Paws Paws and the book Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist is a necessity for gardeners everywhere. It is a good thing that I have no room (at the moment) to grow Paw Paw trees. I do have room to practice other things that Michael Judd writes about in this informative book.
WHO IS THIS MICHAEL JUDD?
Michael Judd is a 20+ year practitioner of the art of permaculture and ecological design. His projects demonstrate how we can include diversity in our landscapes naturally. Michael is the founder of Ecologia, Edible & Ecological Landscape Design and Project Bona Fide. This project is an international non-profit that supports agro-ecology research. Michael has brought attention to food security across the world.
Originally from the lower part of Appalachia, Michael grew up just outside of Washington, DC. Everyone had backyard gardens and native trees could be found in the wild. At 23 years of age and a bit of traveling, Michael realized his calling to teach permaculture far and wide. This man knows his stuff!
EDIBLE LANDSCAPING WITH A PERMACULTURE TWIST
Need guidance for creatively enhancing your landscape? Considering adding a bit of food to the garden? What about using your garden debris to enhance the existing soil? This IS the book for you. From start to finish, Michael manages to engage the reader and provide basic instruction for the DIY person.
The Chapter on Rainwater harvesting, Swales and Rain Gardens is very important. With the lack of rain, yellowing plants, and high water bills, we need these garden must-haves NOW. Other chapters include topics like Food Forests, Earthen Ovens, Fungi and more.
One of my favorite chapters was the one on Herb Spiral, The Ultimate raised bed. This will be my first project from this book and I can’t wait! The benefits of creating a Herb Spiral are many. It is a space saver, easy to water, raised planting bed of sorts. Herb spirals create a micro-climate for growing and lessens the need to bend over.
As I am aging, the Herb spiral is an ideal idea for these reasons and more. Did you know you do NOT need a dedicated place in the garden for an herb spiral? You can build this on a patio or any solid surface. With some granite blocks, cardboard, and soil/compost mix, a spiral can be built. I dare say there is ALWAYS a creative way to garden. Michael Judd proves this with the Herb Spiral.
The other intriguing chapter features how to build a Hugelkultur. Considered to be mounds of fertility, they just make sense.
Hugelkultur benefits will outweigh the comments from your uninformed neighbors. Top-notch water retention, warm soil, and a creative way to build the soil are just a few benefits. Recycling organic matter in place (I LOVE THIS), and bending over less, just imagine!
By imitating the forest floor, a hugelkultur makes use of woody material found in the garden. The retention of moisture allows debris to decay, which feeds the nutrient cycle and any plants that are nearby. This just makes sense right?? The taller the hugelkultur, the better. A one-foot hugelkultur will turn a difficult area into a retreat for your plant material. Some of my plants that did not survive the drought will help start my first hugelkultur. What a great idea for anyone.
For those of us who are beyond the cutting and hauling away stage of life, what a dream project!
ABOUT THOSE PAW PAWS…
After visiting one of the largest Paw Paw growers in Westminster, Maryland, Michael began growing Paw Paws locally. On September 21, 2019, I attended the Long Creek Annual Paw Paw Festival. I had the opportunity to taste the different cultivars of Paw Paw. One of the first things I took advantage of was sampling Susquehanna, Shenandoah, Alleghany, and Rappahannock Paw Paws. Each cultivar was served in chunks at the entrance to the festival. All of them were different in taste and soothing to the tongue. I cannot remember which one was more appealing to me. I was on a mission to find the Paw Paw ice cream. A little cream, little milk, and some sugar make this ice cream a delicious treat on a hot September day.
There were many vendors at this Paw Paw Festival…
I tasted two types of pureed paw paw with maple syrup on bread cooked in an on-site earthen oven. Instructions to build an earthen oven can be found in Michael Judd’s book. There was also a gourmet sampler from Acornucopia & Sylvan Canopy. I tasted Acorn shortbread, persimmon, roasted chestnuts, cheese, and sorghum. Some of the food was delicious, while others were a bit interesting. I should have tried the pizza as well.
I highly suggest reading this book. Consider Edible Landscaping With A Permaculture Twist, if you love paw paws, or if you want to surprise a gardener. This wonderful human called Michael Judd is sharing and showing us the way to creatively curated edible landscapes!by