Regenerative Leadership Institute

Regenerative Leadership Institute

Peach Tree in Permaculture along with Peach Chutney with your Pantry


July and August mean times come for those among us with peach trees. Great for fresh eating, they also make delectable jams, preserves and chutneys. Handsome little tree, peach is really easy to grow, and it rewards you with rapid returns of tenderness - fruiting at times the next year from planting! Peaches are reputed to have short lives - just about 15 20 years, they are fast to exhaust themselves by producing fruit with wild abandonment. A great addition to any permaculture Regenerative Leadership Institute garden, this plant comes in typical (12' high) and genetic dwarf (6' high) sizes. The latter one is great for children's spaces - it is a bantam charming tree that generates routine sized fruit.

Best avoided on the Western side of your home, where it breaks winter dormancy all too frequently before its time and looses fruit to late frosts, peach is best suited for Eastern or even Northern exposure. Peach will too need some friendly company of other plants, soil biota, and, most likely in climate, some type of protection from extremes of weather, as each plant needs certain conditions to prosper.

A sample peach guild includes plants that guide with soil building (comfrey, hairy vetch, alfalfa, daylily); plants that support beneficial insects (blossoming chives, fennel, yarrow, ornamental thistles, blue mist spirea); plants offering some protection for your young tree (can be fast growing annuals like sunflower, fennel, hollyhock, or perennial asparagus). Plant guilds are mixtures of plants (and ! creatures))

Harvest that arises from a peach tree guild includes herbal flowers such as red strawberry clover and alfalfa flower - both are also great for making mineral-rich herbal teas, and can really be picked throughout season.

Perennial flowers such as feverfew, yarrow, Queen Ann's Lace, angelica or valerian with their miniature blossoms bring many beneficial insects, which help keeping pests away. Add a plant that helps to open the land - mullein, carrots, daikon radish are all good with their long tap roots. Comfrey is really a choice plant for a handsome groundcover and it makes mineral rich mulch. May Night Salvia and catmint add late spring colour & nectar, as does Clary Sage.

Throw in other plants like daylily (edible flowers and young shoots), broccoli and kale, chives, peas or beans - simply package it complete! You'll need to water your peach tree - get more bounty & wellness and so water its guild as well for a return. Some things will boom, others will fade away - the guild will enter its own equilibrium, and evolve. Bumble bees and bees come to crop nectar from sage plants, worms dine in the rich ground created by the diverse root systems. Come July, you taste your first fruit and hopefully discover that more peaches have to be planted to allow for this celebration of flavor to go on.

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