In my previous post about Hardy Bamboo, I looked at some of the plants that might be used in conjunction with chickens. Most will provide shelter, and an ideal environment for a Chicken Scavenging System. However that’s not all of the functions that bamboo can fulfill, and in this post I want to explore some of these other functions. After all one of the principles of Permaculture is that every element should provide more than one function. A permaculture principle that is very close to my heart, and which underpins the way that I design.
The functions that bamboo provide naturally are shelter from weather and predators I mentioned these in the previous post. You can read the earlier Chicken and Bamboo if you haven’t already done so.
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.
I’ve not had too much to write about the Coppice and Orchard recently, as it’s just quietly growing, with little need for any intervention. For the last few days I’ve been spending a bit more time there, doing my annual ‘defence against wasps’ duties, and for the first time, the 2009/2010 trees are getting above my head.
If you’re reading about this for the first time, it might be worth checking out the Pictures, Design, and Plans page, to see the overall pattern of the tree planting.
Earlier this year, a small gathering of some of men and women interetsed in scything, decided to set up an Association. The new Scythe Association (Britain and Ireland), or SABI for short, had a further meeting at the West Country Scything festival, in June, and have now set up a website/blog.
I wanted to get some current pictures of the Forest garden posted, with a short account of where I’ve got to so far, and what’s next. For those who haven’t visited the blog before, it might be worth you checking out the Forest Garden paragraph of the Pictures, Designs, and Plans page, before continuing.
The first picture is a view from the top (North East) corner of the Forest Garden, which is about an acre in size.
View from the top
The pink bands that you can see running across the picture are the swale banks, which are covered in Musk Mallow. This is a wonderful plant, perennial, edible leaves and flowers, great bee forage, deep rooted, and able to compete with grass. I planted most of these as self seeded plants from the vegetable garden,and they have started to self seed, and expand. The pictures below show a bit more detail.