The word Permaculture was originally formed from the words Permanent Agriculture. What may surprise you is that the words Permanent Agriculture appear in the titles of at least three books, and predate ‘Permaculture’ by about sixty years. I am currently reading one of those books for the second time, and thought that it would be interesting to discuss all three in the same post.
In my Sustainable Grains design I referred to the fact that I was waiting for books to arrive to allow me to continue my research into Small Scale Grain Growing. I am gradually working my way through an abundance of information, but there is plenty to be encouraged about. This includes observations of the continuous production of wheat in the same fields, with interplanted legumes, and measurements of grain yields with legume interplants as part of a formal experiment. Both of these were recorded by Sir Albert Howard in India.
After a year of growing grains, it became clear that I needed to create a more formal research strategy for my Small Scale Grain growing Experiments. I have carried out quite a bit of research, and have devised a plan that should enable me to do this more effectively.
It’s only November and I already have almost all of my seeds for next year. Some of that is down to seed saving, something that I should have done more of in the past, but the rest is down to thinking ahead. It all sounds a bit organised, but some of the seeds came too late to sow this autumn, and will have to wait until spring. The seeds that I have are very different from what I’ve grown in the past, and really show the direction that my food growing is taking, growing in a polyculture. This is the pattern for my experiments next year. New additions include rye, perennial rye, spelt, perennial wheat, soya beans, and millet. Increases include lots more broad (fava) beans, but with a substantial reduction in the salads, and leaves. This all fits in with my desire to grow all of our own food. We eat a lot of grains, so unless I grow grains, I will never produce all that we eat.
My interest in growing grains has just increased, with the arrival of more seeds, this time from America. The packet contained a corn variety, a variety of millet, and most exciting of all, a perennial rye. Luckily I have all winter to consider how to link this in to my Polyculture Experiment, and where.