Forest Gardening in Western Colorado

What is forest gardening?

Forest gardening is a way of gardening that mimics natural ecosystems. Through observation and study we learn the patterns and principles that make a living system resilient, self-replicating, productive, efficient and diverse. We then take these principles and apply them to our home gardens, orchards, hedgerows and wood-lots.

I think about forage gardening also as forage gardening or […]

Edible, Cold & Drought Tolerant Plant List for Western Colorado Landscapes & Gardens

Edible Landscaping and Forest Gardening in the High Desert Steppes

Edible Western Colorado Native: Golden Current, with bright orange berries.Direct seeding is best in the fall or early spring as soon as the ground thaws. Transplanting can be done in the fall or early spring as well, however coniferous trees and some deciduous trees and shrubs like lavender, and hazelnut require winter water and are prone to failure if planted in the fall and left without water.

Some super benifical fall-planted cover crop plants: daikon, vetch, rye and wheat.

The late summer/early fall is the perfect time to think about fall planted cover crops. Cover cropping is not just for big acreage, it’s great for gardens and even small container gardens.

The main objectives of planting a cover crop are to maintain soil fertility by holding or adding carbon and nitrogen in the soil and by controlling weeds. Cover cropping also attracts bees, other beneficial insects and can prevent erosion.
Cover crop between old millet crop.

My Top 10 (or so) Permaculture Books

Introduction to Permaculture – Bill Mollison, Teaming with Microbes – Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewi, Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability – David Holmgren, Gaia’s Garden – Toby Hemenway…

Spring Garden Abundance – Lemon Asparagus Sauté

Melliodora – Hepburn Permaculture Gardens

Visiting David Holmgren’s property as an intern I had a distinct experience of abundance and harmonizing with the seasons.  This was specifically related to food and eating. Modern food culture is one of instant gratification, at any given moment those with access and money can have just about anything they want. I make this distinction […]

Spring Garden Abundance – Lemon Asparagus Sauté

A Permaculture Design Consultation: an outline of the general process and detailed questionnaire.

Design and Consulting Outline
Step one: Questionnaire.
The design questionnaire is intended to gather as much information as possible about the clients vision, wants and needs.
Step two: Create base map and survey the site.
The base map contains only what is already existing on the site in as much detail as possible.
The mapping phase can include contour maps, geological maps, climate maps, etc.
The […]

Permaculture Design Tree
a diagram of the process

The Permaculture Design Process.

In this diagram I liken the design process to a living tree. The process starts with a ‘seed’ of inspiration and develops in complexity as it grows. The seed is expressed as a combination of the vision that reaches inward and a goal that reaches outward. Surrounding the seed are the three core ethics of permaculture, […]

Permaculture Design Tree <br> a diagram of the process

How to build soil like nature does – soil science basics for beginners

Its dark. You are surrounded by giant flesh eating amoebas. You can’t move very fast… Welcome to the world of the bacteria, the smallest but most abundant member of the soil food web. Often feared but essential, whether directly or indirectly, for the survival of almost all other living organisms on earth.

The Soil.

Good soil is alive soil. It’s texture is […]

How to build soil like nature does –  soil science basics for beginners

Finding breakfast in the forest garden.

I paused for a moment in my forage for breakfast to watch the first ray of sun wash the mulberry tree in liquid marigold. It reminded me to eat a handful of the just-ripe berries. They tasted like honey. A cheeky robin, berry in beak, scolded me: “What are you doing eating my mulberries?” I said the same to him. […]

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