Upcycled Burlap Bags in the Garden (and Farewell to Grass)

Last year we expanded our vegetable garden three-fold by converting grass into raised beds.  My plan for last autumn was to sheet mulch the last row of grass that receives any sun, making it ready for spring planting.  Sheet mulching is the  great, labor-saving method of converting any grassy-weedy area …

Permaculture Happens: Adapting the Three Sisters

While puttering in the garden the other day, I noticed that a couple of the Kentucky Blue Pole beans has escaped their proper pole, and were vining about the mammoth sunflower planted next to them. I leaned over to gently unwrap the beans, and return them to the bamboo teepee …

Stubble Planting: Hidden Worlds and No-till Gardens

I’ve been perusing a beautiful new book by Barbara Pleasant, The Complete Compost Gardening Guide. Pleasant invites us into the rich underworld of our backyard soil, asking us to see it as a living food web, rather than a simple input-output system.  In one of my favorite sections, she discusses …

Pretty, Practical, Hippie Herb Spiral: A Permaculture Inspiration

In their fun book, The Urban Homestead, Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen encourage our gardening efforts by telling us that “Nature is standing by, ready to help.”  Just as often, though, I resonate with Michael Pollan who, in his literate meditation Second Nature, writes, “Nature abhors a garden.” Permaculture offers …