We have planted several new permanent beds this winter mostly by students and volunteers participating in this year’s food forest course. A permanent bed is one that requires a lot of extra work up frot, up but shouldn’t need to be tilled, dug or have as much work in the future. It also usually consists on perennial edible plants. There are many techniques which we experiment with including sunken beds, raised beds, woodchip beds and polycultures.
These are my principles to set up a permanent no dig bed:
- Remove the weeds by either sheet mulching for a year or cutting them back, then digging them in with compost and biochar and then sheet mulching before planting.
- Plant perennial vegetables or trees in the beds
- Plant smaller perennials between them
- Include supporting plants such as nitrogen fixers, mineral accumulators, pest repellers and beneficial insect attractors
- Plant annuals in the spaces to get an extra crop in the first year out of the spaces until the perennials grow to size
- Mulch with lots of compost
- Further Mulch with cardboard and hay or wood chips to suppress weeds
This is still a new project, we took over the land two years ago and it was left abandoned, we have grown annual vegetables until last year where we started to prepare soil and install permanent beds. Once all our beds our complete I plan to mulch all the paths with cardboard and then pine bark, however until then i am sowing cover crops and wild flowers in the paths which i chop and drop with a strimmer to further build soil.
These are our new permanent beds planted in 2019. A big thank you to everyone who has helped prepare compost, woodchips and the beds.
To join one of our food forest courses please click here
Other posts about our food forests:
In September 2019 we completed the building of our straw bale community house. This is a large building where our visitors can eat, work, attend classes and relax. This was built on rocky land using a sustainable design and building with straw and clay from our area or nearby. Please take a look at this […]
Over the past year, we have planted one field using silvopasture principles. Silvopasture is where you grow trees and shrubs with animals integrated into the system that benefit each other. The idea is to reduce carbon based inputs into the system such as tractors to cut grass and fertiliser for trees whilst getting extra forrage […]
Kimberly Manchee is the co-founder of Keela Yoga Farm. She is the farm and kitchen manager and resident Yoga teacher. Kimberly teaches workshops on Reiki, food fermentation and preserving, makes cheese, connects the fresh farm food to the kitchen, runs yoga retreats, teaches local yoga classes and looks after the farm animals. Have a read […]
We have had a very busy year on the farm with more than 100 volunteers, many courses and retreats. We have started some new permaculture systems, continued in the food forests and with our reforestation project and the natural building projects. Here is an update on some of our current projects for those not following […]
An 5 min video update on how the earthworks that have been dug on all of our food forest course are doing after heavy rain.
Keela Yoga Farm featured a double-page spread in the local printer newspaper ‘Jornal do Fundão‘. It was using us as an example of the many people coming here to set up farms and communities offsetting the reducing population in the area.
There are three types of chickens, chickens for eggs, chickens for meat and then there is Beyonce ‘The Gentleman Cockerel’.
We are so happy that Sudhir Rishi will return to us for another 6-day retreat at Keela Yoga Farm on the 13th June 2020J. Join us to deepen your knowledge of Yoga philosophy, Ayurvedic practices, Permaculture and sustainable living whilst being immersed in nature. The focus of the retreat will be Mastering Relationships with yourself, […]
In 2020 we will be running 10-day food forest courses at Keela Yoga Farm. The first course will be on 17th March 2020 and you may also join us earlier to take part in the internship. Book now for an early bird discount
It is known that bigger garlic cloves grow bigger garlic heads. But I want to find out how true that is. So this year we are planting the bigger garlic cloves in separate beds to the smaller cloves so we can see it for ourselves.
The flushing vermiculture toilet system is similar to a normal flushing toilet inside the house, but it is the treatment on the outside that is different. Instead of a usual septic tank, we put our composting worms to work first.
Instead of the usual compost pile to heat water with wire mesh frame and wood chips we are testing this with a wall of straw bales filled with woodchips, giesta (scotch broom) and sheep manure with straw bedding.
This year we have started our reforestation efforts a bit earlier so we can plant more and the plants can enjoy the winter rains.
A friend dropped by and took some aerial photos of each area of our farm areas. These are taken at the end of the Summer 2019 when the land is very dry and shows the work we have done on this abandoned land over the past two years.
We are proud to be hosting WWOOF Portugal’s 10th birthday at Keela Yoga Farm. A weekend event that also celebrates the opening of our new community building. The weekend will feature permaculture, natural building, dance and fermenting workshops. As well as DJ Kiko in the evening. Lunch, dinner, breakfast lunch and all the workshops for […]
In March and April 2019 we hosted a one month food forest course, where participants learn how to plan, design, implement and maintain a food forest. During this month our food forests where expanded and upgraded the food forests. Please check out what we got up to.
We have planted several new permanent beds this winter mostly by students and volunteers participating in this year’s food forest course. A permanent bed is one that requires a lot of extra work up frot, up but shouldn’t need to be tilled, dug or have as much work in the future. It also usually consists […]
Some photos for those of you that do not follow us on facebook to see what we have been upto over the winter. We have been preparing beds for the summer, tidying up the land and working on the straw bale house. Check out the photos.
Want to know what the medicinal properties are for weeds on your farm? Herbalist and forager Raquel Perdigão is coming to Keela Yoga Farm from ‘Awakened Life Project’ on the 9th and 10th April 2019 to teach us how to forage for wild greens, the medicinal properties of herbs and how to use them. Please join […]
Back to Eden gardening is a method of gardening from Paul Gautschi it is quite simple and makes complete sense in theory so we are giving it a try with two areas in our winter garden. It is gardening with thick layers of compost and wood chip mulch.
For the first time we have Extra Virgin Organic Olive oil picked directly from our farm. It was a lot of work and we had a lot of help but in the end we have almost a years supply of olive oil for the farm.
We plan to reforest 18 hectares of land to offset carbon and attract wildlife. This winter with the help of volunteers, friends, neighbors and donations we have planted a forest in more than one hectare of it. Read on for a full update.
During our Automne 2018 food forest course we designed and planted a food forest for Chickens. This is a food forest with perennial plants and trees that chickens can fodder for fruit, berries, leaves and insects. However without plants that chickens will quickly destroy through overeating or scratching. Leaving the rest for us to harvest.
Check out some of the photos of the students in action during October’s food forest course. The students from this course designed and planted a new food forest for Chickens and Humans to enjoy near our new community building.
As opposed to building soil above ground with a raised bed, a sunken is a bed below ground where it is cooler and wetter. This type of bed appears to work better than a raised bed in Portugal’s hot and dry summers.
Our compost worms are critical to our organic gardens, they are a must for any organic gardener. They not only reduce waste by eating your left overs but create a liquid fertiliser for the garden, compost and more worms.. We sell composting worms every few months at our worm composting workshops at our Farm near […]
In March 2018 we held our second month long Food Forest course. The group of eight spent one month learning about trees, soils and food forests whilst researching their own trees and creating designs for a food forest. They then planted a new food forest in an old olive grove in one of our terraces.
Our land has low levels of nitrogen and we are looking to fix this without the use of chemical fertilizers. Our land is already growing nitrogen fixing plants (Clovers, vetches and bird foot) trees (mimosa) and shrubs (broom), some of which we are removing due to their fire hazard. It seems that nature naturally fixes […]
During November 2017 we held our first Food Forest course at Keela Yoga Farm. This month long course was designed to give the students the full experience of how to design and set up a food forest on an off-grid farm. Take a look at what we got up to, and read on to learn more about […]
A week of yoga, natural sustainable living, sunshine, sleep, mountain views, meditation, star gazing, hammocks, learning about permaculture and enjoying organic food straight from the earth…