The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

I’ve just bought and watched this very informative documentary film about setting up and maintaining a “permaculture commercial orchard”, excellent for people wondering what permaculture looks like in a commerical sense then this is it. I really enjoyed the aspects on biodiversity, tree pruning, shrub and herbaceous planting, attracting beneficials etc. You might want to consider buying this one, I’m glad I did.

“The Permaculture Orchard : Beyond Organic is a feature-length educational film that will teach you how to set up your own permaculture orchard at any scale. We recognize the limitations of the organic model as a substitute to conventional fruit growing, and want to propose a more holistic, regenerative approach based on permaculture principles. Based on 20 years of applied theory and trial and error, biologist and educator Stefan Sobkowiak shares his experience transforming a conventional apple orchard into an abundance of biodiversity that virtually takes care of itself. The concepts, techniques and tips presented in this film will help you with your own project, whether it is just a few fruit trees in your urban backyard, or a full-scale multi-acre commercial orchard.”

“Miracle Farms is a 12-acre property located in Quebec’s western Monteregie region, in USDA hardiness zone 5. The farm was originally developed as a commercial monoculture apple orchard, transitioned to organic upon purchase in 1993, and certified organic in 1996. Starting in 2007, five acres have been converted to a permaculture-inspired “u-pick” orchard. Plants, fruits and vegetables grown here include over 100 cultivars of apples, 18 cultivars of pears, asian pears, plums, cherries, peaches, paw-paws, hardy kiwi, grapes, mulberries, gooseberries, redcurrant, blackcurrant, saskatoon berries, raspberries, strawberries, and a whole range of herbs and perennial vegetables.

The orchard is designed to promote maximum diversity of plant, insect and animal species, with a special focus on creating habitat. This results in a high population of pollinators and other beneficial insects, as well as birds. Together they help control pests. Not only does this increase fruit yield, but it also greatly reduces the amount of maintenance work necessary, since a lot of it is being done by the eco-system itself.

Despite a large diversity of species, harvest is simplified by the “grocery aisle” layout of the farm, where all fruits in any given row will be ripe within a 10-day window. It is then unnecessary to go from one row to the next looking for trees that are ready to harvest.”

Film contents

  • creating habitat for birds / pollinators
  • natural pest control techniques
  • the trio system / plant combinations
  • the shrub + herbaceous layers
  • seed planting of annuals
  • planting fruit trees / drainage considerations
  • tree training vs. pruning
  • grafting / overgraftingeeco
  • starting your own trees vs. buying trees
  • mulch options with a focus on plastic mulch and why/how
  • drip irrigation
  • the importance of cultivar selection
  • the grocery aisle concept
  • spraying / fungi control
  • tree protection
  • frost protection

Price: £14/$25 (digital download)
Format: mp4 (H.264), 1080p / 720p, Embedded subtitles
Language: English or French
Subtitles: Chinese (simplified), Dutch, English, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish.
Release Date: June, 2014
Run Time: 2 Hours

WEBSITE LINK: http://www.permacultureorchard.com/en/the-film/

PERMACULTURE PODCAST INTERVIEW: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/podcast/an-idea-worth-sharing-inside-the-permaculture-orchard-pvp056/

Author: Andrew

My name's Andrew Towell, I’m 32 years of age and I was born and live in a coastal town called Hartlepool located in the North East of England. The idea behind starting the blog is for me to research sustainable living practices, I enjoy growing plants so their will be an emphasis on organic food production.

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