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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Use small and slow solutions

Here is one of twelve collages on The Permaculture Principles and how they might be applied, especially in the maritime Pacific Northwest. Concepts from David Holmgren's Essence of Permaculture.


"Use small and slow solutions"

Holmgren and Mollison began developing the Permaculture Principles in the era of publication of E. F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful: A Study Economics as if People Mattered. Recommended, especially the chapter on "Buddhist economics." 

The Permaculturist is enjoined to consider edges and diversity partly because foraging is more sustainable than farming, and one place you can forage is in the garden! This year we have an abundance of chard that came up on its own as a result of our having let a plant go to seed. It's doing better than any of our transplanted greens.

One leaf meal: volunteer Fordhook chard.

1. Cut and bring in.

2. Wash and cut up.

3. Steam stem pieces 20 min.

4. Add leafy green pieces and steam 10 min. Salt and butter to taste and serve.

Making a meal from something that "just came up" is even more local than your CSA. Think of the ways that fits into "Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share." Invite the neighbors to have some and you will really be on a roll.

Fordhook dates from the 1920s and was a Burpee developed strain. The stems are to my mind even better than the greens. Transplants well. Does like well composted loose soil and lots of water. Tolerates both sun and shade and lasts through most of our summers and most of our winters. Seeds prolifically and volunteers grow true to form. Seed companies say it grows to 18" high but they are being modest. Many specimens over three feet not counting those that bolt in heat waves.


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