Perennial Polycultures / Complexity & Abundance

Perennial Polycultures / Complexity & Abundance

Growing in perennial polycultures mimics the complexity and abundance naturally displayed by wild ecosystems. Cultivation happens within a horizontal and vertical spacial context, maximizing the productive yield of any given area, but also within the context of perpetually unfolding succession.

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UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY 004)

UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY 004)

The shadblow serviceberry are in bloom at fields without fences in the cliffside above the river. Down in the valley below, their namesake, large river fish called shad, are beginning to make their run up the Delaware river to spawn. Just a bit downstream, in the river town of Lambertville, street vendors and local musicians are preparing for this weekend’s annual Shad Fest…

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UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 003)

UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 003)

For the first few years when anyone would ask what we grow on our farm, I would crack a smile and quip, “we mostly cultivate patience.” It’s like that with perennials. A tiny herb, a bare root whip, a scattering of seeds cast out into the landscape like a wish that might one day blossom and fruit into the vision so easily teleported to within the mind’s eye. But time travel otherwise trudges on at a reliable pace; minutes becoming hours, becoming seasons, becoming years. In the meantime you will curse the nursery woman who sold you the poorly grafted pawpaws, then you’ll curse yourself for buying more…

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Fields Without Fences Forest Garden Interview with Green Revolution

Fields Without Fences Forest Garden Interview with Green Revolution

Sharing this rather sweeping interview with our friend Alex Marcoulides for his Youtube channel called Green Revolution. Alex stopped by Fields Without Fences for a broad conversation with us about forest gardening, permaculture, successionally managed farm ecosystems, and elderberries, and we go pretty damn deep. This interview is from last season (2017), and listening back to it, I am completely impressed with Alex's ability to listen, synthesize, and offer careful reflection at a nearly rapid fire pace!  Alex's energy is purely electric and plugged in.

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UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 002)

UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 002)

Someone chopped down a tree and began the task of making firewood. That task was abandoned in favor of a more pressing task, and a forgotten round of tree trunk began to dry, then wet in the rain, then dry again. One day someone pulled it into the shade of the old crabapple to sit on for a sunny afternoon, until it was forgotten and left to decay once again…

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UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 001)

UNDERSTORY SERIES (UNDERSTORY: 001)

Each still image I capture in the garden represents a particular passing expression of the plant world in seasonal succession. And the static nature of the photo belies the true nature of the emergent forest garden which is in a state of perennial movement, forever shifting as plants come into blossom, maturity, death, and rebirth. I’m beginning an ongoing series where I’ll explore dynamic evolving interactions within the polyculture understory of our forest garden farm. If you enjoy it, please let me know and pass it on!

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