La Saladou

November 16, 2014
by Ernst

Plans Permacamp 2015

Last week Jasper and Ernst went to the beautiful Farm of Andy and Jessy Darlington. Together with David and Florence from Permaterra we worked on the ideas for the 2015 Permacamp. The outlines are there and it is going to be a great camp! We will keep you posted on the details later. We are loving it already and as the pictures can tell; A little part of fencing will be in it!

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September 14, 2014
by Ernst

Porte ouvert – open house

During the PDC we organized an open house for the community of Lamanere. A very nice group of people came up to see the camp. One of them brougth some wonderful old pictures of the last farmer and the farm in the old days. Look how beautiful!

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August 28, 2014
by Jasper Willemse

PermaCamp ’14

Wow, the 2014 PermaCamp was great!

Thanks to all the enthousiastic participants, super volunteers, wonderfull staff and marvelous teachers it was an educational, inspiring and fun time!

We – the Saladou team – are sorting all our photo’s and will post them soon! Good luck everyone with going back to home, work, school or wherever you’re going. We had a great time, looking forward seeing you in the future!

view camp

March 30, 2014
by Jasper Willemse

PermaCamp’14 preparations

The last weekend of march we were up at La Saladou to meet up with the local Permacamp Team (Jerome, Andy and Jonathan) to start the preparations for the PermaCamp ’14. On five different locations on the land we’ve cleared places of the pine trees growing there, creating nice camping spots for this summer. At the same time gathering wood for the mobile saw mill and reinforcing the terras structures at La Saladou with the cut-off branches. A thrice rewarding job!

This summer we’ll have five different camp sites. Four of them with room for 5- 10 tents and one for campervans. Each camp site will get his own outdoor-shower and dry-toilet. These will be build in the first workshop of the PermaCamp.

The new campervan spot:

campervan spot

Clearing terraces to extend the road (and some nice camping places!):

clearing terrace

The pile of wood ready for the mobile saw mill. We’ve collected all different kinds of wood: pine, beech, chessnut and even some wild cherry:

wood for mobile mill

Just above each of the camping sites we’ve placed cubic meter water tanks. These will be filled from the well, wrapped in black foil and serve as hot water supply for the outdoor showers. Showering with a view!

watertank for shower

I’m a lumberjack and I’m ok! It snowed all night and we worked all day!

in the snow

March 30, 2014
by Jasper Willemse
1 Comment

Permacamp 2014!

We are happy and proud to announce that for the second time we will host a Permaculture Design Course at La Saladou!

This year two extra – more practical – ‘modules’ will be added before and after the PDC, which will make the whole experience a ‘Permaculture Camp’.

Please check for more information and details about the three different modules.

permacamp tent

December 21, 2013
by Hilary Whyard

Hilary’s Gardening Blog 2 – Compost Tractoring

Well, it seems that if you view my last blog on a tablet, it turns the pictures sideways! I guess I need to take landscape pics and see if this works. or you could lie on your side to read it!

So, i have been inspired by Rick Valley’s article on compost in the winter edition of the Permaculture Magazine ~ go to for more info on this and their excellent quarterly magazine.

We have all heard of ‘chicken tractoring’, but Rick introduces us to ‘compost tractoring’. We also all know that some of the richest soil in your garden lies underneath the compost heap, which has always struck me as a tragic waste. So here is the answer – choose the growing area in your garden that needs enriching and build your compost heap on it. So simple – why haven’t I thought of it before? Rick includes pretty course material and, when the majority of the heap is well digested and ready to use, undigested, courser material is raked over onto the next bed and, being beautifully inoculated with microorganisms, provides the ideal starter for the new heap. The raking action allows the completed compost to fall to the bottom of the old site ready to be used for potting material, for making compost teas or for sprinkling under mulch on other beds.

So below is a picture of the beginnings of my heap – lots of carbon layers- leaves, hay, straw, old egg boxes, torn paper and cardboard, woody cuttings etc with a sprinkling of nitrogen rich layers – manure (provided by the escapee horses from the farm next door), old compost, kitchen scraps, green garden waste. I will report back on the resulting compost and the fertility of the bed at a later date. Meanwhile I’ll keep adding the layers and forking it around to keep it well aerated.

If you want clear diagrams and more information about compost tractoring, why not get yourself a copy of the Permaculture Magazine?

And now its time to put away the gardening gloves for a while and do some ‘Grannying’ with my brood for Christmas over in the UK.

Happy holidays everyone and a bright new year!




December 21, 2013
by lasaladou

New Fence

After the deer nibbling on our newly planted fruit trees, it was time for an electric fence to save this new orchard. The new fence surrounds 4 apple trees, 2 plum trees, 2 cherry- and 2 pear trees and a sweet chestnut. The plan is to turn this orchard into a ‘food forrest’, each of the fruit trees being surrounded by a guild of perennials and some annuals. Around the fence (and next to the road) we will plant a line of walnut-, hazelnut- and sweet chestnut trees. Because making a good entrance is important, we concreted in a nice gate and decorated it with – what else – a deer skull found on the land. Welcome to the Ranch!

November 17, 2013
by Jasper Willemse

Hi there! This is the first of a new series of Hilary’s “How to…” hands on garden tips & tricks. We’re kicking off with: planting an apple tree!

Take it away Hil!

Hello folks, I’ve planted a starking apple tree this week, I

mulched it with material from the oak forest floor…..

planting tree 1

Plus a little manure….

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Plus some soaked cardboard….

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Ad on top, more forest floor litter.

Planting tree 4

I banked up the soil on the downward slope side in order to retain rainwater for longer….

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Time to stop for lunch!

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The trees are planted on contour but I’m checking here in order to dig a small swale behind the tree. This will allow rainwater to soak in above the tree and so there will be less or no need to water it.

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Digging the little swale on contour means the water won’t slosh out one end – permaculture is all about keeping water on your land as long as possible. Sinking it and spreading it is the key, making it work for you. Unfortunately we don’t have any big machinery (yet) otherwise a long swale running behind a whole row of trees would be good. But these small ones will do the trick for now.

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This picture shows the position of the swale above the tree. You keep the slope nearest the tree very gentle and the soil loose and soft

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I like to fill Swales with absorbent materials which will soak up the rain and release it to the tree more slowly. The rotting wood and cardboard mix, plus a small sprinkling of manure will also feed nutrients slowly to the tree. The rotting wood increases the fungal action near the tree which is the soil condition trees love best.

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Finally I cover the ground around the tree and the swale with hay cut in the orchard. This was another piece of advice from our permaculture design course – wherever possible, use materials close to hand. Good luck little tree.

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