilute richer

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Too Many Wood Chips

A pile of year-old chips partially transformed by white mold. These heavily-bearing blackberry plants have never been treated with anything but chip mulch. By Will Bonsall I’ve spoken and written extensively about using forest residues, especially shredded brushwood, or “ramial chips,” to build and maintain soil tilth. I’ve advocated incorporating them into gardens as short-term

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Permaculture Takes Root in Maine

By Stowell Watters Do yourself a small disservice sometime and type the words “permaculture definition” into an Internet search for a refreshing check-in with your college brain. Can you still absorb painful block-text paragraphs and talking-head quotes ranging from the vapidly vague to the searingly specific? Can you mentally digest a hurricane of exposition and

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Diagram of the labyrinth that was being installed during a permablitz in Belfast. English photo. By Jean English “Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you dream of.” Alice Walker’s quote is one of several on the Belfast Area Transition Initiative website (BATI; www.belfasttransition.org). A “permablitz” that BATI

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