[permaculture] Greetings

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Thu Dec 17 22:15:18 EST 2009

Armed With A Mind Armed With A Mind wrote:
 > I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself as I'm new to this 
place. My name is Travis Philp, I'm from Ontario Canada, and I just 
purchased a farm in November so I'm itching to get planting in the 
spring. I hope I'm in line with putting it out there that I'd love to 
hear any advice in the vein of ' If I could do one thing over again...'


As I set up my 6 acres for market farming I was faced with a number of 
issues that could not be avoided and had to have solutions. In a way the 
second bissest of them was drainage. So, I would suggest siting your 
garden in an area where you can expand its size and account for all the 
water that flows through and around it. Soil type is important here, 
especially percolation. You can prep your ground with a tractor and 
appropriate implements. Making raised beds by hand by double digging or 
some variant of that is an excellent way to create productive soil.
With this method you will end up with paths or furrows or ditches 
between the beds. You will need to locate the garden and orient the 
position of the beds so that excess water can flow away from the garden
and into and through other gardens you have on site. Runoff from the 
gardens and around the garden can be directed to some kind of useful 
impoundment by way of passing through swales where you have a variety of 
plantings, possibly some food crops. Many perennial crops, cane fruits 
and other berry crops can grow in your raised beds as well in plantings 
elsewhere. The idea is to keep excess water from standing too long in 
your gardens and utilize that nutrient and microbe-rich water to 
irrigate and fertilize other crops and plantings, or just fallow turf.

I suggest adding a few soil amendments to your garden soil.
These are rock phosphate or colloidal soft phosphate, azomite, greensand
and large quantities of powdered rock from quarries near you. Any kind 
of biomass will work for carbon to build levels of organic matter in 
your soil, hay, sawdust, shavings, bark, leaves and grasses. For 
nitrogen any kind of manure is useful with horse and cow being very good
for building soil tilth. If you have livestock you will have a ready 
supply of manure to keep your garden fertile from year to year.

There are many other details about building soil quality that are 
important and you will read a lot about this in this forum.

Here are some of my own resources that you might find helpful:

Gardening Handtool Sourcelist UPDATE

Contains additional information on double dug biointensive garden 
preparation and soil quality.

For scythes:
The Scythe Connection
scytheworks at shaw.ca
phone 250-598-0588

Lee Valley Tools in Canada has nice garden tools an accessories

Venaura Farm Permaculture
Venaura Farm Permaculture
The Permaculture Wiki

Good luck,


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