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:
What to plant in September in the vegetable gardens in central Portugal
What to do in August in the vegetable garden in Portugal. Which seeds to plant and which plants to plant out. As part of our efforts to keep up with our veg boxes, we need an excellent gardening plan for what seeds to plant and when. So I am finally documenting and sharing our data […]
We have extended our summer garden of vegetables and are now selling veg boxes to local customers. Each week customers buy a box or €10 or €20 worth of vegetables. Laurence packs each box with what is available that week instead of the customers choosing their vegetables.
Please visit our in-house and online shop at Keela to support our small farm. As a Permaculture Farm, first and foremost we are producers. One important part of being a permaculture farm is to produce more and consume less.
Check out the video from our Summer 2023 Permaculture Design Course showing some of the things students get up to during a summer course at Keela Yoga Farm. To find out more about our permaculture design courses please click here
I like to define Permaculture as a philosophy that follows three core ethics with systems designed based on twelve principles. Permaculture combines natural systems that mimic nature while incorporating modern technology. It aims to create a more sustainable future by producing more, consuming less and working together.
A list of places to buy trees, seeds and general shops for your homestead for people living in the Fundao area.
I like to define Permaculture as a philosophy that follows three core ethics and systems designed based on twelve principles. Permaculture combines natural systems that mimic nature while incorporating modern technology. Permaculture aims for a more sustainable future by each of us producing more, consuming less and working together.
This blog post is to help you plan, design and maintain your salad garden for a continued supply of salad all year. This article was published in our monthly gardening peace in the Central Connects Magazine.
Welcome to the first edition of the monthly gardening blog that will feature in Central Connect magazine in Portugal. The focus of this article and future articles will always lean towards the edible garden, known in portuguese as ‘A Horta’. To download your copy of the magazine, scroll to the bottom.
Here is my December gardening article for the central connect magazine. Summer has ended, the rains have started, and the cold is coming. This brings new tasks in the garden and on the homestead. Here is what we are up to at Keela Permaculture Farm this December.
In addition to our outside shower, we have an inside wood-powered shower in our greenhouse. This gives the beautiful feeling of showering outside in nature but inside in the warmth of the greenhouse. The hot water heater heats the greenhouse, and guests stay nice and warm.
Photos from our September 2022 certified two-week Permaculture Design Course. Week 1 had two theory classes per day and two practical classes per day. On the weekend, students had the opportunity to visit another local farm for a work exchange. On week two, students were split into design groups; each had to complete a permaculture […]
Photos from our 5-day natural building course in October 2022. Students got to experiment with various Natural Building methods, including wattle and daub, earth bricks, earthbags, cordwood, cob, earth plaster, lime plaster and straw bale. Please take a look at the photos below from the five-day course. You can also check our video from our […]
We run a small co-op where we make wine collectively together at Keela. This post is to help those who are picking their grapes for us to make wine but will apply to anyone who is picking grapes.
Planting trees in the summer is never ideal but sometimes we just need or want to do it. Ideally, we plant trees bare-rooted trees in Automne (or spring for more frost-sensitive trees). However, we have moved big olive trees and planted potted trees in the summer and this week we planted 21 and this is […]
A lot of homesteaders chuck away the sheepskins when the process lambs and so this is a wonderful free resource that anyone can get and turn into a high-quality natural rug. We have been making them for a few years now and are perfecting the method so I thought I would write a blog post […]
Here are some of the technologies that can be used alongside Natural Building Techniques. To join our natural building courses please do check out this link.
List of different Natural Building Techniques that can be used in a Natural Building.
Here are our principles for natural building.
If you would like to start or continue your Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design with the Permaculture Association you may do this at Keela Yoga Farm. We have opportunities as Teaching apprenticeships, teaching assistants and design work experience at our Permaculture Farm with Tom Henfrey, the only official registered Diploma teacher in Portugal. Diploma in […]
We would like to introduce Thomas Henfrey. Tom is a co-teacher at Keela Yoga Farm’s Permaculture Design Courses. He is the only certified Permaculture Diploma tutor in Portugal. He is an author of various permaculture and ecology books and has 20 years of experience in Permaculture and Ecology.
We have been through the process to get a licence for sheep and register sheep in our area of Fundao in Portugal and should apply to any area in Portugal I thought I would type up the information to share as it was quite confusing for us and would like to make it easier for […]
Keeping animals are such a joy, especially when you can integrate them into the farm to reduce work load and increase fertility. Not to mention all the food you get. This year we have had so many births of piglets, chicks and lambs and here is a little into and some photos for you.
Want to know what it is like on one of our Permaculture internships? Check out this 20 min video showing what we got up to each day during the Summer 2021 internship. Remember internships are different seasonally and annually but this will give you an idea.
List of Olive presses in our area. Between Penamacor, Fundao and Castelo Branco Area, please leave comments about the ones you have used or if you know any others.
Gift a tree to your loved ones! A birthday, Father’s day, Christmas present or whatever occasion you like. We will do a personalised video of the tree planting for you to share.
We planted a chicken food forest two years ago with many species of plants. Fallen fruit and low hanging fruit will be for chickens, middle fruit for us and the highest fruit will be for wildlife.