Homesteading

Companion, Guild & Succession Planting

Discover how making connections between plants can create productive ecosystems!

This course explores three planting strategies that make the most of the connections and relationships that different plants have with one another.

Companion planting is all about planting two species of plant close enough to one another so that they help each other grow to their maximum potential. You’ll learn about the variety of benefits such relationships can have for the plants, and the soil in which they grow.

Guild planting takes companion planting to another level, using several species to create a harmonious, self-sustaining ecosystem in which all the plants contribute to the greater good. We explain the different roles plants can play in a guild, from those that add valuable nutrients to the soil and those that provide support to climbing species, to those that send down deep roots and access water and nutrients lower down in the soil profile and make them available to their lower-lying companions.

The course also includes extensive advice on succession planting. This is essentially companion planting through time. You’ll discover four distinct strategies to utilize succession on your property that involve either the same species of plant, different varieties of a single species, or a combination of different types, depending on your site.

Maximum Gardening

Follow the journey that a plant takes from seed to harvest!

Discover how seeds germinate, and the ways that you can provide the best conditions to make it happen. Explore the various methods you can use to propagate new plant specimens. Learn everything you need to know to establish a greenhouse, polytunnel or cold frame on your site. Become able to prune and espalier your fruit trees effectively.

This course follows the path that a plant makes from seed to harvest. It stops off at key points along the way to explore the options available to the permaculture gardener to give the plant the best chance of growing to maturity and providing a yield for your table.

Plants may also need some maintenance to keep them healthy, so this course guides you through the situations when pruning trees may be necessary, and gives you the skills to perform the necessary pruning to ensure the ongoing health of your crops.

The course concludes with a detailed guide to the visual signs that commonly cultivated fruit and vegetables give to indicate that their crops are ready for harvest – so you can bring the tastiest and most nutritious food to your table.

Aquaponics

Combine raising fish and growing plants into a super-efficient cultivation system!

Discover how aquaponics systems work, and how they can create much more yield than traditional forms of cultivation. Learn everything you need to know to establish an aquaponics system on your permaculture property. Select the most suitable fish and plant species for a vibrant, high-yielding system. Explore the ways of providing for the needs of your system from your site.

This course offers a comprehensive guide to setting up an aquaponics system on your permaculture property. With it, you can raise fish and grow plants in a system of cultivation that has low energy inputs and high yields.

Setting up your own media bed aquaponics system is relatively easy, and once in place, it’s a very efficient mode of food production. In this course you will learn the essential bits of equipment you need to create a complete system. You’ll learn how to plant your specimens into the media bed so that they get the best chance of establishing themselves, as well as some tips for ensuring a flourishing system over time.

Prolonging the Harvest

Learn food preservation methods that make the most of your crops and minimize waste!

Learn how to preserve food with a variety of techniques, from freezing and canning to salting and smoking. Discover new flavors and textures as a result of food preservation strategies. Make sure you have delicious food throughout the year!

The course begins by looking at the simplest way of prolonging your harvest: storing your fruit and vegetables so that they deteriorate at the slowest rate possible. Different types of produce require different conditions to remain fresh for the longest time, and we’ll explore the various options. You’ll discover which crops do best in an outhouse or cellar and which ones require a bit of humidity to keep them in the best condition.

This course provides you with a range of skills that will allow you to make sure none of the foods you grow on your permaculture property goes to waste. You will be able to deploy any one of a range of strategies that will keep your food edible for much longer than the growing season – sometimes for years!

Working with Wildlife

Create a permaculture property that reaps the benefits of wild animals’ natural behavior!

This course looks at the role that wildlife can play on a permaculture property. It shows how the permaculture practitioner can harness the patterns of behavior, the intricate interrelationships, and the natural connections in wild food webs for the benefit of a property’s yield, and the benefit of the wider ecosystem beyond the borders of the site.

Arguably, the greatest benefit to the permaculture gardener of engaging with wildlife is being able to control pest insect populations in an organic manner, utilizing the natural dimensions of wild food webs rather than chemical biocides.This course will introduce you to some of the more common species of animal that, once on your site, will be instrumental in ensuring that no insect population gets out of balance and damages your crops.

Next, learn how to use a variety of permaculture strategies to attract wild animals to your site. Explore ways to encourage the natural interrelationships that exist between animals to help control pest insects without the use of biocides. Discover non-lethal ways to deter animals that may damage your crops. Finally, gain the knowledge you need to start beekeeping on your property.