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Mountain Steep Permaculture - Permacultura em Declive de Montanha
Mountain Steep Permaculture - Permacultura em Declive de Montanha
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Chão Sobral, Aldeia das Dez - OHP - Coimbra, PT
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

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Back to Mountain Steep Permaculture - Permacultura em Declive de Montanha

The food forest on the ridge crest

Project: Mountain Steep Permaculture - Permacultura em Declive de Montanha

Posted by João Gonçalves almost 11 years ago

This plot is located on the ridge crest, next to the old track and water channel. Te area is called "Linhar" meaning linen field. It is now becoming a forest of food and a place to rest during the hot summer afternoon.

This plot of land, about 180 m2, at 600 mts altitude, in the centre of the old hamlet is almost nearly level terrace, standing on the ridge crest, surrounded by narrow hamlet paths, once walking-oxen cart only, a 1,6 mts tall retaining concreted stone wall on the north side, and old houses (more than 1 hundred years old) on the west and east sides.

It is being overstacked with fruit trees: small citrus-tangerine, lemon, muleberry, peach, olives, figs, apple, persimon, silverbirch, camelia, magnolia, holly tree. Opefully they will stand - help eachother - against the autumn-winter winds - we are on the ridge crest!

Climbers: grape vines, kiwi and goji - this has grown thin long branches, about 3 mtrs long already this year under the peach & through the holly tree!).

Shrubs: raspberry, gooseberry, mirtille, budleia, rosemary.

Herbs: mints, sage, ...

Nitrogen fixers: albizia lophanta, sesbania - experiments, both under camelia trees.

We keep 3 plots - total about 27 m2, for anual soil disturbance - tilling& "underground composting", and growing anuals: tomatoes, garlic, lettuce, beets, maize, carrots, spinach, among others.

On the northwest corner stands the polytunnel shaped green house, with young avocado trees, about to shelter a shower with solar heated water.


It is a dry spot that is flood irrigated, if possible once a week or every 2-3 weeks, it is also receiving water piped from the kitchen sink and the laundry washing machine.

It stands near the main flood irrigation water channel, that runs in between the center of the hamlet, descending all along the narrow street on the ridge crest line and branches to the sides, as the spine - community water channel - and its ribs - secondary private water ways. 


Dark brown, loamy, carbon rich (after, many years, loads of pig manures-bedding), with lots of large earth worms, it absorbs water like a thirsty sponge.

Functions for our food forest:

1. Food: fruits all year round, olives to olive oil, grapes to wine.

2. Habitat - Microclimate: for living beings, under, on, over the soil ...

3. Biomass-carbon-nitrogen source: to feed into animal beds-shed floors, chickens, rabbits, goats.

4. Leisure - recreation space for children - small lawns under the magnolia &citrus trees.

5. Education - aesthetic experience - it feels good to be in this environment, surrounded by plants, shade, birds ...

6. Fodder - many tree&shrub prunings, budleia and silver birch pollared branches, end up as goats food.

7. Medicine - we have a few plants that heal small wounds, hitches.

8. Water filtered through re-use.

9. Tree nursery, through seeds in pots and through tree branch cuttings.

In the picture below, contour lines map, the yellow spot points to the location.

To be continued, with more pictures.

Photos at 28 April 2013

Dsc00058 Dsc00057 Dsc00059 Dsc00060 Dsc00061 Cartmil watershed3

Comments (1)

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Brad Hamilton
Brad Hamilton : Thank you for bringing us your Food Forest, I look forward to reading further updates and seeing more pictures, I wish everyone would have the enthusiasm which you have shown.
Posted almost 11 years ago

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