1) Polyculture Orchards


 Stephan Sobkowiak, Planet Permaculture, Planting for all wildlife species as hard workers in human Polyculture Orchards Miracle Farms Video 7 min.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3riW_yiCN5E

INDIGENOUS POLYCULTURE ORCHARDS are cultured on many levels over tens and hundreds of years by clearly forward thinking peoples committed to life and understanding life on earth as inter-dependent upon trees.  The trees and lower levels of bushes, vines plants and mushrooms harvest 92 – 98% of Solar Energy through photosynthesis in the leaves which is converted into Food, Matter, Energy, Water-cycle, Soil building and a whole ecology of plants and animals.  Tree roots descend tens of metres into the earth pumping water, minerals and nutrients along the root colonies from substrate as deep as the canopy up to the surface for the enrichment of all species.  This combination of plants growing with trees has huge benefits.  All trees are -heat-pumps- storing solar energy in the substrate when it is hot and drawing upon this store when it is cold.  Billions of trees have a huge impact on hot and cold.


LaSalle Gardens is an old Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation CMHC development of 33 acres joined with a 7 acre Habitation-Loyer-Modique (Medium Rent Housing) housing 2600 people in 808 apartments and 50 townhouses.  LaSalle-Gardens housing development was built in 1955 as a Garden City with peripheral roads.  In this area comparable in density to anywhere in Montreal, we have 1/3rd the number of roads because of peripheral roads and road space being devoted to parkland.  This area on the north bank of the St-Lawrence River On the rapidswas originally referred to as Kahnawake on old pre-conquest maps.  Later with many families from Kahnawake working in steel companies around Lachine and LaSalle, these Mohawk speakers refer to this area rightly as Kahnawake North.  The Garden City concept promoted by Frederick Olmstead and others was never achieved or made sustainable in colonial suburbs or settlements, because of the lack of interactive economic culture among colonial residents, local business and organizations.  Indigene Community is focused on developing an online Human Resource Catalogue HRC where residents become members, post their goods and services on line, transactions are recorded and credits are recorded as Ratios (Shares) in a Community Investment and Exchange System CIES. 


'Indigenous' ('self-generating') Polyculture practice is based on 'MULCHING', or continually adding plant material as a ground-cover to the garden. Ruth Stout describes this in her No Work Garden Book.  There is no ploughing, digging, hoeing, little weeding, watering, fertilizing and no compaction of the soil over decades and centuries of use.  The traditional digging stick was easily slid into soil made so soft from the mulching additive method and millions of soil bacteria, crawling species, beneficial fungus, mushrooms and roots.  Planting is as easy as pulling back the mulch in selective places, putting a thumb into the soil and then planting either plant or seed. Once mulch is in place: gardens need no watering as sun shining on the mulch stimulates water to rise from below.  Rain, nor wind nor baking sun does not wash away or deplete soil.  Weeds do not grow under mulch.  Earth worms, good soil bacteria, crawling insects & other micro-biota aerate the soil and create rich humus & fertilizer. Plants thrive when soil is insulated to be cold and the hot sun feeds photosynthesis in the growing plant leaves. There is no wilting of the plant leaves at noonday. The mulch lasts all spring, summer, fall & winter providing protection and fertilizer until next year's crop. 


Where I live, we've gathered (recovered from waste) 100 garbage bags full of fall leaves, grass clippings, compost and sawdust to create 50 square metres of garden starting last fall & build the soil. These 50 sq. m. add to another 150 sq. m. polyculture orchard from which all these plants are drawn from the surplus. Together we've planted 200 sq. m. The other 150 sq. m. have been mulched as well all from the garbage stream and waste that neighbours would normally throw away. The soil in the 50 sq. m. which I started with last fall 2011, was grass growing on top of mostly shale rock. By this spring 2012, I was able to pull back the mulch for easily planting nut & fruit trees (cherry, pear, apple, plum, Korean Pine, Spruce for spring buds, Staghorn Sumac for lemonade), berry bushes, perennials like rhubarb, hollyhock (related to marshmallow), strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, roses, spear & peppermint, ferns (fiddlehead), day lilies, herbs such lambsquarters, milk-weed for pods, shallots, garlic, wood-sorrel, comfrey, stinging nettle, plantain, Concord grape vines rooted in January as well as Corn, Sunflowers, carrots, beets, squashes and more. New rose shoots have come up through the mulch.

We've already enjoyed a good size June strawberry harvest with more coming from 3 season plants. Raspberries, Blackberries, Currents, Lambsquarters, Wood-Sorrel, Parsley, Comfrey flowers, Spear & Pepper Mint, Shallots, Garlic Greens, ,  Our plates have greens from the garden every day. All plantings have thrived and show lots of fruit, nut & seed set. A dozen children participate in different tasks in the garden. One 7 year old who has been gardening on his own for 2 years now (his family don't have the same interests) feeding his family with tomatoes, strawberries, shallots etc, recently spoke to a Montreal city public consultation on Urban Agriculture describing his mulch garden. The children enjoy these fresh alternatives to the fast-food only diets which they are forced to eat. Total $ costs for 200 sq. m. of garden have been only related to seeds at about 10$. Labour is mostly related to hauling the (about 200 total) garbage bags from where the property owners on our 33 acres have collected them. There is more than adequate mulch and fertilizers in the urban environment to develop non-transport garden systems capable of feeding all.


INDIGENE COMMUNITY Polyculture Orchard Kahnawake North.ppt