My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Permaculture is a method of designing (pretty much the principles can be applied to designing anything) where we look for how energy flows in and out. On our homesteads major energy flows include sunlight, water, wind, mulch and manure materials as well as animals people. Gaia's Garden is a great beginner's book about designing permaculture gardens to help you get started. One of the great ideas I like from permaculture is to put your chicken coop and other animal shelters at the top of a slope and your garden at the bottom. That way the manure and bedding will work it's way down the hill to land where it's most needed, in the garden. Permaculture also teaches us that there is no waste in nature. Leftover/waste material from one operation becomes the fuel for the next. Personally I'm working on a  zero waste household. I have a long ways to go, but it gets better all the time. (Look in your trash can; most of what you throw away every day is food packaging. If you are growing your own, there isn't any packaging to throw away!)

For loads of free e-books about a variety of sustainable living topics, from building healthy soils, caring for animals, organic farming, health and many others, visit the Permaculture Media Blog's listing of free books.

Another great resource is Journey to Forever's Small Farm Library. This listing contains many agricultural classics on the importance of soil and health.

We really don't need to spend a lot of money to make our homes actually pay us to live there. A garden of fresh fruits and vegetables pays big dividends in providing us health promoting food at little expense. A few small animals such as rabbits, chickens and ducks can provide our meat and eggs. They also help recycle garden and food waste to help increase the fertility of our soil so we can grow more food. This means less waste goes to the land fill and less things we need to bring in from the outside. This is in direct contrast to Big Ag which uses up large amounts of oil & natural gas for machinery as well as fertilizers and for packaging and transportation.


  1. We're working on this in all kinds of ways around here. We're composting chicken and rabbit manure, along with house scraps. We have 3 very large compost piles that we rotate through regularly. We also let our chickens free range in the back yard, where they eat the bugs, especially the fly larva below the rabbits! We use a rain water catch system that holds 600 gallons at a time. We also draw from a small creek that's about 30 feet from the garden. Cover crops and crop rotation are another important aspect of permaculture.

    Thanks for the book recommendations and great ideas like putting the animals above the garden!

  2. Great Start Jody!
    Better yet, raise red worms under those rabbit cages; I did that in TX and it works great; few flies, almost no maggots; usually just where some buck is peeing in the same spot all the time and it gets real soggy. If that happens, turn it with a fork and add in a pile of sawdust, wood chips, what ever carbon you have handy to soak it up. All my food scraps go to the ducks and chickens now. currently their pen is one big compost pile because it will be a garden next year. I can't free range due to loose dogs.