Permaculture Orchard Film Review

This weekend I purchased Permaculture Orchard. I’m always hungry for more permaculture information, and I also like to support the permaculture world.

It’s definitely a how-to for an orchard set-up with charming graphics and tunes. I’m not sure it’s a useful video for the permaculture newbie backyard gardener, but more for new or existing commercial applications. I’m not planning a commercial farm and still soaked in lots of useful information, though. It’s different from other videos because it focuses on the set-up of an orchard and not on plant species. It’s structured by chapters, and obvious he works with nature.

My biggest take-home was the importance of creating bird habitat. I was so inspired by his birdhouses that I purchased 5 for my garden. There were tons of little details in the film that I haven’t already heard. I continually hear that fall is the best time to plant trees and the film confirms it with a great explanation. They made grafting look so easy, I’m going to give it a try. The pull a weed, replace with an edible rule was a great idea. The tree care, from planting to pruning was excellently explained.
I honestly didn’t get the permaculture warm fuzzies from the film, and I noticed a few permaculture principals that were left out. Perhaps it’s because the orchard was converted from an existing one, but I still think there were a few things left unsaid. The third ethic explanation was… ok. It it could be better explained if they added return of surplus with the soil, as well. The explination of Return of surplus with nature gave me the impression it was just with the wildlife. I was also disappointed they didn’t mention a water management system other than the irrigation tape. Like where does it come from? They could be harvesting water off of roofs and storing it tanks. The plastic mulch was just bad to me. In addition to water management, they didn’t explain how they managed the waste on the orchard either. I kept waiting for him to mention site contours when he was explaining the row orientation, but it was never said. I think there is also potenial for a crop between the rows instead of just grass or maybe just a nitrogen fixing species. You know how I feel about grass… 
The film to me was more of a permaculutre hybrid and is so much better than the monocrop orchards of today. I really enjoyed this film, so don’t misunderstand my picky improvements. Seriously, I’ll be on the look out for the soundtrack, the tunes were pretty jazzy. To take it another step forward, I think the Forest Market Garden could be another approach. 
You can listen to another review on Permies by Paul Wheaton. Oddly enough I listened to the review, then watched the film, and not sure his opinion of it. It had to have been good enough because I purchased it.

images & sources: all opinions by Jamie at FOREST MARKET GARDEN // image from Kickstarter // Forest Market Garden by The Survival Podcast // Review by Supreme Executive Producer with Bacon, Cheese & Sparkles, Paul Wheaton

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