Monday, January 24, 2011

Permaculture in the Wintertime

Permaculture and deep winter weather seem to be in conflict,
but I have to say there are so many benefits to wispy cold air of these months.

Besides the free time to take a few trips to the tropics,
winter is a prime time to take advantage of the changes in your landscape.

Its the easiest time to clear brush. No poison ivy, no mosquitoes.
Most of my brush clearing time is in the very early spring.
Im able to see everything much better and its far easier to walk around.

In the greenhouse (which is unheated) I laid dozens and dozens
of logs inoculated with edible mushrooms. When the temp drops under
freezing, the mycelia will slow down, but in the greenhouse on sunny days,
the temps will greatly exceed this, so the mushrooms eat their way through
the wood MUCH faster...about 5 months more than outside.

This really isnt an advantage of winter, but a tip to keep your shroom
production way up and will speed down the decomposition for your soil
under your trees...trees LOVE LOVE LOVE wood broken down by shrooms.

Winter is a good time to stay inside and LEARN more.
Spring and summer are the times to act, but the cold seasons are
the times to delve deep into research so your arsenal is well equipped
when the temps rise again. In the summer, I RARELY read. There is just
too much to do outside and by the time I come in at night, Im tired and
just want to relax and go to sleep. But the darker winter months make for
great reading and video time...take advantage and learn as much as you can!

If you plant certain varieties like winterberries, hawthorn, seaberries,
and others, you can continue to harvest throughout the season.
Think about this...most of these varieties will be known as wildlife friendly,
which means that they will stay on for extended periods of time.

Anyways...dont let the cold get you down.
There are plenty of good opportunities to grow YOURSELF
in these months...take advantage my cold weather brethren!!