Tag Archives: food forest

Hardy Bamboo and Chickens: Part One

Hardy Bamboo and Chickens

Hardy Bamboo and Chickens

Hardy Bamboo and Chickens are an ideal combination. Whilst bamboo doesn’t provide food for chickens, it does provide an ideal environment for them, and for the insects that they love to feed on.

Perhaps I should rephrase that. Bamboo isn’t known as a chicken food, but nobody told my chickens. They seem happy to browse on the young tender leaves. Here at the Sustainable Smallholding we are growing Hardy Bamboo. and keeping chickens, but the combination of the two is something that I’m really looking forward to.

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Chicken Scavenging System: Update Jan 2013

 

Scavenging Chicken

Old English Game Cockerel

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 thisĀ  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.

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Permaculture Diploma Portfolio almost Complete

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.

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Looking Back, and Forward.

A short while ago, I posted about the books that I’ve read this year, Reading List, and I’ve written two posts about the direction that I’m taking to become more self reliant, here at the Sustainable Smallholding. Creating a Permanent Agriculture, and 2012 Plans, Experiments, and Direction, both look at where I’m heading.What I wanted to do was expand on the same theme, and add a bit more detail.

The catalyst for this post was the understanding of how much has changed this year. I’m moving away from no dig gardening, to digging, and double digging, once in a complete rotation. I am concentrating much more on ‘staple’ foods, and less on interesting, or unusual vegetables, and despite being passionate about trees, and Forest Gardening, I recently found myself wondering if perhaps I should have left a bit more room for growing grains.

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2011/2012 Planting of Trees Starting in Earnest

I started planted a few of the potted trees back in September. These were mainly False Acacia, and Box Elder, grown from seed for the Coppice and Orchard. There are still a few of these to do, as I’ve been concentrating on the vegetable growing areas recently. That changed today, as I was told that the first batch of my fruit trees were due to arrive. These trees are cider apple trees, on M25 rootstocks. Sometimes the blog might make it seem that everything is always well planned, but these were an impulse purchase, sparked by my first proper attempt at cider making.

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