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The Permaculture Orchard: beyond organic by Olivier Asselin

 
Lorenzo Costa
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Source: Permacultureorchard.com


Director: Olivier Asselin

Producer: Possiblemedia



Summary

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.
Stefan-Sobkowiak , trained as a biologist and landscape architect, Stefan has taught fruit production, landscape plants and design, and natural history of vertebrates at Montreal’s McGill University. He owned a landscape design firm for 20 years, developping hundreds of projects for private, institutional and municipal clients. He’s been teaching permaculture in Quebec since 1995. Stefan is the owner of Miracle Farms since 1993. (from permacultureorchard )



Where to get it?

amazon.com

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permacultureorchard.com



Trailer





Related Podcast

Podcast 292 review of permaculture orchard



Related Threads

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Related Websites

permaculture orchard the film

possible media

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Richard Gorny
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I give this DVD 9 out of 10 acorns.

It is one of the best permaculture instructional films I have ever seen. Stefan Sobkowiak in simple words explains all what it takes to establish permaculture orchard. I simply love his idea to place such orchard in the middle of conventional one, and let biodiversity spread out from it to its surroundings.
From the choice of the trees, through the way they are being placed, ending up with brilliant idea of rows being ready to harvest every two weeks, all is well-thought and proven in practice.
This short film is loaded with practical knowledge, presented in very easy to digest way.
This film can convince you that you must have permaculture orchard, even if that was not on your to-do list
 
Dave Green
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I give this film 10 out of 10 acorns

I've watched this 3 times in 4 months and am thinking about the 4th time already.

It's incredibly professional in terms of production and editing. It feels concise yet also goes into very specific aspects of managing an orchard. There were lots of things raised that I hadn't even considered, such as the advice on training trees in view of harvesting requirements and how they mix up and place their trees in their polycultures.

Stefan is a very affable chap who makes a great presenter. He's not preaching about changing the world, he's demonstrating what has worked for him and obviously loves what he does.

There are lots of ideas I am going to steal:

-Plant in rows by harvest date; the people harvesting only have to walk down one row at a time
-The simple way he plants and trains the trees
-Partially mowing rows so that there are still long grass habitats for bugs

It seems that he is doing this on a reasonably broad scale; this isn't just some back garden operation. As someone who is considering buying a decent sized portion of land I have found this video very useful in helping me plan how I implement an orchard
 
Chris Badgett
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This looks awesome. Thank you for sharing.

You might consider a streaming rental option through something like Vimeo on Demand https://vimeo.com/ondemand or using a tool like Gumroad https://help.gumroad.com/11163-Products-and-Customizations/streaming-video-rentals

Great work! The world needs more videos like this.


 
Rebecca Norman
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I give this film 10 out of 10 acorns.

And everything I wanted to say about it has been mentioned by the first two reviewers. I watched it in Ladakh with two American friends who are planning on starting on land in New England, and we just kept pausing to discuss the many wonderful things throughout the whole video. Rich with detail, practcal advice, things we hadn't known, lovely examples. And well produced. I could almost smell the apples!
 
Wi Tim
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Oliver, thanks for the wonderful video!
I bought it a while back, and every time viewing it I find something new that I missed (or was not ready for) before. Very inspirational and full of useful advice. Highly recommend.
 
duane hennon
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The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic - Fall 2014 update
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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I give this one 8 out of 10 acorns!

Really good ideas on orchard layout to reduce pest pressure. I'm integrating that into my swale plantings! I also like his dead simple propagation method for his shrub layer (ribes mostly). Just cut the branch off in the fall and stab it into the ground.

Really nice production quality and editing. Professionally done through and through!
 
Tyler Ludens
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Dave Dahlsrud wrote: I also like his dead simple propagation method for his shrub layer (ribes mostly). Just cut the branch off in the fall and stab it into the ground.


This tells me the DVD might be useless for me because of vast differences in growing conditions. If I stick a thing into the ground here, it usually dies.

 
Richard Gorny
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Judging without seeing. It might be successful even in your place if you prepare ground cover and irrigation as shown on this DVD.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Irrigating an orchard in this climate would be expensive and I'm not sure it's very permacultural.

Maybe something else is meant by "irrigation" other than pumping ground water.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Irrigation can be a lot of things, not just pumping ground water. There doesnt seem to be anything wrong with helping your trees to get established with irrigation, then weening them off. geoff lawton has recomeded just that on at least one occasion that I know of.

The shrub propagation was just one aspect that I liked (it should work for me, we have wild ribes in our biome). I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could probably find something that would fit that nie he in yours. There plenty of conceptual knowledge passed on in the film to go along with his specific techniques.
 
Fred Tyler
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I merged your stuff with the following thread. I hope that is okay by you.
 
Alicia Winkler
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Over the weekend I bought the download version of A Permaculture Orchard. Upon watching the first half and trying to absorb it all, I am very intrigued by the many possibilities available to lay out an orchard. We always planned to have a 3 acre or so Apple orchard on our new farm (even before we bought the land). I am larvae in the Permaculture world. lol! Too new to understand everything, too excited to focus on one area at a time, and too eager to absorb it all (especially when I consider my daily routine of homeschooling my chidden and preparing all meals, etc..Not enough time in the day!!), ready to transform into something wonderful, but must follow the path to get there. And that takes time. 

I know that rushing into it could be detrimental, that said, I also know, the best time to plant trees is NOW! Since 5 years ago is not an option.

One thing I think I have decided on is that I can go ahead and plan a small (read-personal use) orchard, so we can get those trees establishing this year. Then I can learn from the process and experiences to use the new knowledge in planning and putting in the 3 acre orchard.

Does that make sense?

So, who has used the ides Stefan gives for planning a small orchard?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Personally I would put a little tiny orchard in Zone 1 or 2 so the larger orchard could be planned sufficiently to work in the over-all design of the land.  Remember to build the design in this order 1. Water  (rain harvesting earthworks) 2. Access  (roads, paths) 3. Structures (buildings, gardens).  A 3 acre orchard is such an investment, I'd want to make sure I had planned it into the larger permaculture design.


 
Kevin Goheen
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He is an ingenious man and I still learn from his movie. I am still growing into permaculture myself, but I do advise growing tings at first that are forgiving if you do get a little overwhelmed at first. Good choices are pears, autumn olives, cold hardy figs, maypop passionfruit, grapes, blueberries, rose of sharon, daylillies, and such. Apples are great but they can be really picky and highly attacked by  pests and disease. Two cultivars I will be trying of apple for their resistance are Liberty and Goldrush. William's Pride is said to be very tough also. I listed pears first because European pears are incredibly tough. There is an old pear tree on a road nearby that has been abandoned for I'd guess 20 years and it always produces a bumper crop of sweet pears. Hope that helps.
 
Alicia Winkler
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Personally I would put a little tiny orchard in Zone 1 or 2 so the larger orchard could be planned sufficiently to work in the over-all design of the land.  Remember to build the design in this order 1. Water  (rain harvesting earthworks) 2. Access  (roads, paths) 3. Structures (buildings, gardens).  A 3 acre orchard is such an investment, I'd want to make sure I had planned it into the larger permaculture design.




Thanks Tyler. I was thinking the same thing! Planning the water access will be the trickiest part.
 
Alicia Winkler
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Kevin Goheen wrote:He is an ingenious man and I still learn from his movie. I am still growing into permaculture myself, but I do advise growing tings at first that are forgiving if you do get a little overwhelmed at first. Good choices are pears, autumn olives, cold hardy figs, maypop passionfruit, grapes, blueberries, rose of sharon, daylillies, and such. Apples are great but they can be really picky and highly attacked by  pests and disease. Two cultivars I will be trying of apple for their resistance are Liberty and Goldrush. William's Pride is said to be very tough also. I listed pears first because European pears are incredibly tough. There is an old pear tree on a road nearby that has been abandoned for I'd guess 20 years and it always produces a bumper crop of sweet pears. Hope that helps.


Hi Kevin! Thanks for the insight. Liberty is my top pick! I am lucky enough to have a permaculture -minded nursery not too far away. Darren at Brambleberry Farm in Paoli has helped me tremendously!
 
Bart Wallace
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I started my permaculture plot in my mid 20's. I am now 32 or will be in 3 weeks. I screwed up with apples and will have to replant. My Figs, Pomegranates, blueberries, Bell of Georgia Peach, and Pears are doing really well. I got 6 or 7 blackberries going and hope to have my first crop of mulberries this year. I am really looking forward this year. If something does not work don't worry about it but if you don't want to waste time and money plant easy stuff first. I am also adding some grapes this year in my expansion and am looking at adding some nut trees also.
 
Alicia Winkler
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Bart Wallace wrote:I started my permaculture plot in my mid 20's. I am now 32 or will be in 3 weeks. I screwed up with apples and will have to replant. My Figs, Pomegranates, blueberries, Bell of Georgia Peach, and Pears are doing really well. I got 6 or 7 blackberries going and hope to have my first crop of mulberries this year. I am really looking forward this year. If something does not work don't worry about it but if you don't want to waste time and money plant easy stuff first. I am also adding some grapes this year in my expansion and am looking at adding some nut trees also.


Thanks Bart. That all sounds Tasty!!
 
John Saltveit
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You are probably going to learn an amazing amount in the next 5 years.  Growing some trees in that time will help you learn more.  If you have a tree, you can practice pruning. Without a tree, pruning is theoretical.  Some trees will need to grow up to produce. You will probably need to learn to graft. Some varieties will not do as well as you thought, and you will probably want to graft them out, and you will read about new fruits you want to grow. Don't worry about making it just right from the start. You will almost surely evolve your thinking about how you want your orchard to be. You will also learn tons of techniques from this site that will continue to improve your success. Don't worry about perfecting all of them from the start, but look for a steady growth when you're ready to take on another challenge.
John S
PDX OR
 
Bart Wallace
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In your readings you will also find fruits that you just want to grow but can't. You will also try to grow hard to grow fruit. Just stay disciplined. I am hoping to grow some strawberries in raised beds this year but we will see how this goes. I always justify all my expenses now by saying I am creating this for my 15 month old but just being honest I do it for myself. 
 
Alicia Winkler
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John Saltveit wrote:You are probably going to learn an amazing amount in the next 5 years.  Growing some trees in that time will help you learn more.  If you have a tree, you can practice pruning. Without a tree, pruning is theoretical.  Some trees will need to grow up to produce. You will probably need to learn to graft. Some varieties will not do as well as you thought, and you will probably want to graft them out, and you will read about new fruits you want to grow. Don't worry about making it just right from the start. You will almost surely evolve your thinking about how you want your orchard to be. You will also learn tons of techniques from this site that will continue to improve your success. Don't worry about perfecting all of them from the start, but look for a steady growth when you're ready to take on another challenge.
John S
PDX OR


Thanks for the sage advice, John. It's hard to try to take this more relaxed approach. Maybe once I can get out and start planting ANYTHING, I will calm down a bit! Ha!!
 
David Livingston
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I am into the grafting thing too . It really saves you big moneys as some of the trees are incredibly easy to graft you just need patients and to make friends I aim to increace the types of apple I have to at least twenty over the next two years . Just remember its permanent culture not fast culture
 
Simone Gar
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I am just listening to a PV podcast with Stefan where he addresses the question "how to start". Give it a try: http://www.permaculturevoices.com/farming-tree-crops-maintenance-harvesting-and-sales-all-less-work-than-you-might-think-with-stefan-sobkowiak-v141/
He says he would start small and plant all stories instead of all trees and then the understory etc. I think that was already recommended above. Anyways, never hurts to listen to another interview with Stefan. He is a great teacher and has lots of experience.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Alicia, welcome.

May I suggest that you first address any water control issues, that way you can save a lot of that rain and prevent any washing out or flooding.
It also makes it a lot easier to define spaces and decisions of what should go where become a lot easier to make too.

Unless you plan to use fruit trees for commercial harvesting the usual Orchard style planting might not be your best method.
Determining this takes some observation time in the space you are going to develop, along with the planning you mentioned.

What we have done on our farm is to use "random set, standard spacing" which is a fancy way of saying we planted multiple species of fruit trees, mixed together but spaced so they all can grow true to their nature.

In our zone 1 & 2 (right around the house and "yard") we currently have; 2 species of apple, 2 species of pear, 2 of 1 species of plum, 2 species of fig (2 trees of one species and one of another currently), 2 mulberry along with grape vines and muscadine vines.
The spaces between these trees is being turned into raised vegetable gardens, these beds are placed in the center of the spaces between trees and kept to a 2 foot width, some are true raised beds (at ground level) and some are raised to waist height as double stacked table beds.
We have plans to fill this 2/3 acre "yard" area with more of the currently planted species and to add more stone fruits as well to bring the total area into a fruit forest type setup.
Some of the fruit trees are near the other variety of their species and some are spread apart with other species between. This is to encourage the bees to find all the flowers as well as ensure cross pollination for larger crops of fruits.

We have not even started the true commercial orchard yet which will be fairly distant from the "yard".
I still have to do the earth works on that 5 acres and it will most likely be another two or three years before I get to that project.

Good luck with your adventure, we love our new farm and building it to provide our food and enough for sale to chefs and other markets.

Redhawk
 
Alicia Winkler
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Alicia, welcome.

May I suggest that you first address any water control issues, that way you can save a lot of that rain and prevent any washing out or flooding.
It also makes it a lot easier to define spaces and decisions of what should go where become a lot easier to make too.

Unless you plan to use fruit trees for commercial harvesting the usual Orchard style planting might not be your best method.
Determining this takes some observation time in the space you are going to develop, along with the planning you mentioned.

What we have done on our farm is to use "random set, standard spacing" which is a fancy way of saying we planted multiple species of fruit trees, mixed together but spaced so they all can grow true to their nature.

In our zone 1 & 2 (right around the house and "yard") we currently have; 2 species of apple, 2 species of pear, 2 of 1 species of plum, 2 species of fig (2 trees of one species and one of another currently), 2 mulberry along with grape vines and muscadine vines.
The spaces between these trees is being turned into raised vegetable gardens, these beds are placed in the center of the spaces between trees and kept to a 2 foot width, some are true raised beds (at ground level) and some are raised to waist height as double stacked table beds.
We have plans to fill this 2/3 acre "yard" area with more of the currently planted species and to add more stone fruits as well to bring the total area into a fruit forest type setup.
Some of the fruit trees are near the other variety of their species and some are spread apart with other species between. This is to encourage the bees to find all the flowers as well as ensure cross pollination for larger crops of fruits.

We have not even started the true commercial orchard yet which will be fairly distant from the "yard".
I still have to do the earth works on that 5 acres and it will most likely be another two or three years before I get to that project.

Good luck with your adventure, we love our new farm and building it to provide our food and enough for sale to chefs and other markets.

Redhawk


Redhawk, yes, water first!! I, likely, won't be actually planting any of the trees until next fall, anyway, per Stefan's suggestion. And, right now, the plan I am working on isn't typical orchard layout. It is more like yours, sounds like.

I'd love to see pictures, btw!

I hope to learn grafting, too, to help establish the larger orchard in a few years.
 
Ken W Wilson
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Chosing cultivars and rootstocks that are best suited for your site is very important. You can select for disease resistance, wet soil tolerance, and drought tolerance. Since you have so much land, I wouldn't recommend planting many dwarf trees. They aren't as hardy and don't live as long. They can't stand as much wind and drought.  They do produce much faster so a few could be great.

You could plant several kinds of berries this spring. They are easy to propagate and easy to move if you change your mind about the location.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Indeed, grafting is good to know for maintaining orchards and vineyards, kola John Saltveit can be a great help to you with learning to graft well.

We live so far out, we don't have internet ability for now but we hope to eventually get that going.
Once I do, I plan to put up one whole listing of Buzzard's Roost with plenty of photos and drawings, pretty much half the book I am working on.

One book that you might find very helpful is Mark Shepard's book "Restoration Agriculture" Mark has put a lot of his observations and solutions in this book.

Tree Crops by J. Russell Smith is the oldest book and it focuses on Permanent Agriculture, Smith may have even coined the term that later was reduced to "permaculture".

These two books ( in my opinion ) should be in every ones library.

Redhawk
 
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