I first came across the term ‘Chop and Drop’ in Geoff Lawton’s Establishing a Food Forest DVD. I reviewed the DVD here. Chop and Drop describes the actions of cutting branch wood from fast growing trees ‘nurse’ trees, and then using that wood to feed soil fungi, in order to help the production trees, planted amongst them. Chop and Drop is linked to the use of a more dense tree planting, often fast growing and nitrogen fixing, with many of these trees not destined to remain until maturity. Continue reading
My Chicken Scavenging System is designed to feed my Chickens using insects living on the floor of a type of Forest Garden, to reduce the amount of wheat and other grains that I need to feed to them. I described this Permaculture system of my own design, in my Chicken Scavenging System Design that was written up as one of the ten portfolio designs for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. The Scavenging System is designed to build up a deep litter of leaves and rotting wood, which is an ideal environment for insects, on which the chickens can feed.The problem is that this will take years to develop, so I am using another Permaculture technique called ‘Chop and Drop‘ to speed the process up.
I have written a series of posts that revolve around soil fertility, and so regular readers of the blog might think that another blog post is overkill. I hope not.
Last nights’ post, Crop Rotations, Soil Fertility, and Digging (part 2), looked at the amount of compost needed to grow the food to feed a couple. Even at the lower level there is still quite a lot of compost to make. I was a bit restless last night, and so stayed up late, feeding our wood burning stove. I was aware that wood ash contained minerals from the tree, but a comment by renowned Permaculture Author Patrick Whitefield, led me to check my facts. My discoveries are likely to lead to a considerable saving in work.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m currently putting together my portfolio for the Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design. You will also notice that I have been posting less. That’s not because I haven’t got stuff to write about, but more a result of the volume of work that I’ve been putting in for the diploma.
I thought that I’d give you a quick summary of the designs that I’ve written up. There are nine so far, with one more still to write.
Earlier this week I spent a few hours processing firewood with hand tools. Unlike when using a chainsaw, the hand tools allow time for thinking, and this post is partly about the firewood, and partly about the thoughts that went with the activity.