Saturday, August 27, 2011
Establishing New Food Systems and Sharing Seeds, Subtropical Gardening at Gold Coast Permaculture
Outside rain poured down but inside at Gold Coast Permaculture an eager audience listened to Justin speak on establishing new food systems and sharing seeds with `Subtropical Gardening'.
The need to prevent rain leaching carbon from the soil was one of the initial concepts explained.
Chop and drop mulch was seen as the best way to prevent this leaching and was seen as adhering to permaculture principles as it returned carbon to the soil from where it grew. It also contributed to even summer soil temperatures and building an aerobic environment in the soil.
Plants to grow to provide this mulch include lemon grass which can be cut back yearly with a saw, arrowroot and pigeon peas.
Pigeon peas also provide five times more vitamin C than ordinary peas and are used to create Indian Dhal. This plant is also a nitrogen fixer that can renew poor soils.
Other plants introduced included the wind bean a perennial summer bean that is thirty seven percent protein, cassava that provides more good carbohydrates than any other plant in the world and another protein rich plant the water chestnut.
Elizabeth Fekonia's book Harvesting and Cultivating Tropical Vegetables was recommended as a further source of information on tropical plants.
A further permaculture principal introduced was the use of `Guild Systems' which involved the planting of beneficial plants together. An example given of such a Guild System' was the interplanting of pigeon peas, Ceylon spinach, hibiscus esculenta and Brazilian spinach.
It was also recommended we read The Earth User's Guide to Permaculture.
Thanks for all the great seeds, plants and cuttings Justin. I look forward to getting these wonderful subtropical plants growing in my own garden and then sharing with others.
Together we can create more secure food systems for our planet.