Permaculture

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

What Is Permaculture?

Permaculture is agriculture that is focused on utilizing natural design of ecosystems instead of focusing on individual elements. The emphasis is to work with nature not against it. The goal is to achieve not just a sustainable platform, but also a regenerative ecosystem, and when in balance uses less resources and energy.

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Permaculture

by David Proctor


May 17, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystemshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture

Zones
Permaculture Zones 0-5
Illustration: Felix Mulle(www.zukunft-selbermachen.de) License: CC-BYOSA 40
Permaculture 101 by Rodale’s Organic Life
“How to put natural landscaping practices to use in your own backyard.”“Combining the best of natural landscaping and edible gardening, permaculture systems sustain both themselves and their caregivers.The ultimate purpose of permaculture—a word coined in the mid-1970s by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren—is to develop a site until it meets all the needs of its inhabitants, from food and shelter to fuel and entertainment.While it’s the rare home gardener who can follow permaculture principles to the ultimate degree, most can borrow ideas from the permaculture ethos with landscaping techniques based on production and usefulness.”

Growing Vertical
Saved from permaculture.co.uk

“Permaculture emphasizes the use of native plants or those that are well adapted to your locale. The goal here is to plant things you like, while making sure they have a purpose and benefit the landscape in some way. Plants such as fruit trees provide food as well as shade; a patch of bamboo could provide stakes for supporting pole beans and other vining plants.

Permaculture gardeners grow many types of perennial food plants—such as arrowhead, sorrel, chicory, and asparagus—in addition to standard garden vegetables.”

“Like all gardeners, permaculture enthusiasts love plants for their beauty and fragrance, but they seek out plants that offer practical benefits along with aesthetic satisfaction. Instead of a border of flowering shrubs, for instance, a permaculture site would make use of a raspberry or blackberry border.”

Permaculture Guidelines

There is no set formula for developing this type of design, but there are best practices.

1. Copy nature’s blueprint and enhance it with useful plants and animals. Think of the structure of a forest and try to mimic it with your plantings.

A canopy of tall trees will give way to smaller ones, flanked by large and small shrubs and, finally, by the smallest plants.

Edge habitats, where trees border open areas, are perfect for fruiting shrubs, such as currants, and for a variety of useful native plants, such as beargrass (xerophyllum tenax), which is used for weaving baskets. Mimicking these natural patterns provides for the greatest diversity of plants.

2. Stack plants into guilds. A guild includes plants with compatible roots and canopies that might be layered to form an edge.

As you learn more about your site, you’ll discover groups of plants that work well together. For example, pines, dogwoods, and wild blueberries form a guild for acid soil.

3. Make use of native plants and others adapted to the site.

4. Divide your yard into zones based on use. Place heavily used features, such as an herb garden, in the most accessible zones.

5. Identify microclimates in your yard and use them appropriately. Cold, shady corners; windswept spots in full sun; and other microclimates present unique opportunities. For instance, try sun-loving herbs like creeping thyme on rocky outcroppings; plant elderberries in poorly drained areas.”

I am new to the concept of permaculture so I let others tell the story.  What I get out of this is to let nature take the lead and realize that by observation nature is self-sustaining and regenerative. I decided to start this regenerative approach in my own one-third acre urban farm. You may have noticed that I changed the tag line on the newsletter to Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle. I hope to not just sustain but to increase.

Check It Out!

 

One Chicken

One Chicken


Quick Tip

 

 


Bibliography:

“Permaculture.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.

“Permaculture 101.” Rodale’s Organic Life. N.p., 2 June 2015. Web. 17 May 2016.

“Permaculture Principles – Thinking Tools for an Era of Change.”Permaculture Principles. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2016.


 

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Let us know your thoughts on today’s issue.


Posted in Animal Husbandry, Apiary, Chickens, fish, Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Poison Ivy Remedies

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Poison Ivy Remedies

Are you currently itching or miserable with a rash from poison ivy? Or do you seem to contract it as easily as saying the words “poison” and “ivy”? If so, you need to read this article. 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Poison Ivy Remedies

by David Proctor


May 10, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


Poison Ivy as defined by Wikie : Toxicodendron radicans, commonly known as eastern poison ivy or poison ivy, is a poisonous Asian and North American flowering plant that is well known for causing an itching, irritating, and sometimes painful rash in most people who touch it, caused by urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant’s sap (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans)

I have always loved being outdoors, except when I come across poison ivy.  When Molly and I would go camping or canoeing it would seem like I had a poison ivy magnet attached to me. Molly was unaffected by poison ivy, not the case with me.

Once I got the itch, it was with me for a long time. I can remember when I was young and my grandma would try Ivy Dry and Calamine Lotion.  All they would do is color my skin but little else.  I suppose you can go to a doctor and get a shot, they have shots for everything, but I didn’t grow up going to a doctor unless I was about on my death bed sick.

So long story short, I get poison ivy rash when I come into contact with the plant. One of the guys I worked with told me about a homeopathic treatment that he bought from a downtown drug store call Rhus Tox Poison Ivy Pills.  I had never heard of taking a pill to help cure my symptoms, but in my case they even help prevent getting poison ivy rash. I take them when I know I may be out in an area that has poison ivy.  This works for me but this is not meant to serve as medical advice for anyone.

Rhus Tox
Rhus Tox

There are various ways to treat poison ivy and I would recommend going to a doctor and getting a professional opinion and treatment.

The best medicine is to know what it looks like and avoid the plant altogether.  I seem to get the worst cases when I have been out mowing or weed eating.

Let’s start by knowing what the plant looks like.  Taken from http://www.poison-ivy.org/ the pictures and text will tell you better than myself as to what to look for:”This is about Eastern Poison ivy, which is the big bad guy. It grows on the ground, climbs, and sometimes as a shrub”.

“This is the plant that causes most of the misery since it grows on nearly every roadside, path, pond, stream, and beach from the Midwest through to the east coast.”

Poison Ivy Traits
Poison Ivy Traits

 

“Here is your basic chart of things you CAN count on with poison ivy. If you know that nothing with thorns or 5 leaves in a group can be poison ivy, you’re getting there.”

“If you live where this grows, and you plan to do more with your life than hide under the covers, you should learn to recognize this plant, in all seasons and growth forms.”
I have personally had very good results with Rhus Tox. However, in my research I found two videos, one from the Academy of Dermatology which describes what the symptoms are and the treatments for poison ivy rash.

The other video is about a gentleman that found a very commonsense way of not getting the rash from poison ivy even if your skin has been exposed to the toxin.  If you already have poison ivy or you will be around the plant, you are now armed (hopefully without a rash) with the knowledge of prevention and treatment.

Tips for treating poison ivy 3:43
Academy of Dermatology


Check It Out!

 

 

How to never have a serious poison ivy rash again 5:13
Extreme Deer Habitat


Quick Tip

 

If you have any of the following, go to the emergency room right away:

  • You have trouble breathing or swallowing.
  • The rash covers most of your body.
  • You have many rashes or blisters.
  • You experience swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut.
  • The rash develops anywhere on your face or genitals.
  • Much of your skin itches, or nothing seems to ease the itch.


 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Mushrooms

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Mushrooms

Ever go mushroom hunting outdoors?  Finding mushrooms and eating them fresh is a experience for the taste buds.
“Don’t eat a mushroom unless you’re certain it’s an edible species!” 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 

 


Mushrooms

by David Proctor


May 3, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


I can remember when I was really young, my grandpa and I would go out in the woods to look for mushrooms.  We didn’t always find them but it was a lot of fun just being in the woods.

As I grew older, some of the guys I worked with went looking for mushrooms, I don’t know how they did it but they always came back with a hat or small basket full.

They would then fry them up.  You might ask how did they fry them at work, well I use to work in some pretty rural areas and having the means to cook at an office was not out of the ordinary.

That was also the first time I ate coon.  But back to the topic of mushrooms.  The guys I had worked with had hunted mushrooms since they were little kids, same as my grandpa and they knew what they were looking for and where to look.

In today’s world, that type of knowledge is not as common as it used to be.  In fact, I would caution anyone looking on the internet to determine if the mushroom they brought in from the field is edible, to be sure and go to a very reputable site.

The result of being wrong or getting wrong information can be a mild sickness and in some cases depending on the mushroom, you can die from eating it.

Now that the cautions have been discussed, I would like to point out some ways to grow mushrooms at home and safely.

One of the easiest ways to grow mushrooms is straight out of a box.  Two young entrepreneurs started a company called Back to the Roots.  They have a growing kit that is complete and in a box.

 

Mushroom Farm

From Back to the Roots website:

“In a college class, we learned that mushrooms could grow on recycled coffee grounds. After watching hours of how-to videos and turning our fraternity kitchen into a big science experiment, we eventually decided to give up our corporate job offers to instead become full-time mushroom farmers. What started as curiosity about urban farming has turned into a passion for “undoing food” and reconnecting families to it through fun, delicious and sustainable “ready to grow” and “ready to eat” products.

What type of mushroom does the Mushroom Mini Farm grow?

Our mushroom mini farm grows gourmet Pearl Oyster mushrooms. They’re commonly found in Europe and Asia and are used increasingly in a variety of cuisines for their velvety texture, smooth taste, and dense nutrient content.

What is the Mushroom Mini Farm growing on? Is it eco-friendly?

The Mushroom Mini Farm is made from all organic recycled waste including corn cob and saw dust.

What is the white layer covering the mini farm?

The white layer is mycelium! It’s similar to the “roots” of the mushrooms (if mushrooms had roots).

What do Oyster mushrooms taste like?

Oyster mushrooms have a mild flavor that is very versatile when it comes to the food they complement. They have a delicate, velvety texture that pairs well in pastas, skewers, soups, salads, and anything else you like to put mushrooms in! They taste amazing, especially when they’re so fresh, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Chef Alice Waters of acclaimed Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse has raved about their authentic, nutty, flavor. See what she has to say!

What are the health benefits of eating oyster mushrooms?

Oyster mushrooms are extremely healthy and rich, given that one-third of their dry weight is protein. They contain amino acids and enzymes that have been shown to boost the immune system and are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and most of the mineral salts required by the human body. Calcium, phosphorous and iron content in oyster mushrooms are double the amount found in most meats. They are also known to lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, and may even inhibit tumor growth.”

If their story doesn’t sound like enough of a reason to start growing mushrooms, then you need to listen to Paul Stamets “6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World”  Ted Talk.

Mushrooms taste good, are good for you and they may even help save us from some of the disasters looming out there in the world that could alter our life.  Well that sounds a little strong, anyone for a fried mushroom?


Check It Out!

This is a really good Ted Talk, Even If You Don’t Read The Article –  Please Watch!

 


Quick Tips

Wild mushrooms: What to eat, what to avoid
“Don’t guess,” advises Tradd Cotter, who has been cultivating mushrooms for more than 20 years
  1. Join a local mycological (fungi) group. They are located all over the United States. A list is available at the North American Mycological Association.
  2. Buy a regional field guide to learn what mushrooms grow wild near you.
  3. Seek to identify at least the genus of the mushroom you have found (identification keys include the stem, a spore print, what the mushroom is growing on and the structure of the stem base, which could be below ground).
  4. Take two collecting baskets when foraging. Put mushrooms positively identified as edible in one. Put mushrooms you are uncertain about in the other. You won’t get sick by simply touching a toxic mushroom, he said.
  5. Be extremely careful if you are a pet owner and want to take your dog on a foraging trip. Dogs lead the list as victims of deadly and poisonous mushrooms — more than any other animal or humans, Cotter said.

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/wild-mushrooms-what-to-eat-what-to-avoid


Bibliography:

“Category — Mushrooms.” City Farmer News RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Mushroom Farming – Hobby Farms.” Hobby Farms. N.p., 18 Feb. 2009. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Six Steps to Mushroom Farming | Mushroom Info.” Mushroom Info Six Steps to Mushroom Farming Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

Oder, Tom. “Wild Mushrooms: What to Eat, What to Avoid.” MNN. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Basic Mushrooming.” Missouri’s Fish, Forests and Wildlife. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.

“Our Story.” Back to the Roots. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.


Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

Earth Day

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

 

Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day was celebrated at Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg, VA this last Saturday. Below are some pictures taken of the festivities.

 

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Earth Day

by David Proctor


April 26, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly


 

We have gone to the celebration held each year at Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg, Va but this year was one of the best.  The weather was beautiful and the crowds of people to see all the exhibits was as big as I think I have ever seen.

I will just show a brief pictorial guide in this article to the events that we were able to see and enjoy.

Nature Display
Nature DisplayDisplay
Display

Linda Bailey - Coordinator
Linda Bailey – Coordinator

Chickens
Chickens

Drums
Drums

Teepee
Teepee

Natural Drinks
Natural Drinks

Friends of the Rappahannock
Friends of the Rappahannock

Crowd
Crowd

Home Made Soaps
Home Made Soaps 

Rappahannock Bee Keepers Association
Rappahannock Bee Keepers Association

Shelter Made From Recyclables
Shelter Made From Recyclables

Fly Fishing Demo
Fly Fishing Demo

David and Kelsey
David and Kelsey

As you can see, fun was had by all and for a good cause and awareness of the planet we live on.

Check It Out!

 

Save The Earth


Quick Tip

 

Live a Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle


Bibliography: N/A

 



 

Posted in Health, Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with: , , ,

Straw Bale Gardening

Urban Farm Lifestyle

  Healthy Regenerative Lifestyle

Straw Bale Gardening

If you want to have a garden where you don’t have to bend over to the ground, do not have to weed and can have the worse soil around, then straw bale gardening might be for you.

David Proctor

 

 
  
From Seed To Fork, Egg To Plate.

    We may not live on a farm, but we can grow where we live.

 

 

 


Straw Bale Gardening

by David Proctor


April 19, 2018

Urban Farm Lifestyle Magazine    Published Weekly

 


Their has been a resurgence in straw bale gardening due to its simplicity and ease of use.  The straw bale is used as the container for the plant.

The first thing to do is position the bale or bales.  Be sure the strings are on the side.  If they are on top the bale can come apart if they are cut will planting.  The bale should be on the narrow side with the cut side facing up and the folded straw side facing down.

Straw Bale Set Up

The straw bale or bales have to be conditioned before they are used.  This is done by wetting the bale daily so the microbes inside the bale will start to compost.  Sometimes some nitrogen is added to help get the process going.

The bales will start to heat up internally and the temperature can rise to 120F to 140F.  This is why you want to condition the bale so it doesn’t cook your seeds or plants.  This process will take a couple of weeks to complete.

 You will know when it’s done by the temperature becoming close to ambient.  This can be determined by a thermometer or sticking your finger into the bale to judge the temperature.

Once the process of conditioning is done, it is time to plant.  If the bales are arranged end to end a metal fence post can be driven at the end of each row then wire strung from post to post.  A header board is put at top to keep the post from drawing into each other.
 
With multiple wires, this will work as a trellis for your plants as they grow vertical.  If it is still cool weather, a piece of plastic can be hung over the trellis to have a greenhouse effect.

Two methods are used for planting.  The first method is to place a thin layer of potting soil on top of the bale and then place seeds in the soil and cover with another thin layer.  This will help to keep the seeds moist and protected.  The warmth of the straw bale will help in germination.

The second method is to dig out a plug of straw about the size of the root ball of the plant, then place you plant in the now vacant hole.  You can place the straw back around the plant.

The bale and plants will need to be watered daily.  The best way to accomplish this is with a drip irrigation method.  The water will run through the bale so be sure to keep it moist, but not waste water.

Since a straw bale has little to no nutrition, it is a good idea to feed your plants.  Compost placed around the roots of the plants will also help in the feeding.

Just to make the most use of the bale, other plants can be planted on the sides of the bale. Flowers can be planted to make for an appealing garden for the eye and for pollinators.

When fall comes around the plants can be harvested and the remains of the straw bale used for compost.

Straw bale gardening encompasses container gardening, raised bed gardening all in one.  It is a way for those in urban areas to be able to have a garden, even if one bale and on the back deck.  It is economical and an easy way to have a garden without all the normal digging and weed pulling that accompanies in ground gardens.


Check It Out!


Quick Tip

  • Tomatoes: 2 to 3 plants per bale
  • Peppers: 4 plants per bale 
  • Squash: 2 to 4 plants per bale 
  • Zucchini: 2 to 3 plants per bale 
  • Strawberries: 3 to 4 plants per bale

 

Straw Bale Garden

 


Bibliography:

“Beginner’s Guide to Straw Bale Gardening.” Safer® Brand. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.

“How to Condition and Plant a Bale of Straw for Gardening.” Bonnie Plants. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 May 2017.



 

Posted in Magazine Issues, Plants Tagged with:

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