Permaculture Plants Master List

This is just a plain list with yield and time until maturity, included. The species are listed in general order of value to me. I need to be careful because some of the lesser known plants could be invasive. 


Annual Vegetables 

  1. Bush beans – 1 lb, 50 days
  2. Pole beans – 2 lbs, 60-70 days
  3. Potatoes – 5 lbs, 60-75 days
  4. Corn – 1 to 3 lbs,  60 – 100 days
  5. Spinach – 1.5 lbs per ft2,  40 – 52 days
  6. Swiss chard – 1.2 lbs per ft2, 50 – 60 days
  7. Kale – .5 lbs per ft2, 50 – 65 days
  8. Broccoli – .4 to .6 per ft2, 60-75 days
  9. Mesclun mix 
  10. Leaf Lettuce
  11. Bell peppers
  12. Butternut squash
  13. Zucchini
  14. Cucumber
  15. Alfalfa sprouts (super nutritious)
  16. Mustard greens
  17. Garlic
  18. Onions
  19. Arugula 
  20. Brussel sprouts
  21. Eggplant
  22. Carrots – store well?
  23. Roman cauliflower (cool looking)
  24. Celery
  25. Cabbage
  26. Amaranth (red is cool) (edible leaves)
  27. Quinoa
  28. Millet
  29. Wheat 
  30. Okra
  31. Taro


Perennial Vegetables

  1. Asparagus
  2. Sorrel – red veined looks cool
  3. Artichoke
  4. Lambs quarters
  5. Tree collards –Tree collard/kale hybrid
  6. Sea Kale
  7. Regular Kale
  8. New Zealand Spinach
  9. Turkish rocket – could be invasive
  10. Sunchoke – could be invasive


Annual Fruits

  1. Tomatoes – 10 lbs, 90 days
  2. Tomatillo
  3. Cantaloupe
  4. Honeydew
  5. Watermelon
  6. Pineapple (propagation)


Bushes/vines fruit

  1. Blackberry
  2. Raspberry (red and gold)
  3. Strawberries
  4. Goji berry
  5. Grapes
  6. Blueberry
  7. Nanking Cherry
  8. Elderberry (red and black)
  9. Currant (red and black)
  10. Hardy kiwi
  11. Chokeberry
  12. Highbush cranberry
  13. Dragon fruit
  14. Gooseberry





  1. Apple
  2. Peach
  3. Sea berry
  4. American and Chinese Chestnut
  5. Nectarine
  6. Apricot
  7. Fig
  8. Walnut
  9. Sweet cherry
  10. Cornelian Cherry
  11. Plum
  12. Downy serviceberry
  13. Korean nut pine



  1. Common flax
  2. Red/purple/green basil
  3. Lemon mint
  4. Oregano 
  5. Ginger
  6. Ginseng 


Fertilizers/Green manure

  1. Comfrey 
  2. Alfalfa
  3. Crimson Clover
  4. White clover
  5. Red clover
  6. Turnips
  7. Chicory
  8. Winter Rye
  9. Daikon Radish
  10. Lupine



  1. Shiitake
  2. Reishi
  3. Lion’s mane
  4. Cremini



Beneficial Insect Flowers

  1. California poppy 
  2. Arroyo Lupine 
  3. Bee balm
  4. Nasturtiums – seeds, flowers, leaves are all edible (pretty)
  5. Poppy
  6. Cosmos
  7. Hydrangea
  8. Lavender
  9. Violas- edible flowers
  10. Marigolds- edible flowers
  11. Goldenrod
  12. Sunflower – edible seeds







Top 10 Annual Vegetables

Not a true top ten list due to numerous species in each category…

Short version of the list:

tomatoes, bush beans, pole beans, potatoes, corn, spinach, swiss chard, kale, broccoli, Mesclun mix

Obviously, potatoes, corn, and beans are the calorie rich foods. The rest are nutrient rich foods.

Corn: 606  calories per cup

Beans: 670 calories per cup

Potatoes: 166 calories per cup


Now for the long version of the list…….


1. Tomatoes


“How does this all relate to the difference in flavor between homegrown and artificially ripened tomatoes? The different conditions in which each group is grown has significant effects on the levels of sugar, acid, and volatile compounds in the tomatoes produced.

Flavor is not necessarily the first consideration when breeding or choosing a commercial variety to produce. Generally speaking, traits like disease and pest resistance usually rank higher in importance. Also, a commercial producer must consider how well a variety can survive harvesting and shipping to market. This is one reason why commercial tomatoes are typically picked very under ripe, at a stage called “mature green” meaning in another 24 hours or so it will show some pink coloring, and be at the “breaker” stage.

Tomatoes that are still green will store a lot longer, and travel better than ripe tomatoes. Before they travel to market, they are artificially ripened using ethylene gas. Ethylene is naturally produced by ripening fruits of all kinds. Exposing the mature green tomatoes to ethylene will trigger the ripening process, so red tomatoes are delivered to market. Those tomatoes that were picked at the breaker stage do not need the ethylene to ripen, since they have already begun the process. Interestingly enough, these breaker tomatoes are the ones sold in stores as “vine- ripened”.

Tomatoes destined for processing into canned products are allowed to ripen fully on the vine, yet must be tough enough to not break during harvest and transport to the canning facility. They are generally drier and have thicker skin and flesh than varieties intended for fresh consumption. They are definitely not the tender juicy homegrown tomatoes we savor each summer.

Exposure to sunlight is crucial for sugar production in tomatoes. Picking mature green or breaker stage tomatoes reduces their time in the sun, and reduces the levels of sugar in the tomatoes. Some studies have related the amount of potassium to acid levels in tomatoes. Fertilizing with greater amounts of potassium resulted in higher acid content in most varieties.

Without question, research has shown that artificially ripened tomatoes have significantly lower levels of volatile compounds than homegrown fully ripe tomatoes. The million dollar question that remains unanswered is how to artificially induce green tomatoes to produce the volatile compounds.”



2. Bush beans: Snow peas / garden peas/ snap peas



“Bush beans grow as small, 2-foot tall plants, unlike the climbing pole varieties. The shorter plants don’t produce as much as pole types but they also don’t require a support and won’t shade other plants in a small garden. Bush bean varieties include “Roma II,” “Contender,” “Blue Lagoon,” as well as bush varieties of pole bean types like “Kentucky Wonder” and “Blue Lake.”


Site Needs

Bush beans require soil temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate and grow. They grow best in a well-drained garden bed with a pH level of between 6.0 and 7.0 that receives at least six hours of full sun a day. Adding compost to the site before planting improves moisture retention and soil nutrition, which results in healthier and more productive plants. Bush bean varieties require a 6-inch-square space per plant. The close spacing allows you to grow several plants in a small bed.


Most bush bean varieties require about 40 days to produce harvestable pods. Sow seeds directly in the garden bed. Plant each seed 1 inch deep and space them six inches apart in all directions. The seeds won’t germinate in dry soil, so water the area regularly to keep it moist. Bush beans don’t compete well with weeds, so keep the bed well weeded from the time of planting until the end of the growing season.

Moisture and Nutrients

The shallow roots of a bush bean plant don’t dig deeply in search of moisture, so continue regular watering through the growing season. Provide approximately 1 inch of water each time, and water one or two times weekly, depending on how quickly the soil dries out. The primary nutrient for plants is nitrogen, which bush beans can create in the soil on their own if you purchase treated seed or coat the seed with a nitrogen inoculant before planting. Alternatively, apply a 1 inch layer of compost over the soil once the plants begin flowering to improve nutrition for the remainder of the growing season.”



3. Potatoes

purple majesty potato.jpg



Germination 65-70F
For Growth 50-65 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer Light feeder, apply compost when planting
Side-dressing Apply 2-3 weeks after first hilling
pH 5.0-6.0
Water Heavy when potatoes are forming
Planting depth 3-4″
Root depth 18-24″
Height 23-30″
Width 24″
Space between plants
In beds 9-12″
In rows 10-12″
Space between rows 20-26″
Average plants per person 10-30
For small “new” potatoes, harvest during blossoming; for varieties that don’t blossom, harvest about 10 weeks after planting. Harvest regular potatoes when the vines have died back halfway, about 17 weeks after planting. Gently pull or dig out tubers with a garden fork. If not large enough, pack the soil back and try again at 2-3 week intervals. If you have many plants, remove the entire plant when harvesting to make room for another crop. For storage potatoes, dig near the first frost when plant tops have died back. To minimize tuber injury, always dig when the soil is dry.
First Seed Starting Date 2-4 weeks before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date 90-120 Days before first frost date
Companions All brassicas, corn, marigold, pigweed
Incompatibles cucumber, pea, pumpkin, raspberry, spinach, squash, sunflower, tomato

Where to Grow Potatoes

Image of potato plants growing in the gardenPotatoes grow best in regions where there is a temperate climate with cool growing weather, ample rainfall, and deep fertile soil. Potatoes are a warm-season crop in the North, tender to frost and light freezes, and a cool-season crop in the South and West.

Recommended Varieties of Potatoes

“Seed” potatoes that have been certified disease free are essential. Potatoes sold for eating are usually treated to prevent sprouting, and will not grow well if planted.

Early – Irish Cobbler; Chippewa; Norland (scab resistant); Pontaic (red-skinned)
Main – Green Mountain; Katahdin; Kennebec (blight resistant)
Baking – Russet, Burbank

Soil for Growing Potatoes

A deeply fertile sandy loam with a high acid content, pH 5-5.5 is best, since overly limed soils activate the scab fungus. The soil should be well drained and, at the same time, able to retain moisture. Other soils can be improved by incorporating organic matter which tends to lighten heavy soil and enrich sandy soil. Use high phosphorous fertilizers, such as 5-10-5, or 4-8-4, or ground-rock phosphate to prepare the soil.

If your soil is compacted, you’ll want to loosen it up with a shovel, broad fork, or rototiller. If turning in compost, ensure the compost is mixed in to a depth of about 6 to 8 inches. If digging with a shovel, don’t completely turn the soil over, simply dig one spot with the shovel buried 8-12 inches and toss it back in. the idea is not to destroy too many of the beneficial soil mircobes. If your soil is highly compacted, it will benefit from a good turning to a depth of approximately 12 inches, incorporating compost. The long term goal for potato soil is to have a loose living soil full of beneficial microbes.

Planting Potatoes

image of seed potatoes

When –

As soon as the frost is out of the ground and the soil can be worked thoroughly. The rule of thumb to follow for the earliest planting time is to plant 2 weeks before your last spring frost. You can plant any time after that, as long as there are 3 months of frost free growing season left.

How –

Start potatoes with seed potatoes, each containing one to three “eyes” or small indentations that sprout foliage. To prepare seed potatoes for planting: Spread the tubers out in boxes or crates one layer deep. Bring the boxes into a warm living space and to a location with medium intensity light. The warmth tends to stimulate the development of strong sprouts from the buds, which in the presence of light remain short and stubby and are not easily broken off. This process is called greening and presprouting and is usually done for a week or two just prior to planting outside to encourage growth and hasten the development of good tubers.

Tubers the size of a medium egg may be planted whole, cut larger tubers with a clean sharp knife so that each piece will contain 1 or more eyes. Pieces should be cut with plenty of flesh around the eyes, as the plant will utilize this stored food during the first few weeks of growth. Seed potatoes may be planted immediately after cutting if soil moisture is properly controlled; if there is a chance the soil will be too wet, allow the cut pieces to dry out a couple of days prior to planting, shriveling is to be avoided at all costs.

Place in shallow trenches 6″ wide, spaced 10-12″ apart, and cover with 3-4″ of soil. Space rows out approximately 20-26″ apart. The spacing can be adjusted to suit your conditions, wider spacing can help alleviate stress due to drought or poor soil. Tighter spacing tends to provide a uniform canopy of foliage to cool the soil in summer. One to two weeks after the shoots emerge, mound the soil around the base, leaving a few inches exposed. This “hilling” prevents greening. Side dress and “hill” again 2-3 weeks later. Hilling is crucial to establishing your crop, because all tubers will form at the same depth as the seed piece or higher. By gradually building an ever larger hill of soil around the plant, you are building the site for your potatoes to develop. Give them plenty of room between rows and build your hills wide and ample to maximize your potato harvest.

How Potatoes Grow

The plants, which are about 3′ high, send up long, pinnate leaves similar to tomato foliage. The tubers will develop in late summer, at the ends of underground stems. They are fairly close to the top 4-5 inches of soil.

Cultivating Potatoes

Keep weeds out of the potato patch with a very light cultivation, or use straw or leaf compost mulch. Gradually hoe soil toward the base of the potato plants, to prevent the roots from becoming sunburned. A second application of fertilizer is usually made 1 month after planting by side dressing in the row. Potatoes are almost 3/4 water, soil moisture is very important. Potatoes need about 1-2″ of water every week. Keep the soil evenly moist, and try not to let the soil completely dry out as this will cause sudden re-growth when watered, giving the tubers ears and noses, splits, or hollow heart. Let the water soak down to about 10-12″ each time. Cover plants if a hard frost is expected.

Storage Requirements
Spring or summer harvested potatoes aren’t usually stored, but keep for 4-5 months if cured first at 60-70F for at least 4 days and stored at 40F. Dry fall-harvested potatoes for 1-2 days on the ground, then cure at 50-60F and a relatively high humidity for 10-14 days. Don’t cure potatoes in the sun; they turn green. Once cured, store in total darkness in a single layer. Never layer or pile potatoes more than 6-8″ deep.
Temperature Humidity Storage Life
55-60F 90-95% 5-10 months
Method Taste Shelf Life
Canned fair 12+ months
Frozen good 8 months
Dried good 12+ months

Harvesting Potatoes

2 1/2 – 4 months. The first young potatoes can be lifted out carefully, a few at a time, by merely pulling soil away and replacing it for the remainder to develop. When the plants begin to dry and die down, the tubers will be ready. They can be left in the ground for a time, but should be dug before a heavy frost. Dig on a bright, sunny day so the soil dries off the potatoes easily.

Laboratory experiments have shown that several aromatic herbs and their essential oils can suppress sprouting of potatoes in storage and have antimicrobial activity against potato pathogens. English lavender, pennyroyal, spearmint, rosemary, and sage suppressed growth of potato sprouts, but oregano did not. English lavender was the most effective sprout inhibitor


For long term storage, keep potatoes in a cool (40 degrees F), dark place. Under the proper conditions, potatoes can last as long as 6 months. Light as well as warmth will promote sprouting and turn the potatoes green. Burlap sacks, netted sacks, slotted crates, or baskets are recommended for storing potatoes over winter. If your potatoes are stored at temperatures ranging from 33-40 degrees F, they will likely convert their starch into sugars, and will consequently taste slightly sweeter than normal. These potatoes will turn brown sooner when fried. You can take them out of storage and keep them in the warmth, but out of the light for a day or two and they will get some of their starch back. Storing potatoes at 50 degrees F will keep their starches intact. This is the ideal temperature if you want to fry the potatoes, make potato chips, or prefer the starchy taste. Ideally humidity should be relatively high (80-90%). Low humidity is the main cause of shriveling during storage. Refrigerator storage works well, especially if you have a crisper that maintains humidity levels. For the most part a refrigerator works hard at keeping the humidity levels down.


4. Corn


Germination 60-95F
For Growth 60-75 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer Heavy feeder; apply manure in the fall, or compost a few weeks before planting.
Side-dressing Apply every 2 weeks and additionally when stalks are 8-10″ and knee high
pH 5.5-7.0
Water average
Planting depth 1/2- 2″
Root depth 18″-6′
Height 7-8′
Width 18-48″
Space between plants
In beds 8-12″
In rows 18″
Space between rows 30-42″
Average plants per person 12-40
Sweet corn: About 18 days after silks appear, when they’re dark and dry, make a small slit in the husk (don’t pull the silks down), and pierce the kernel with a fingernail. If the liquid is (1) clear, wait a few days to pick, (2) milky, pick and eat, or (3) pasty, the ear is past its prime and best for canning.
Popcorn: Pick when the husks are brown and partly dried. Finish drying corn on the husks. A solar drier is the most rapid method, drying the corn in about 5 days. The kernels are ready for storage if they fall off easily when rubbed by a thumb or twisted. Before using, store in bags or jars to even out moisture content. The ultimate test, of course, is to pop them. After harvest: Cut stalks and till under or compost immediately.
First Seed starting Date 4-11 days before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date 97-127 Days before first frost date
Companions cucumber, melon, pumpkin, squash
Incompatibles tomato (attacked by similar insects)

Image of corn tassel with blue sky backgroundCorn is one of the most popular crops for the vegetable garden. Generally speaking, corn takes a large amount of room, water, sunlight, and nutrients compared to other home garden crops, but the rewards can be sweet. There is only one way to truly enjoy the flavor of fresh corn: Grow it yourself – for corn loses much of its sweetness within minutes after picking. True corn lovers start water boiling on the stove before they pick the corn, so that they can run the tender ears straight from the garden into the pot.

Corn is a warm-season crop, tender to frost and light freezes. Many types are grown, including field corn, ornamental corn, popcorn, sweet corn, and even broomcorn. Corn may be white, yellow, bicolor and many shades of red, blue, or even black. Typical sweet corn, probably the most popular for home gardens is usually either white or yellow, we will focus on these. The other types of corn, namely dent or field corn are not commonly grown in the backyard, and are more popular with industrial farmers. The field corn is harvesed in the dent stage after it has had a chance to dry out, and is either fed to livestock or used in the food industry. Sweet corn is harvested fresh, and typically grown near where it is consumed.
The earliest corn matures in about two months, the latest in about 3 months. Many gardeners plant early, mid, and late season varieties at the same time to extend the harvesting season. Another option to extend harvesting would be to make succession plantings of an early, fast maturing variety every 10 days or so until midsummer. A second planting should not be made until the first planting has 3-5 leaves. It should be noted that the later sweet corn matures, the more difficult insect control will be.

Where to Grow Corn

Corn requires three months of warm, sunny weather to mature, and can grow wherever ample water is available. In cold, northern climates with shorter growing seasons (65 days) such as Alaska and northern Canada dwarf varieties can be grown.

Recommended Varieties of Corn

There are three major types of sweet or supersweet corn marked to home gardeners. The traditional type is referred to as “sugary” and is typically denoted by the letters “su.” The second type of supersweet corn has a very high sugar content and extremely shrunken seeds due to a small, weak embryo. This type is often marketed as “extra sweet” or “ultrasweet” and is usually referred to by the letters “sh2” for shrunken. The third type is also a supersweet corn. It tends to have a higher sugar content and to maintain or extend this sugar content longer on the plant and after harvest. It us usually referred to as “se” for “sugar extended.” Se corn tends to be very sweet, tender, and crisp and usually retains these qualities after harvest. However, its requirements for warm soil temperatures at germination and isolation from some other corn types at pollination make it more difficult to grow. There are also the ornamental varieties, with colored kernels. These varieties should be grown away from sweet corn, to avoid any cross pollination. The trick to enjoying an extended corn harvest is planting a span of varieties (early, midseason, and late) to spread the harvest over a long season.

There are several hundred good varieties of sweet and super sweet corn available. Our favorite variety is bi-colored corn called Providence. Incredible is another excellent bi-colored corn. Recommended early varieties include (our favorites are in bold) :

Early – Spring Gold, Seneca Explorer, Early Sunglow, Early Xtra-Sweet
Midseason – Sundance, Wonderful, Northern Bell, Gold Cup, Golden Cross Bantam, Barbeque(yellow), Snowcrest(white)
Late – Seneca Chief, Silver Queen and Country Gentleman Hybrid (white), Sweet Sue, Butter and Sugar (aka Honey and Creme), Sugar and Gold (all bicolor)
Dwarf – White Midget, Golden Midget, Midget Hybrid
Popcorn – White Cloud, Japanese Hulless

Soil for Corn

Average garden soil will support a good corn crop, but the best results are obtained when the ground is deeply prepared with well-rotted manure and compost to provide a light, well-draining texture. Corn is a heavy feeder, and needs generous quantities of nutrients, especially phosphorus and potash. Work in one pound of 5-10-10 or 4-8-12 per 25 feet of row, or work bone meal and wood ash into the top 8-10 inches of soil before planting. Remove any weeds, rocks, and trash as you work



5. Spinach


Germination 45-75F
For Growth 60-65 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer Heavy feeder, before planting apply compost
Side-dressing Apply 2-3 weeks after first hilling
pH 6.0-7.5
Water Light
Planting depth 1/2″
Root depth 1′, tap root up to 5′
Height 4-6″
Width 6-8″
Space between plants
In beds 6-12″
In rows 6-12″
Space between rows 12-14″
Average plants per person 10-20
Cut individual leaves when they’re large enough to eat. Continual harvest prevents bolting. When the weather warms, cut the plant to ground level. It’s leaves will grow back. For the best nutrition, harvest leaves in the morning.
First Seed Starting Date 56-64 days before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date 59-69 Days before first frost date
Companions All beans, all brassicas, celery, onion, peas
Incompatibles potato

Clusters of heavy, deep green leaves, deeply crumpled or savored, from a central crown. Spinach bolts when there’s 14-16 hours of light, regardless of the temperature, although warmer temperatures will cause it to bolt faster. The exceptions are New Zealand and Basella Malabar “spinach,” which thrive in warm weather. They aren’t true spinach, but when cooked they taste like the real thing. Malabar is also a pretty ornamental vine that is easily grown on arbors where it provides summer shade and a constant supply of summer greens.

Cultivating Spinach

Be sure the rows are kept moist if spring or fall is dry, and side dress with a high-nitrogen fertilizer such as blood meal or fish emulsion when seedlings are 3 inches tall.

Storage Requirements
For freezing and drying, cut the leaves into thick strips. Blanch for 2 minutes before freezing. Its best to use only the smallest and most tender leaves for freezing
Temperature Humidity Storage Life
32 95-100% 10-14 days
Method Taste Shelf Life
Canned good 12+ months
Frozen good 8 months

Harvesting Spinach

45 days. Cut spinach plant off at the base when the leaves are fully developed. Once cut, they will not come back like chard and lettuce. New Zealand spinach sprawls vigorously; when the stems are about 8 inches long, the tip ends should be cut back several inches to keep it under control. Cook or use as leaf lettuce mixed in salads.

Spinach Pests

Aphids may be troublesome. In mild climates, nasturtiums nearby will help draw the insects away. Or use pyrethrum or rotenone dust.

Spinach Diseases

Blights: Grow the modern resistant varieties.



6. Swiss chard




” If you have not been experimenting with Swiss chard in the kitchen, now is the time to start. Like it’s wildly popular green cousin kale, Swiss chard packs a powerful nutritional punch, providing over 700% of your daily needs for vitamin K and over 200% of daily vitamin A needs in just one cup.

Swiss chard is also commonly known as silverbeet, spinach beet, perpetual spinach, crab beet and mangold. Along with other leafy greens and descendants of the beet family, Swiss chard contains high levels nitrates, which been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise and enhance athletic performance.”



7. Kale


Kale Growing and Harvest Information

Germination 45-95 F
For Growth 60-65 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer Heavy feeder, use compost
Side-dressing Apply when plants are 1/3 grown
pH 6.0-7.0
Water heavy
Planting depth 1/2″
Root depth 6-12″
Height 12-18″
Width 8-12″
Space between plants
In beds 15-18″
In rows 18-24″
Space between rows 24-46″
Average plants per person 4
Harvest younger leaves from the middle and work your way up the stalk as it grows. Keep some of the leaves on the bottom to feed the growth on the top. You can also harvest the plant all at once by cutting its stem near the bottom.
First Seed starting Date 52-108 days before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date 94-108 Days before first frost date
Companions Artichoke, beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, lettuce, onion, peas, potato, spinach
Incompatibles Pole beans, strawberry, tomato

Image of Kale plant growing in the vegetable garden, entire plantAn easy vegetable to grow, it is generally more disease and pest resistant than other brassicas, although it can experience similar problems. Kale also occupies less space than other brassicas. Use it as a spinach substitute in a wide variety of dishes. Kale maintains body and crunch which makes it a good substitute in dishes where spinach might not be suitable; its especially delicious in stir-fry dishes. It is recommended to cook over high heat to bring out the best flavor and prevent bitterness. Many specialty growers are planting kale in wide beds only 1/2 to 12 inches apart and harvesting kale small as salad greens. In England, close plantings of kale have been shown to prevent aphid infestations through visual masking.

Where to Grow Kale

Almost anywhere in the United States where there’s a cool fall growing season. It’s a cool-season crop, hardy to frosts and light freezes. Kale’s flavor is reported to improve and sweeten with frost.

Recommended Kale Varieties

There are 2 types: Scotch, an early kale with deeply curled, blue green leaves, (Dwarf Blue Curled), and Siberian, a later type with smoother, gray green leaves (Dwarf Siberian). There also are ornamental kales, grown particularly for garden display in late summer and early fall when the annuals begin to wane. The leaves are deeply curled and beautifully tinted with pastel colors ranging from emerald green to soft lilac to reds to whites.

Soil for Growing Kale

The ideal kale soil is a fertile, well-drained loam. Clay types can be improved with generous amounts of compost and well-rotted manure worked in to spade depth.

Planting Kale

Germination in 7-10 days.

When –

Start in midsummer for a late-fall winter crop.

How –

In rows 18 inches to 2 feet apart. When the seedlings are 3 or more inches high, thin plants to 10 inches apart and use the thinnings for salads or as a cooked vegetable.

How Kale Grows

Like collards, kale develops attractive leaves from a central stem, which grows a foot or so tall.

Cultivating Kale

Cultivate shallowly or mulch heavily to keep down weeds.

Storage Requirements
For fresh storage, don’t wash leaves. For drying, cut the leaves into strips and steam for 2-5 minutes. Spread on trays no more than 1/2″ thick and dry. If using an oven set the temperature to below 145 F; check and turn every hour.
Temperature Humidity Storage Life
32 F 95-100% 2-3 weeks
32-40 F 80-90% 10 months (only fair taste)
Method Taste Shelf Life
Canned good 12+ months
Frozen good 12 months
Dried fair 12+ months

How to Harvest Kale

Kale can be harvested within approximately 1 month of becomming established. Leaf color is the best sign of crop readiness. Rich green leaves of firm texture are ready for cutting. If too dark and heavy, the leaves are tough and not as flavorful. Kale leaves for cooking should generally be about the size of your hand. The small, tender leaves can be eaten uncooked, and are often added to salads. Cut the leaves frequently to encourage new growth, but avoid picking the terminal bud(at the top of the plant). When cold weather begins, mulch the plants with straw, salt hay, or the like, they will continue producing well into winter, and they may even taste more flavorful.

Kale Pests

  • Same as cabbage
  • Root Maggot -Place 3 inch tar paper squares around each seedling when transplanting to cover the soil areas; or keep the ground dusted with wood ash.
  • Cabbage butterflies/worms -controlling cabbage worms is surprisingly easy.  Cover susceptible crops with a floating row cover when planting and leave it in place until harvest.
  • Cutworms – Use stiff paper collars around transplants to extend at least 1 inch below the soil line.
  • Flea beetles – Dust with wood ash or flour dust.



8. Broccoli


Broccoli Growing and Harvest Information

Germination 50-85 F
For growth 60-65 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer -Heavy feeder. Before planting, add compost to the soil. If clubroot is a problem, raise the pH by adding lime.
Side-dressing – When buds form, side-dress with compost
pH 6.0-7.5
Water average
Planting depth 1/4″
Root depth 18-36″
Height 18-48″
Width 15-24″
Space between plants
In beds 15″
In rows 18-24″
Space between rows 24-36″
Average plants per person 5-10
Harvest when the heads are dark green. If heads have turned yellow, you’ve waited too long. For most varieties, small compact heads offer the best flavor. Harvest the central head first. Some varieties will develop small side shoots; these should last 1-2 months or until frost. Cut the stalk so that several inches remain on the plant.
First Seed starting Date: 59-66 days before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date: 93-119 Days before first frost date
Companions: Artichoke, beet, bush beans, chard, cucumber, lettuce, peas, potato, spinach
Incompatibles: Pole Lima and snap beans, strawberry, tomato

Broccoli is an annual cool-season crop hardy to frosts and light freezing, often overlooked and overcooked. Broccoli is sensitive to the heat, if the weather is too hot, it will flower quickly and won’t produce an edible head, it tends to grow best in the fall due to the more predictable cool weather. To prevent spreading clubroot and other soil-borne diseases, don’t compost brassica roots. Some gardeners won’t compost any part of the plant. Also, rotate the placement of brassica plants in your garden so they aren’t in the same 10-foot radius for at least 3 consecutive years. Some experts recommend a rotation of 7 years. Headed broccoli is the most common form in the United States, with big central heads closely packed with buds.

Where to Grow Broccoli

A cool-season crop, broccoli does best where it has cool weather to mature (spring or fall).Broccoli crowns prepared for cooking, after harvest

Broccoli Varieties

  • Italian green sprouting (spring)
  • Waltham 29 (fall)
  • Green Comet
  • Raaba, a branching non-heading variety
  • Romanesco Broccoli will produce a chartreuse head with a distinctive spiral pattern; some dub this type ‘fractal broccoli’ – actually more similar to cauliflower, but tastes excellent prepared as broccoli.

Soil for Broccoli

Average garden soil, well drained.

Planting Broccoli

Germination in 7 days.

When –

Start seed indoors 6 weeks before the last killing frost, for early spring crop. (In midsummer, start another crop of seedlings for August planting and late fall crop.) Set out seedlings in late April, early May. Broccoli is hardier than cauliflower, and can withstand several frosts and still keep producing.

How –

In rows 2 1/2 feet apart, with 18 inches to 2 feet between the plants. Plant spacing is variable, more space between plants leads to larger heads with less side shoots, while smaller spacing leads to smaller heads and more side shoots.

How Broccoli Grows

The plant grows relatively erect, to 4 feet tall, with long, narrow, dark green leaves. As the harvest nears, a thickened cluster appears at the top of the stalk, which is actually a flower head. When it is cut off for harvest, side shoots will continue to develop for several weeks.

Storage Requirements
Fall crops are better than summer crops for freezing
Temperature Humidity Storage Life
32F 95-100% 10-14 days
32-40 80% 1 month
Method Taste Shelf Life
Canned fair 12+ months
Frozen good 12 months
Dried fair 12+ months

Cultivating Broccoli

Since the plants are shallow rooted, cultivation to keep down weeds should be careful and shallow, or mulch rows heavily to keep down weeds and conserve soil moisture. Once growth begins, the plants need continuously moist soil. Watering will be important whenever rainfall is scant. Just as the first crop is developing, apply a ring of fertilizer 5-10-5 or 4-8-4 around each plant, 6 inches from the stem, and scratch in about 1 tablespoon per plant. Broccoli can also be watered with water-soluble fish emulsion fertilizer.

Harvesting Broccoli

60-80 days from plants. The first crop will be the central flower head, which resembles a green cauliflower. Cut it off with a sharp knife at an angle to a 4-6 inch stem, be sure to leave some leaves on the stalk, as many types will then produce side shoots from the leaf axis. Try to cut the head off at an angle, to help ensure water can not gather on the newly cut stem which leads to rot and disease. Be sure the head is cut before it cracks apart and separates; otherwise the plant will quickly flower and go to seed. When the terminal flower head is cut off, smaller side shoots will develop a continual harvest. Home grown broccoli will most likely not grow heads as large as supermarket varieties.

Broccoli Pests

  • Same for cabbage
  • Root Maggot – Place 3 inch tar paper squares around each seedling when transplanting to cover the soil areas; or keep the ground dusted with wood ash.
  • Cabbage butterflies/worms – controlling cabbage worms is surprisingly easy. Cover susceptible crops with a floating row cover when planting and leave it in place until harvest.
  • Cutworms – Use stiff paper collars around transplants to extend at least 1 inch below the soil line.
  • Flea beetles – Dust with wood ash or flour dust.



9. (can come in bush var. too)  Pole beans: Kidney/ Black


Bean Growing and Harvest Information

Germination 60-85 F
For growth 60-70 F
Soil and Water
Fertilizer: Because beans fix N when inoculated properly, they should require low N; after they flower apply light N, avoid K
pH 6.2-7.5
Water – Low before flowering, average afterwards
Planting depth 1-2″
Root depth 36-48″
Pole 8-15′
Bush 10-24″
Width 4-8″
Space between plants
In beds
Pole 6″
Bush 2-4″
In rows
Pole 12″
Bush 4-6″
Space between rows 18-36″
Average plants per person 10-20
Support structure – Use 6′ posts, A frame, tepee, or trellis to support pole beans. Alternatively, plant non-rampant pole beans between corn that isn’t too densely planted when the corn is 6-8″ tall.
Pick early in morning, after leaves are dry. Harvest before seeds bulge, when beans snap off the plant and snap in half cleanly. Continual harvest is essential for prolonged production.
First Seed starting Date: 14-28 days before last frost date
Last Seed Starting Date: 80-133 Days before first frost date
Companions – Carrot, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, radish, strawberry
Incompatibles – Basil, fennel, garlic, gladiolus, onion family

Image of beans after harvestBeans are a warm season crop, tender to light frosts and freezes. Bush beans are usually determinate, with one clean harvest, so plant every 10 days for a continuous harvest. Pole beans are usually indeterminate with a continuous harvest for 6-8 weeks, so only one planting is necessary if kept picked. Bare roots don’t tolerate disturbances, so handle seedlings minimally. Plan on planting an average of 10-20 plants per person.

Where to Grow Beans:

Beans can be grown in average soil, almost anywhere in the United States. They grow best if the soil is well drained and the summer is consistently warm. Seeds will rot in the ground in cold, damp weather. Since Beans are subject to downy mildew, they should not be grown where there are cold summer fogs.

Bean Varieties

  • Bush –
    • Tendercrop; Top Crop; Burpee’s Tenderpod; Provider
  • Bush Wax
    • Eastern Butter Wax; Burpee’s Brittle Wax; Pencil Pod Wax
  • Pole
    • Kentucky Wonder; Blue Lake; Scarlet Runner
  • Lima
    • Fordhook 242; Henderson
  • Pole Lima
    • King of the Garden
  • Other Beans
    • Bush or pole Romano, Italian broad bean; French Horticultural, broad or fava bean.

Soil for Beans

Warm soil is essential, especially for Lima beans. pH range should be between 6 and 7, just slightly acidic. Bush beans will thrive in fertile loam soil without addition of fertilizer. Too much fertilizer will promote extensive foliage growth and little crop. Lima beans and pole beans are heavy feeders. Legume inoculates are available from seed suppliers for seed treatment, and is recommended especially if beans or peas have not been grown in the soil before.

Planting Beans

When –

After the soil is sufficiently warm – temperatures above 75 degrees. Beans are easily killed by frost. Plan on an average of 10-20 plants per person.
Some gardeners recommend presoaking seeds prior to planting, but research indicates soaked seeds absorb water too quickly, causing the outer coats to spill out essential nutrients, which encourages seed rot. Yields can increase 50-100% by inoculating with Rhizobium bacteria. To inoculate, simply roll seeds in the powder prior to planting.

How to Grow Beans

Bush Beans: Germination in 7 days. Plant seeds 2 inches apart, 1 1/2 inches deep in rows 2 feet apart. Thin to about 6-8 plants per foot of row. Bean plants produce the bulk of their crop for a 2 week period. Rather than plant the entire row, sections should be planted at 2 week intervals until mid-July or 8 weeks before the first killing frost. This will assure a steady crop all summer. Harvest: Average 50 days.

Wax, Lima Beans: Germination in 10 days. Plant seeds 3-4 inches apart, with eyes down, 1 inch deep in rows 2 feet apart. Two plantings a month apart produce a prolonged harvest. Harvest: Average 65-75 days.

Pole Beans: Germination in 8 to 14 days. Set 3 rough barked, 6 foot poles in the ground, tepee fashion, and tie together at the top. Leave 3 to 4 feet between the pole groups. Make a hill at the base of each pole, enriched with compost or well-rotted manure, and plant 6-8 seeds in each. After the second pair of true leaves appear, thin to 3 plants per pole. With regular harvesting, the pole beans should bear all summer.
Harvest: 65 days.

Cultivation for Beans

Keep rows weed free with shallow cultivation or heavy mulching; beans are shallow rooted, and should not be cultivated deeply. Never work around beans after a rainfall or in the early morning when the leaves are still wet from dew. The plants are susceptible to rust, which spreads when the foliage is wet. Water weekly and deeply during dry spells, as beans need constant soil moisture to develop properly. Feed pole varieties by working a thin band of 5-10-5 or 4-12-12 around each hill, once at plating time and again as beans start to form. In addition, pinch off the growing tips of pole beans when plants reach the top of their support system.

Storage Requirements
Blanch before freezing
Temperature Humidity Storage Life
32-35F 95-100% 2-3 weeks
Method Taste Shelf Life
Canned Good 12+ months
Frozen Excellent 12 months
Dried Excellent 24 months

Harvesting Beans

Watch plants carefully as beans start to form and harvest every 2-3 days. Beans are ready to pick when the pods are well formed and rounded and snap readily if bent in half. Wax beans should have a good yellow color. Be sure to lift up the bean plants and look under the foliage to pick every ripe bean. This will promote a continued crop. If beans are left on the plants too long, the seeds overdevelop and the pods become tough. Poorly formed pods are caused by too dry soil, poor infertile soil, or insect damage. Lima beans are picked when the pods are well filled and still green in color. If the pods are yellowing, the beans are too mature and can be left on the vine and picked later to use as dry beans.

Bean Pests

  • Mexican Bean beetle – A coppery brown beetle with black spots that lays yellow eggs and goes through an ugly nymph stage. Crush the yellow egg clusters when seen and hand pick beetles. Plant marigolds between rows to repel beetles.
  • Aphids – Plant nasturtiums between rows.



10. (Salad mix) Mesclun –


“The traditional mix usually includes chervil, arugula, leafy lettuces and endive, while the term may also refer to an undetermined mix of fresh and available baby salad greens,[1] which may include lettuces, spinach, arugula (rocket, or roquette),Swiss chard (silver beet), mustard, endive, dandelion, frisée, mizuna, mâche (lamb’s lettuce), radicchio, sorrel, or other leaf vegetables.”

“Our custom mix includes no less than 8 different baby greens (but no lettuce). It varies seasonally and includes fresh edible flowers during the summer. Ingredients include: tatsoi, mizuna, curly cress, arugula, frisee, radiccio, beet greens, baby kale, red mustard, frilly red mustard.. flowers include nasturtiums, calendula, bachelor buttons, and mustard.”

My Fantasy Life and Home

Everyone has fantasies. And if you don’t have at least one fantasy I highly recommend you create one to daydream about. Unless, of course you have no reason to daydream.

This post will outline my incredibly ideal life. This is a life that is so unrealistic that it has a 1 in 7,000,000,000 chance of happening. This is just a fun exercise of imagination.

Physical Assets

I own 100 acres of land in Kentucky, 100 acres of land in Colorado, 100 acres of land in Oregon, 100 acres of land in Washington. I own a one self driving Tesla.

Charity Work 

I secured the entire Amazon rainforest and it is now a wildlife sanctuary. I am working towards giving out universal birth control and securing the rest of the world’s ecosystems for permanent preservation. I also have helped stabilize the earth’s climate and bring back formerly extinct species. Thanks to wide acceptance, global population will decrease peacefully to 500 million by 2150.

Social Connections

The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn are my two best friends. The president of the United States routinely asks me for guidance.




Obscure Permaculture Plants (incomplete)

“Done is better than perfect.”

For a longer list:


Goji berry 

  • Recently ranked number one on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) Scale… used to rank foods with the healthy antioxidants (compounds that destroy free radicals that cause cancer and aging).

Lycium Sweet Lifeberry.jpg

Goji Berry (Wolfberry) plants are medium-sized, deciduous shrubs with small purple/blue flowers that produce small  red fruit (1-2 cm).  There are two very closely related species (Lycium barbarum, Lycium chinense).  I have had dried goji berries on a few occasions.  They remind me of raisins.  They have a bit of a nutty flavor reminiscent of a tart dried cherry.  I have also had goji berry juice (it was blended with apple juice), and it had a rather tropical flavor to it.  Quite good.

Light: Prefers full sun
Shade: Tolerates moderate shade (up to 80%,
Moisture: Medium to Low – often prefers sandier soils… soils that do not hold much water.  They don’t like wet roots.

Propagation:  By seed.  Shoot tips can root where they touch the ground.

Minimal.  May need to prune back arching tips to prevent the plant from spreading.

There are some reports of stomach upset when eating the uncooked parts of the plant.




yields in 2 to 3 years

20 lbs


The seaberry, hippophae rhamnoides or seabuckthorn, has been revered for centuries as a restorative health tonic. In modern times science has revealed potent levels of antioxidants and other cancer-resisting compounds and affects in the seaberry oil, pulp, leaves and skin. Seaberry is especially exceptional in it’s Omega 7 content along with the fact that it has 20-40x the vitamin C of oranges, many times the Vitamin A of carrots and also large quanities of Vitamin E.  It’s truly an antioxidant powerhouse of rare status.  It is extemely hardy, capable of withstanding -45F (zone 2), yet we’ve seen it growing in Tuscany Italy (zone 9ish). Few plants so adaptable to a shifting climate exist. Amazingly, seabuckthorn also enhances soil by fixing nitrogen – very rare for a fruiting plant. [Seaberry is NOT related to buckthorn and is not in the same genus or plant family


Primary Uses:

  • Fresh eating – only certain varieties, as the fruit is very tart (very acidic); however, fruit that has undergone a frost is often sweeter, but the fruit is often past its prime
  • Juice – often sweetened (sugar, honey) and even diluted with water (up to 5 parts water to 1 part Sea-Buckthorn Berry Juice)
  • Cooking (i.e. sauces) – try to avoid overcooking as this will destroy the flavor
  • Baking (pies, tarts, etc.)
  • Preserves, Jellies, Jams, etc.
  • Fruit Leather
  • Flavoring component to Beer, Wine, Liquors, Cordials, etc.

Secondary Uses:

  • Nitrogen fixing plant (puts nitrogen back into the soil) – inoculated with actinorhizal bacteria (Frankia).
  • Windbreak (especially in maritime climates)
  • Hedge/living fence
  • Soil conservation
  • Fall and Winter food for wildlife, especially birds
  • General insect nectar plant (Spring)
  • Small craft projects – fine grained wood
  • Charcoal production
  • Soaps, lotions, and other cosmetics
  • Dye from the berries and sap
  • A number of traditional medicinal uses

Yield: 20 pounds (9 kg) per plant



Turkish rocket


Water chestnut

Black Locust 

Fast grower and coppices well

In the Legume family

black locust 1.jpg


Black Locust is native to the southeastern United States, and is a great overstory tree as it allows a lot of light through to the understory. Black Locust is a prized as a timber tree, firewood tree, and honey plant (bees love them!). It is also well-known for fixing nitrogen into the soil. Black Locust is one of the most useful and ideal trees for a Temperate Climate farm or homestead.

  • Black Locust heartwood is very rot resistant – fence posts can last for 70-100 years in the ground without rotting!
  • Prime honey plant in Eastern Europe
  • Black Locust is one of the most widely grown timber trees in the world. The wood is strong and heavy. Said to be like oak.
  • The reason for the rot resistance is the presence of tyloses and extractives in the wood. Tyloses are bulges of plant tissue that make the wood water tight. Extractives are compounds found outside the cell wall of certain plants that can impart water resistance, and have antifungal properties.

Primary Uses:

  • Wood – fuelwood. Black Locust is fast growing, very hot burning, and very slow burning firewood – reported to be similar to anthracite coal. It can also burn when not seasoned well (i.e. still wet). Keep in mind that Black Locust wood can “spit” coals when burned, due to knots and beetle damage, so it is best to use young wood (with less beetle damage) in an open fireplace or use older wood in closed fireplaces and stoves.
  • Wood – stakes, poles, posts, ship building, boxes, crates, pegs, etc. (highly rot and water resistant!)
  • Wood – high quality, very hard timber (comparable to oak)
  • Edible Flowers – cooked. Used in fritters (flowers are battered and fried), pancakes, and floral jams. Can also be steeped to make tea or wine.
  • Nitrogen Fixing Plant – this plant creates its own nitrogen through a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms (bacteria) in its roots. It typically produces an excess of nitrogen that can be used by neighboring plants. This is a leguminous plant; Black Locust inoculation group.

Secondary Uses:

  • General insect (especially bees) nectar plant
  • Dynamic Accumulator – Nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium
  • Pioneer Plant – helps reestablish overused or damaged land
  • Drought Tolerant – once established
  • Coppice or Pollard Plant – Black Locust coppices well, but suckers more freely when it is coppiced. Frequency of coppicing varies on desired diameter of wood and local climate conditions
  • Biomass Plant – very fast growing plant can produce large amounts of organic matter in a short time.
  • Erosion Control Species – the fibrous root system helps stabilize soils prone to erosion, especially on banks
  • Wildlife Shelter Plant – mainly birds and small mammals
  • Hummingbird Plant – this plant has nectar that attracts Hummingbirds
  • Lacewings prefer to lay eggs on this plant’s leaves.
  • Parasitoid Wasps prefer to rest and hide in/on this plant.
  • Fodder/Forage Plant – leaves contain 23-24% protein and is comparable to alfalfa. Used in Korea, Bulgaria, Nepal, and India for cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, etc.. There exists some controversy on this topic. Many people feed Black Locust to their livestock with no issues. Other avoid it due to reports of toxicity. I really am not sure where the truth lies, but I lean toward it being an ancillary forage. Most likely, if the animals have access to mixed forage, Black Locust should cause no problems. However, it is universally considered toxic to horses.



Lambs Quarters   

NOT to be confused with Lambs Ears which is a different species and poisonous

More nutritious than spinach

Aphid attractant (pest sink)

Seed similar to Quinoa!


Calories 43
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.8 g 1%
Saturated fat 0.1 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0.4 g  
Monounsaturated fat 0.2 g  
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 43 mg 1%
Potassium 452 mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%
Dietary fiber 4 g 16%
Protein 4.2 g 8%
Vitamin A 232% Vitamin C 133%
Calcium 30% Iron 6%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 15%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 8%

The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.

The bad: This food is very high in Sodium.

Read More






Can use leaves to put in salad

Amaranth palmeri listed as invasive


Some agriculturalists, because of Amaranth’s characteristics in the garden, specifically germinate the Amaranth plants to grow up as companion plants alongside their preferred crops. For example, ground beetles, which eat many of the invasive insects around the fields, often find shelter in the Amaranth roots. Plus the roots of the Amaranth break up the soil, making room their more delicate neighbors to get a proper root hold in the soil. Lastly the Amaranth also traps and kills leaf miners and other nasty bugs, which would otherwise dine on the crops nearby.

The seeds were cultivated on a large scale in ancient Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru, but nowadays it is only cultivated in small farms of in Mexico, Central America, China, India, Nepal, and other tropical countries. Amaranth has been seen as a crop of the future because it is easily harvested, it is a good source of protein, it has several edible forms, and it is easy to cook. A single large seed head can weigh up to one kilogram (1k) and hold over 500,000 seeds.

Amaranth species have been cultivated as leaf vegetables in many parts of the world. From Indonesia to Malaysia, from the Philippines to China, Amaranth is called by different names but it is revered throughout for its leafy vegetable qualities. It mixes well with garlic, onions, chilies, salt, pepper, spices, and other greens to make colorful dishes. In China, Viet Nam and other parts of Southeast Asia the leaves and stems are used with success in stir-fry vegetables and soups.

The roots of a mature Amaranth are a popular vegetable. They are white and cook well with tomatoes and tamarind gravy. Apparently the roots have a milky taste that is quite alkaline. The roots, seeds, and leave have become a traditional food stock in Africa because the plants are nutritious, hardy and, most importantly, inexpensive.  East Africans have given Amaranth a common name that translates to the expression: “We have money left over for fish!”





There are so many similarities between quinoa (keen’ wah) and amaranth that it seems appropriate to describe them together. Quinoa, however, is a cool weather crop and amaranth is a warm weather one.

Quinoa and amaranth are two very old, high-protein plants that hail from South America. They were held sacred in ancient Inca and Aztec cultures. Both now hold great potential for self-sustaining gardens in the northern hemisphere. They grow as easily as their weedy relatives (pigweed or lamb’s-quarters) and the quality of food they offer far surpasses that of our common grains. Traditional hand-harvesting methods can obtain bounteous harvests.

Quinoa and amaranth are treated as grains although they have broad leaves, unlike the true grains and corn, which are grasses. Their leaves are among the most nutritious of vegetable greens, but it is their fruit that is usually meant when these plants are referred to as “crops.” And that fruit or grain is quite special. The protein content of these two foods has a essential amino acid balance that is near the ideal. They both come closer to meeting the genuine protein requirements of the human body than either cow’s milk or soybeans. They are high in the amino acid lysine, which is lacking in most cereals such as wheat, sorghum, corn and barley.

Both quinoa and amaranth are quite adaptable, disease-free and drought-tolerant plants. They thrive in rich soil—as long as it is well drained—but both will, once established, produce abundant harvests under dry conditions.

The wild relatives of both amaranth and quinoa have long been familiar to North American gardeners and are often called by the same name of pigweed. The pigweed that is related to quinoa is also called lamb’s-quarters (Chenopodium album), while the ancestor of amaranth is known as red-rooted pigweed or wild amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus). Both pigweeds have the amazing ability to flower and go to seed at any stage of their growth and both will cross with their cultivated progeny. The grower who wants pure strains of either quinoa or amaranth must therefore pay close attention to weeds.

Most cultivars of amaranth and quinoa grow four- to eight-feet high and, when in flower, are majestic plants whose presence emits a special radiance in any garden. Quinoa’s unique flower hues are most striking at a close distance around dawn or dusk, while amaranth’s flamboyant bronze and burgundy tones are dazzling in bright sunshine. Smaller ornamental amaranths such as Love-Lies-Bleeding and Prince’s-Feather have been listed in garden catalogues for hundreds of years.



Hardy Kiwi (low priority) 

2 to 5 years to yield


Have you tasted these remarkable miniature kiwis yet? Every bit as delicious as the larger, more familiar fuzzy kiwi, hardy kiwis are much easier to grow and eat (skin and all). And just about every home gardener in North America can grow them.

Hardy kiwi is a catchall term for types of kiwis (Actinidia) that, when dormant, can survive temperatures as low as -40? F (USDA Hardiness Zone 3). These beautiful, vigorous natives of Russia, China, Japan, and Korea have deep green leaves and long whiplike vines that can grow as much as 20 feet in a season. In the wild, they may climb 50 feet or more into treetops.

The fruits, somewhat larger and rounder than grapes and with a more opaque green skin, hang in long, heavy clusters. Like fuzzy kiwis, they have soft flesh with small, black, crunchy seeds. They taste sweeter than fuzzy kiwis and don’t require peeling. Hardy kiwis are not common in markets because they don’t ship very well. But you might notice them sold in specialty markets as “baby kiwis.”





Sunchoke (low priority) 

May cause gas

Not a nutritional powerhouse

Grows in shit soil


Jerusalem artichokes are one of the most controversial vegetables. Some people love them and are ready to pay a hefty price. I have seen organic Jerusalem artichokes for more than $5 per pound. Others plainly and simply hate them, mainly because they can cause intestinal gas. The most outspoken condemnation is from an early 17th-century popular botany book, Gerard’s Herbal, where Jerusalem artichokes are called “more fit for swine than men.” If harvested after frost, the inulin (the dietary fiber that is the culprit for causing gas), is significantly reduced. Also, cooking Jerusalem artichokes at high heat, like in my Jerusalem artichoke salad, and not eating them raw makes them easier to digest.

The gardening tips for growing Jerusalem artichokes are just as divided. Some sources warn you that they will take over your garden and you will deeply regret plating them. Others tell you to remove the flower buds so the tubers grow bigger. Go figure.

I am taking the middle route, trying to thoroughly dig out all the tubers so they won’t spread into unwanted areas. And, I leave the flowers on. They are pretty and I would not haul a ladder into the herb garden to reach them anyway. And, if the Jerusalem artichokes ever take over I shall maybe consider getting a pig. Pigs love Jerusalem artichokes and can locate the tubers in the soil. Just like truffles! With the exception that the pigs dig the tubers up and eat them, which takes care of the tubers spreading.










Diversity promotes abundance

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” 

“Actions are more powerful than words.”

“Welcome to civilization, a place of monotony, gluttony, and delusion.”

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” ― Cree Indian Prophecy



Disclaimer: Contains some hyperbole 

Diversity is one of the key secrets to life.

Diversity in lifestyle keeps you entertained, stimulated, and challenged. Diversity in thinking allows you to build mental fortitude and a valuable system of logic and reasoning. (reading books, writing, meditation, and are great ways to mentally exercise)  Diversity in food keeps you healthy. Diversity in nature is what helps make an ecosystem resilient. 

What is lacking in my life is diversity (not that I have much of a right to complain). This article is more focused on improvement then complaining. But I do enjoy a good bitching now and then : D…. I shall carry on. Skip to the positive section if you want…


The Negative:

Modern society is a like a non-organic, monoculture field of corn. Its existence depends on artificial and unhealthy inputs that are all created and dependent on fossil fuels.  Just like a monoculture field of corn, uniformity is valued highly in modern “civilization.”

Diversity in attitude is not generally valued in modern society. Millions of free spirited people simply do not promote the most industrial profit. The wealthy industrialists depend on people who want to buy all their useless shit and people who will work 40 hours a week in order to afford to buy their useless shit. Capitalism is the ultimate self-serving system.


“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.” ― Cree Indian Prophecy


People who are: indifferent to the environmental and social turmoil, rule followers, closed minded, unquestioning, hard working even when doing monotonous destructive work, and willing to slave away for 40 years without complaining, are encouraged. THAT IS THE ATTITUDE that brings in the money for the 1%! Yay!

Free spirited and outspoken people are often berated and scorned for not being “practical,” “hard working,” or “devoutly religious.” They are often called names like crazy, lazy, stupid, hippie, and freeloaders. Thankfully, the paradigm is shifting as old ideas die and new ones are born (in no small thanks to the internet or capitalisms slow death spiral).

It is extremely hard to have a healthy amount of diversity of: thought, food/nutrition, self expression, exercise, and (MEANINGFUL) social interaction working a typical, 40 hour a week, job. 70% of Americans do not enjoy their jobs. All I have to say is don’t have kids, don’t get a 30 year mortgage, and don’t buy expensive/unneeded shit unless you are perfectly ok with the 9 to 5 till you’re 65, rat race. Join an ecovillage, live in a van, move out of the country, or build a homestead. It’s an interesting coincidence that the most obscure and discouraged lifestyles are also the most sustainable and least profitable in terms of industrial profit (destruction).


“Either you control your own destiny or someone will take the liberty of doing it for you.”


You may not be a revolutionary world leader like Martin Luther King or Ghandi. You can still create a revolution in your life.

Most people have children due to ignorance of overpopulation, instinctual attraction to producing actual offspring, religious convictions, by blind stupidity, and by accident. People are not bad because they have children. A lot of the time their heart is in the right place.

However, the issue still stands, producing an child in America is likely the single most damaging thing you can do to the environment.


“If humans weren’t so obsessed with sex and children, our species would’ve went extinct a long time ago.”

“Population pressure is always a major cause of war,” remarked biologist Raymond Pearl.

“If all 7+ billion of us were to enjoy a European standard of living – which is about half the consumption of the average American – the Earth could sustainably support only about 2 billion people.”


If you don’t have one child you just saved yourself $250,000 over 18 years. That’s not even counting college tuition. Congrats! You didn’t contribute to overpopulation, which is a colossal issue and will continue to become an even more ominous elephant in the room. You’ll probably be able to work about 10 years less too. 

As the population increases, overall quality of life will decrease for the general population. 




The Positive:

Ways to revolutionize your life:

  1. Don’t have children (there are many reasons this is number one)
  2. Save as much money as possible
  3. Exit the rat race – Ecovillage, Homestead, or live in a cheaper country (like Costa Rica)
  4. Grow your own food
  5. Eat healthy because it drastically reduces your chance of developing diseases like Cancer
  6. Think for yourself and question everything
  7. Live a permaculture based lifestyle


Things that make (my) life more diverse and enjoyable:

  1. Woman companion
  2. Music 
  3. Yoga 
  4. Free time
  5. Meditation (altered consciousness) 
  6. Making Art
  7. Dancing
  8. Good social connections


Things I am thankful for: 

  1. Supportive Family
  2. Freedom 
  3. Free time
  4. Intelligence
  5. Good health
  6. My dogs
  7. My friends
  8. Internet



Disease facts: 

Loneliness is not just an emotional state of mind, it actually triggers genetic changes which cause illness and early death, a study shows for the first time.

Previous studies have found that social isolation is a major health problem that can increase the risk of premature death by 14 percent.

However until now, scientists have been unsure what is driving the phenomenon.

“Perceived social isolation is a risk factor for chronic illness and all-cause mortality but the molecular mechanisms remain ill understood”
Prof John Capitanio, University of California

Now researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of California have discovered that loneliness actually triggers physical responses in the body which make people sick.

It appears to trigger the ‘fight or flight’ stress signal which affects the production of white blood cells. It also increases activity in genes which produce inflammation in the body while lowering activity in genes which fight off illness, promoting high levels of inflammation in the body.



Unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are leading causes of death in the U.S. People are dying. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating and inactivity cause 678,000 deaths every year—similar to the number of deaths caused by tobacco and 13 times more than are caused by guns.

Estimated Percentages of Cancer Due to Selected Factors5,6

Diet 35% to 60%
Tobacco 30%
Air and Water Pollution 5%
Alcohol 3%
Radiation 3%
Medications 2%



NEW MOVIE- Won’t be released for a while though….


Permaculture Soil Builder Plants

This page is for unusual plants that are not very “mainstream.” (Note: Sources located at the bottom)

Field peas- good to break up heavy soils

Forage pea- good for overwintering

Alfalfa**** (highest nitrogen fixer, hard to eradicate though)


“Alfalfa grows easily just about anywhere. That is another good  plant for your food forest ground cover, or animal pasture. It is impossible to remove from the ground once it has taken hold, so choose location very carefully. Alfalfa seed is now genetically modified, and foraging wild alfalfa is not safe. Organic seed can be purchased at the Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. Alfalfa is loved by bees and bumble bees, by chickens and beneficial insects – and it makes good tea. Fresh and slightly buttery tasting tea is a good base for other flavors. Harvest blossoming ends in early to mid-June.

Native to the Americas, it’s a deep rooted accumulator of minerals and nitrogen fixer. I heard once of a trial in which alfalfa was sown in rows alternating with wheat, spaced at half their usual density. The exchange of nutrients between the two plants was so beneficial that the yield of wheat was as great as when it was planted on its own.”

“Alfalfa is a good source of nitrogen, along with several other minerals including:

  • phosphorus
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • sulfur
  • magnesium
  • boron
  • iron
  • zinc

The N-P-K ratio for alfalfa is approximately 3 – 1 – 3, depending on its source

Alfalfa roots reach down into the sub-soil up to 8 feet, bringing valuable hard-to-reach nutrients up to the soil surface where they are stored in the leaves of the plant. Using the cut alfalfa in your garden and compost adds these nutrients to the upper layers of your soil where other garden plants can use them. Alfalfa is particularly good at bringing iron to the surface, a micro-nutrient needed for chlorophyll synthesis.”

Sugar Snap Peas*****





“Nasturtiums are my favourite plant ever – one of my earliest memories is of drinking rain drops out of their leaves (cause that’s how the fairies did it) and they’ve really stuck with me ever since. As I grew older I loved the fact the you can eat the leaves, flowers and make ‘poor man capers’ out of the seed pods, plus they’re a great living mulch in the garden, attract beneficial insects and easy on the eye.

So when I found out that there’s a perennial nasturtium (called mashua) only less than a year ago – well, I got excited.

Nasturtiums are gorgeous to look at and they bring a brilliant splash of orange and red into the garden. They produce sweet edible flowers that can lighten up your salads as well. Nasturtiums are hardy and low maintenance. They work as ground cover protecting the soil from evaporation. Additionally, Nasturtiums are respectable members of any Permaculture garden for their anti-pest properties. They seem to deter whitefly, although the results are a bit ambiguous. Just try and be sure to let us know of your results!”

Nasturtiums are a great plant for a permaculture garden.  Talk about multiple uses!
* They attract beneficial ladybirds, bees and predatory wasps with their bright flowers all year round.
* They are delicious in salads.
* They can be a great groundcover, but are also easy to control.  I can clear a few square metres of nasturtiums in a couple of minutes.  So although they are very vigorous, they aren’t like the really ‘weedy’ plants (like mint) that you can never be free of.

 The leaves (especially the smaller leaves) make a really yummy pesto.  
 I added Vietnamese mint, more lime juice and adjusted sugar, salt and pepper to the recipe on this website:


Comfrey (Russian Comfrey may be the best)



“The first test is from February 2009, after our front yard had sat under sheet mulch all winter and our back yard was still mostly turf grass. The mulched front yard already shows a lower pH (we have alkaline clay soil here, so lower is better), more than double the organic matter, three times the nitrate, and about 50% higher phosphorus and potassium.

By the time of the second test in 2011, I had sheet mulched the back yard as well, but I distinguished between a “raised” bed where a sewer repair had exposed the heavy clay subsoil and a greenhouse area which had not been excavated. The greenhouse bed shows higher nutrient levels than either the front yard or the raised bed, with the exception of potassium, but even this is higher than it had been two years before.

So far so good, and I think I’ve made a good case for sheet mulching, but all these figures are blown away by the sample I took this year under the comfrey plants. After 5 years of comfrey, the topsoil in this sample shows a lower pH and higher percent organic matter than any of the previous samples, and the nutrient levels are practically off the charts – a 47 to 232% increase over the previously observed highs. I did not test for calcium or magnesium either before or after, but just on the basis of NPK the comfrey is completely vindicated.”

Hairy Vetch and Fava Bean ****



“Vicia is a genus of about 140 species of legumes commonly known as Vetch. These rambling, nitrogen-fixing vines are found around the world and used for food, animal forage, and green manures. They are pioneer plants helping to rehabilitate damaged lands, and their deep roots mine minerals which enrich and stabilize soils. They attract all sorts of beneficial insects and can be used as a groundcover. One annual species also happens to be one of my favorite beans: the Fava Bean! This is a wonderful plant to use on pastures, new swales, and in the initial phases of Forest Garden creation… truly a multi-purpose plant!

  • American Vetch (Vicia americana), Cow Vetch (Vicia cracca), and Hairy Vetch (Vicia villosa) have a taproot that may dive up to 40 inches (1 meter) deep. Other species may have taproots, but no reliable information can be found.
  • American (Vicia americana) has both a taproot and rhizomes and is drought-tolerant.
  • The Fava/Broad Bean (Vicia faba) can be used to make the popular Middle Eastern food, Falafel. Ground fava beans, chickpeas, or both are used to make the ball or patty which is then deep fried.
  • The Fava/Broad Bean (Vicia faba) can be inoculated with the rhodospirillacean bacterium Azospirillum brasilenseand the glomeracean fungus Glomus clarum, and then the Fava Bean can also be grown in salty soils.”

Borage (starflower)*****


“With a taste comparable to that of cucumber, borage has various culinary applications. The leaves can of course be used as a salad green and the flowers as edible decorations, but to stop there would be an insult to the wide variety of uses for borage. This herb can be used in soups, salads, borage-lemonade, strawberry-borage cocktails, preserves, borage jelly, various sauces, cooked as a stand-alone vegetable, or used in desserts in the form of fresh or candied flowers, to name a few.

This herb is also the highest known plant source of gamma-linolenic acid (an Omega 6 fatty acid, also known as GLA) and the seed oil is often marketed as a GLA supplement. It is also a source of B vitamins, beta-carotene, fiber, choline, and, again, trace minerals. In alternative medicine it is used for stimulating breast milk production and as an adrenal gland tonic; thus it can be used to relieve stress.

In the garden, the uses of borage include repelling pests such as hornworms, attracting pollinators, and aiding any plants it is interplanted with by increasing resistance to pests and disease. It is also helpful to, and compatible with, most plants — notably tomatoes, strawberries and squash. Borage adds trace minerals to the soil it is planted in, and is good for composting and mulching. It is an annual, but readily self-seeds and thrives in full sun. It is so proficient in self-seeding, in fact, that once a borage plant has established itself in your garden, you will likely never have to reseed again. The bloom period is different for various climates and growing zones. In our garden, borage will bloom from mid-spring to early fall.

Now if I’ve done my job, by this time you should be thinking, “This is amazing! How in the world do I grow this miracle plant for myself?” It’s quite simple actually. Seeds are best sown in full or partial sun under ½ inch (1 cm) of soil so it’s easy to sprinkle a patch with seeds and then cover it with a few handfuls of soil or compost. The plants can easily grow to be 3 feet (91 cm) tall and 2 feet (61 cm) wide, so give them room to grow, and let them shade your partial sun plants. Treat this easy-to-keep herb well and it will reward you with scores of beautiful flowers, lush foliage, and fertile soils.”

White clover 


“White clover stores 45% of the nitrogen it gives back to the soil in its roots. This is more than any other legume and is important to consider in managing white clover for nitrogen addition. Mowing the top growth of white clover will not give you a fast boost of nitrogen, but white clover is a great recycler of nitrogen.”

“White clover is more tolerant of poor soil conditions, minor flooding, and heat than other clovers. It can be mowed and/or grazed short (2-3″) and will recover well. Let it grow 6-8″ in the fall to help it overwinter. White clover can produce as much as 200 lb. of nitrogen per acre, but averages 130 lb.”

” Red clover may be the best choice for frost seeding; it is extremely cold hardy and does well in most soils and growing conditions. it does, like most clovers, perform poorly in hot weather unless seeded into a crop canopy. Incorporate fully for best results. Mammoth Red clover will fix up to 70-110 lbs. nitrogen per acre.”

Poultry will graze clover.


Cowpeas ****




“Relatively long taproots help withstand drought. Cowpeas are not tolerant of high weed pressure or wet soils and will perform poorly in these conditions. If planted thickly, they will smother out weeds. Cowpeas can also be used for underseeding in spring crops and tilled under prior to fall-planted crops. They can produce as much as 315 lb./acre nitrogen, although 130 lb./acre is more typical. High organic matter production.”

Lupine *****

BaldHillsLupines 2ERote_lupine


” Lupines are beautiful wildflowers found almost around the globe. Known primarily for their showy spikes of flowers in blues, purples, reds, yellows, and white, these legumes put nitrogen back into the soil (natural fertilizer), host a number of beneficial insects, can act as a groundcover to protect top soil, and some species even produce edible seeds. A brilliant addition to the home and Forest Garden.


Found almost all over the world, there are likely native or at least naturalized Lupines close to where you live. They have been used as food plants likely for thousands of years. The Romans were fond of the seeds, but have been used by most Mediterranean cultures. The South and North American species were also used by natives there as well. More recently, there has been a growing trend to use Lupines as a cash crop alternative to soy, livestock forage and feed crop, as well as developing a wide variety of ornamental flowering varieties.


  • Edible species include Wild or Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perrenis), Seashore Lupine (Lupinus littoralis),  Blue Lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis), another Blue Lupine (Lupinus augustifolius), and White Lupine (Lupinus albus), but the best is likely the Pearl Lupine (Lupinus mutabilis).
  • There are larger species in the Lupine genus… the most common large species being the Tree Lupine or Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus) that grows to over 6 feet (2 meters) tall.
  • Lupines are an important larval food for many butterflies and moths.Primary Uses:
    • Ornamental flowering plant (wildflower)
    • Edible seeds in some species – used as cooked bean substitute, can be roasted then ground into a powder (NOTE: seeds contain a bitter toxin that can easily be leached out by soaking the seeds in water overnight, and up to 3 days) and discarding the soaking water. 
    • Some species produce an edible oil from the pressed seeds

    Secondary Uses:

    • Nitrogen fixing plant (puts nitrogen back into the soil) – inoculated with leguminous bacteria.
    • General insect (especially bees) nectar plant
    • Provides shelter for parasatoid wasps (beneficial wasps that prey on plant pests)
    • Lacewings (beneficial insects) prefer to lay eggs on this plant
    • Dynamic Accumulator (Phosphorus, Nitrogen)
    • Groundcover – space plants about 1 foot (30 centimeters) apart”

Daikon Radish


“Daikon radish is a permaculture or organic gardener’s friend. If planted closely together (five seeds per square foot), the shade of their dense leaves suppresses weed growth. They also can be used as a “trap crop” for flea beetles and other insects that might, otherwise, damage more valuable and vulnerable spring cabbage and lettuce crops. Daikon leaves can be cut and used as green manure. Sometimes referred to as “bio-drills,” Daikon roots are grown to break up compacted soil. The deep, penetrating roots also bring up nutrients from the sub-soil and, if the root is allowed to rot in place, it releases these mined nutrients and deposits organic matter into the topsoil. By allowing surface level nutrients to percolate down the deep root channel, the roots improve water penetration.    

Whatever their shape or color, Daikon radishes are a great source of fiber and vitamins. If eaten raw or steamed lightly, Daikon leaf greens provide many essential vitamins and nutrients, especially Vitamin C. Unfortunately, mature plant leaves can be too tough to be eaten raw. A two-inch chunk of root contains only about fifteen calories. “




USDA Hardiness Zone: Not relevant for annual species. For Perennial Buckwheat, it appears to be hardy to Zone 7 (maybe 6).
AHS Heat Zone: No reliable information is available
Chill Requirement: Likely for Perennial Buckwheat, considering where this plant originates, but no reliable information is available.

Plant Type: Annual/Perennial
Leaf Type: Annual/Deciduous
Forest Garden Use: Herbaceous Layer (Cover Crop)
Cultivars/Varieties: There are a number of varieties available. If you want a seed for eating, make sure you find one that is specifically for seed, and not just for a cover crop. These will taste much better!

Pollination: Not self-fertile. Pollinated by bees and flies.
Flowering: It all depends on when it is planted. Perennial Buckwheat blooms in late Summer to early Autumn (or Winter in warmer climates). Annual Buckwheat will form flowers in 2-10 weeks (yes, as early as just , but hot weather will cause the flowers to fall off without forming seeds (this is called “blasting”).

Primary Uses:

  • Edible Seeds – sprouted seeds can be eaten raw. The seed can be cooked and used as a cereal grain (i.e. dried and ground into a powder). Used in breads, pancakes, noodles, etc. Can be mixed with true cereal grains for making yeast breads. Can be used as a thickening agent in soups and sauces. Note that Perennial Buckwheat may not produce nearly as many seeds as the annual species.
  • Edible Leaves – used like spinach – can be eaten raw or cooked, but is usually significantly more bitter when raw
  • Cover Crop / Green Manure – used as a fast-growing cover crop that breaks down (rots) quickly providing lots of organic matter to the soil as well as soil coverage/protection and fertilization/composting in place. Sow at 60-135 lbs/acre (65-150 kg/ha) when using across large areas.

Secondary Uses:

  • General insect (especially bees) nectar plant – Buckwheat Honey is distinctively dark and is a highly sought after honey. These flowers are known for attracting predatory wasps, hoverflies (Syrphid flies), and more.
  • Dynamic Accumulator – phosphorus and calcium
  • Weed Suppressing Plant – the vigorous, fast-growing Buckwheat smothers unwanted “weeds”.
  • Erosion Control Plant – the deep, fibrous roots hold the soil and prevent erosion
  • Wildlife Shelter – especially small birds and mammals
  • Alcohol – gluten-free beers and whisky have been made using Buckwheat
  • Buckwheat Hulls – used in pillows and as upholstery filler

Yield: Variable.
Harvesting: Annual Buckwheats produce edible leaves by 6-8 weeks and ripened seed at 10-14 weeks. The seeds do not all ripen at the same time, so harvesting is a bit time consuming. It is easiest to harvest when about three-quarters of the seeds become dark brown (ripe). If you wait longer, then many of the seeds with shatter (fall off). Cut the stems gently and move them to a tarp or sheet. Then hit the stems with a broom or carpet beater. Most of the unripe seeds will stay on the branches, and the ripe ones fall on the tarp. Winnow the seeds (blow the chaf away… leaves, bugs, older hulls, etc.) by pouring the seeds back and forth between buckets in a breeze or in front of a fan.
Storage: Use leaves fresh within a few days. Seeds can be dried and stored for years if kept in an airtight, minimal oxygen container – like with oxygen absorbers. Otherwise, the seeds, which have fats, can go rancid. Buckwheat flour should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or other cool/cold place, and it can store for a few months.

  • Buckwheat grows very well in low-fertility soils. In fact, if the soil has too much nitrogen, seed yield will be reduced… so it depends on what you are growing the Buckwheat for: manure or seed (flowers).
  • Buckwheat seeds best in cooler weather, so if you live in a hot climate, then a late season sowing is recommended.
  • If you want a seed harvest, then plant 2-3 months before the first killing frost.
  • If planted in Summer, then there will be little seed production, but it will work great as a cover crop/green manure/weed suppressor.
  • Buckwheat does not seed well in wind – the seeds shatter (drop), and it has a tendancy to lodge (tip over).”


Table 2: Typical levels of N fixation (Data source: The Nature and Properties of Soils, 2002). N fixation Lbs per acre per year Alfalfa 130-220 Clover 90-130 Vetch 45-130 Dry beans 25-45 Soybean 45-130

“…analysis shows that plant communities with many different species are nearly 1.5 times more productive than those with only one species (such as a cornfield or carefully tended lawn), and ongoing research finds even stronger benefits of diversity when the various other important natural services of ecosystems are considered. Diverse communities are also more efficient at capturing nutrients, light, and other limiting resources.”



Favorite Permaculture Plants:

Perennial Fruits:

Strawberry- 25— $20—1-2 yrs— 1 lb.

Blackberry – 5- $50—– 1 to 2 years—-10 lbs

Ground cherry- 50 seeds- $2.50 – 70 days (EASY TO GROW) – .5 to 1 lb  (produces up to 3 years)

Peach – 2— $40—2 to 4 years—–120 lbs.

Nectarine –2— $50—2 to 4 years—60 to 120 lbs

Apricot – 2—- $30—2 to 5 years—30 to 120 lbs

Blueberry – 4 – $40—- 2 to 3 years—10 lbs—highly acidic soil

Cherry –4– $120—4 to 7 years—40 to 120 lbs

Apple – 2—$24—dwarf 3-5 yrs , 1-2 bushels (40 lb-80 lb)—-reg. 5-8 yrs, 4-5 bushels (200 lb- 240 lb)

Raspberry – 5—-$65—1 to 2 years—1 to 2 quarts (Blueberries produce 3 to 4 quarts)

Grapes – 3- $32—2 to 4 years—7-9 lbs

Plum – 4- $80— 3 to 6 yrs—-30 to 120 lbs

Goji berry- 100 seeds – $3.85—-2 to 3 years—4 lbs (MEDICINAL)

Hardy Kiwi – 2- $20—2 to 5 years—75lbs


Sea buckthorn – 2— $50—2 to 3 yrs— 30 lbs. (juice or jam/sour)

Nanking Cherry – 2—$40 -1-3 years – 12-15 lbs.



Annual Fruit:

Cantaloupe-20 seeds- $2—– 86 days – 9 to 15lbs

Watermelon- 70 seeds-$3–90 days- 60lbs

Tomato (beefsteak)- 30 seeds – $5— 90 days – 20lbs


Nasturtiums – seeds, flowers, leaves are all edible (pretty)

Violas- edible flowers

Marigolds- edible flowers


Sea Kale

Turkish rocket greens



Healthiest vegetables:

Asparagus, Avocados, Beet greens, Beets, Bell peppers, Bok choy, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collard greens, Corn, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Green beans, Green peas, Kale, Leeks, Mustard greens, Olive oil, extra virgin, Olives, Onions, Potatoes, Romaine lettuce, Spinach, Squash, summer, Squash, winter, Sweet potatoes, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Turnip greens

 You can also sprout seeds and eat them as seedlings

Jerusalem artichoke- 1.5lbs – $10 – 6 lbs. per tuber (beautiful flowers!)



New Zealand Spinach

Asparagus (3 years to maturity)

Brussel sprouts

Swiss Chard (biennial)

Snow peas

White beans (fava?)


Okra? Pretty?



Raisin tree?

Clove currant?

Pineapple guava?

















Top 10 according to 

Basil , Black pepper, Chili pepper, dried, Cilantro & Coriander seeds, Cinnamon, ground, Cloves, Cumin seeds, Dill, Ginger, Mustard seeds, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Turmeric


Lemon Balm is inhaled as aromatherapy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Spearmint/peppermint–One of the primary benefits of fresh mint is that it contains potent antioxidants. Peppermint, for example, has perillyl alcohol, which might stop the formation or spread of cancer. Aromatherapy

Apple mint

Marjoramperennial with citrus flavors

Parsleymost popular herb

Chivespretty flowers.

BasilDNA protection, anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, good source of magnesium. Aromatherapy


Fennelhigh overall nutrition score

Dillnot super nutritious

Turmeric/curcumin dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the body. It helps prevent cancer and improve neurogenesis factor.

Thyme This common garden herb is full of antioxidants, like thymol, lavonoids apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin. Antioxidants prevent cellular damage that can boost overall health and help prevent cancer, inflammation, signs of aging and more

Schisandra is used as an “adaptogen” for increasing resistance to disease and stress, increasing energy, and increasing physical performance and endurance.

Schisandra is also used for preventing early aging and increasing lifespan; normalizing blood sugar and blood pressure; and stimulating the immune system and speeding recovery after surgery.

It is also used for treating liver disease (hepatitis) and protecting the liver from poisons. The Chinese have developed a liver-protecting drug called DBD that is made from schisandrin, one of the chemicals in schisandra.

The chemicals in schisandra improve liver function by stimulating enzymes (proteins that speed up biochemical reactions) in the liver and promoting liver cell growth.

Oregano contains chemicals that might help reduce cough and spasms. Oregano also might help digestion by increasing bile flow and fighting against some bacteria, viruses, fungi, intestinal worms, and other parasites.

Rosemary is a good source of antioxidants, according to a 2006 article published in the “European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology.” These antioxidants might help reduce inflammation in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, note Michael T. Murray and Joseph E. Pizzorno in their book “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.” Rosemary contains specific antioxidants, called caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, that might help prevent and fight cancer, according to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. The scent of rosemary can improve concentration and memory, as well, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Ginger Gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger, responsible for much of its medicinal properties. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects

Ginseng Ginseng may help with stimulating physical and mental activity among people who are weak and tired. A Mayo Clinic study revealed that ginseng showed good results in helping cancer patients with fatigue.

Holy Basil In cooking, holy basil is often added to stir-fry dishes and spicy soups because of its peppery taste. Cookbooks sometimes call it “hot basil.” Chemicals in holy basil are thought to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). Other chemicals might lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.

There is interest in using holy basil seed oil for cancer. Beginning research suggests that the oil can slow progression and improve survival rate in animals with certain types of cancer. Researchers think this benefit may be explained by the oil’s ability to act as an antioxidant.

Cilantro Health benefits of cilantro leaves (coriander) Cilantro herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. However, its deep-green leaves possess good amounts of antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which may help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood.

Sage Like rosemary, its sister herb in the mint (Labitae) family, sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenindiosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid named after rosemary—rosmarinic acid. Better brain function/memory.

Cinnamon At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits. Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon, or stick to small doses if you’re using the Cassia variety.

Lavender – Aromatherapy

Can make herb tea out of

1.Annys hyssop

  1. Basil
  2. Calendula
  3. Catnip or catmint
  4. Chamomile
  5. Lavender
  6. Lemon balm
  7. ‘Lemon Gem’ and ‘Orange Gem’ marigolds
  8. Lemon verbena
  9. Mints
  10. Monarda (bee balm)
  11. Pineapple sage
  12. Rosemary
  13. Sage










Lion’s mane

cremini mushrooms




Kombucha – with chia seeds yummy!

Lacto fermentation

Books I’d Like to Read and Books I Have Read

Books I want to read:





Books I’ve Read (at least partially):





The book weighs in at a hefty 2.4 pounds and includes:

  • The economics of mini-farming and why sustainable practices are a prerequisite to home gardening being an economic positive rather than a break-even affair at best.
  • A comprehensive description of soil biology and fertility, along with composting practices, biochar, cover cropping, crop rotation, how to make your own fertilizers, micro-nutrients and more.
  • Raised beds, double-digging, seed starting, seed saving, and seed selection strategies are discussed. Tables are provided for determining the timing for starting seedlings and planting out your crops, as well as isolation distances for saving seeds.
  • A unique three-part pest and disease management strategy is described in detail. The strategy takes all available organic methods into consideration including barriers, beneficial insects and organic sprays (including some you can make yourself).
  • Getting the greatest productivity from your beds by inter-cropping, staggered plantings, optimal spacing, and timing the planting of cold-hardy crops for fall harvest.
  • Growing fruit and nut trees as well as vines and cane fruit, including pruning and training techniques and dealing with the unique challenges of growing fruits organically.
  • Raising chickens for eggs, meat and manure for compost, including guidelines for space and nests and complete step-by-step photos of processing chickens for meat.
  • Plans for a unique and inexpensive chicken plucker that really works!  Several people have made videos of the plucker in action, and one such video can be found here.
  • I cover canning in a unique way that makes recipes unnecessary by demystifying the time requirements. Charts and tables are included and by understanding the principles used to determine the timing, you can literally can any recipe rather than being constrained to follow those in a book.
  • I also cover blanching, freezing and dehydrating as methods of food preservation, and describe which foods are best processed by which method”



Permaculture Resource dump


Amazing Ecovillages to Emulate




Pickard’s Mountain Eco Institute

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Pickards Mountain Eco Institute  is a 68-acre Educational Farm in central North Carolina dedicated to finding ways of living more harmoniously with the planet.  Their work is rooted in the belief that the fate of future generations will depend on their connections with the land.  Pickards Mountain got its start through Abundance NC’s fiscal sponsorship program.

When the fossil fuels are gone, people will have to find ways to supply their food and energy in renewable and sustainable ways.  By teaching the children to respect natural cycles and utilize renewable resources, we offer them keys to survival in a cooperative local and global community.

Workshops and Events at the Eco-Institute:
Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute offers workshops on everything from nature walks to yoga to kim chi making to film showings to storytelling to potlucks… check out the entire calendar!

  • Middle School Programs explore the idea of sustainability in agriculture and energy production while touring the farm, living village, and renewable energy system.
  • High School Programs explore the idea of sustainability and human responsibility while touring the farm, living village, renewable energy system, and biodiesel refinery. The environmental crisis is placed in an historical context, and students are empowered with the knowledge that their choices shape the future.

The Fellowship Program from Pickards Mountain:

Young adults enjoy living close to nature while learning sustainable farming alongside a 100kW solar energy system.  These young adults, the leaders of the future, have found themselves between years of university study with a sense of deep concern for the environmental crises we face, including global climate disruption.  The causes of the converging crises, not simply ecological, but also economic and social, are traced back to the philosophical roots of our societal paradigm.  These young adults (ages 18-32) spend their mornings working and learning important practical life skills, and their afternoons/evenings studying and discussing ideas by important change agents and thought leaders.”







Lammas Ecovillage


“The Lammas project has been created to pioneer an alternative model for living on the land. It empowers people to explore what it is to live a low-impact lifestyle. It demonstrates that alternatives are possible here and now.

The project centres around the ecovillage at Tir y Gafel, in North Pembrokeshire, which has been designed using a model that can be replicated across Wales. It combines the traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture. The ecovillage was granted planning permission in 2009 by the Welsh Government and is currently part-way through the construction phase.  At its heart it consists of 9 smallholdings positioned around a Community Hub building, and it is supported by a range of peripheral projects and networks.

The ecovillage runs guided tours every Saturday from April to October and also runs a range of courses, conferences and events throughout the year.

The project actively supports aspiring low-impact projects in Wales through providing planning guides and resources as well as supporting independent academic studies.”




Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage





“At Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage (DR), we understand how difficult it can be to live sustainably and responsibly within modern US culture. We believe that we can work to build a healthy alternative: a social structure that is both non-exploitative and vibrant. As our village grows, we see this ideal take shape more clearly every day: a diverse range of people living ecologically sound lives in a community that truly serves as an example of positive human action within the natural world.In 1997 the DR Land Trust (DRLT) purchased 280 acres in the rolling hills of northeastern Missouri. We are now deep into pioneering—constructing buildings while planning and developing community structure. There is an ever-increasing emphasis on internal economy, which includes bartering and an internal currency. Eventually, we see 500 to 1,000 people living in our village, with businesses and homes surrounding the town center.As you might expect, ecological sustainability is the primary focus of our long-term vision and our daily lives. Residents agree to follow ecological covenants and sustainability guidelines. We build our homes using alternative techniques such as straw bale and cob, powering them with renewable energy from the Sun and wind. Vehicles at DR are owned cooperatively and powered by biodiesel. Overall, we eat an ever-increasing amount of local, organic, and in-season foods including many home-grown vegetables.

We strive to be good stewards of our land, with much of our acreage reserved as wildlife habitat. In the grasslands we are reintroducing native prairie plants to help revitalize our region’s biodiversity. We have planted over 10,000 trees to restore our land to its precolonial ecology, to stabilize the riparian zone, and to provide a sustainable source of wood for our community in years to come.

Diversity is an important element within our human population as well. Our village is composed of individuals, families, and an income-sharing community. We look forward to having other sub-communities join us and we encourage the development of co-housing and cooperatives. To allow for economic diversity and simple living, we keep lease rates and membership dues low and there is no buy-in fee.

In addition to being a wonderful home for us, DR is a model for social change. Outreach and education are integral to our mission. Rather than isolating ourselves completely from the mainstream, we promote DR as a viable alternative. We enjoy sharing discoveries and ideas of sustainable living with people who have a wide variety of lifestyles.

If you are interested in Dancing Rabbit, you have lots of options: subscribe to our blog, arrange a visit, or come do a work exchange stint. We are actively seeking new members to share our lives and goals. Together we can build our dreams!

– See more at:”






Honorable Mentions

Acorn Ecovillage

Twin Oaks Ecovillage

Going Slowly Homestead in Vermont

Awakened life project

Intensive retreat- 40 days for $2250- $56 per day

“This 6 week Intensive offers a transformational education experience that encompasses evolutionary integral spirituality, meditation, yoga, permaculture/sustainability and health/nutrition in a vibrant community context. Come and experience the multidimensional, evolutionary heart of The Awakened Life Project!”


Frugal Woods