Planning for Permaculture: It’s Only Natural

 In Go Go Green Thumbs

Written by: Sumati Shah, Go Go Green Thumbs


Planning a food garden with sustainability as the goal leads naturally to the discovery of permaculture.  As with many things, it’s easier if we take our example from, and work with, Nature.

Full sun veggies and plants still often benefit from some dappled shade in the heat of the summer. What Would Nature Do?

What better than some shade from planting a fruit bearing tree or shrub?  And voila: you’ve inadvertently adopted the permacultural practice of creating a canopy layer for your burgeoning Victory Garden!

The Amelanchier species and varieties can be easily pruned and even work well as a hedge. The plant goes by many names: June Berry, Saskatoon Berry,   and of course Serviceberry.


Pioneers in Canada’s Prairie quickly learned to rely on this sturdy and adaptable plant that withstands a harsh winter. Delicious berries eaten fresh picked, or made into preserves or frozen for storage and delicious used in baking either fresh or frozen. There are many different species and varieties, and all are ‘serviceable’. Leaves and branches also have their traditional uses in teas and basketweaving. She is a trooper, and delicious; I challenge you to find a better permaculture candidate for a Canadian garden, or any garden in zones 2-8.

Rule of GreenThumbs: Create shade layers in your food garden with a fruit bearing trees and shrubs… and consider your scorching problems permaculturally solved!

The berries are D E L I C I O U S tasting a little like a cross between blueberry and strawberry is the best I can do to describe the flavour.  Flowering in spring and fruiting by early summer, ripening berries bring the Bohemian Waxwings in for their annual visit and I look forward to watching them squabble with Robins over who gets dibs on the berries.

Luckily there always seem to be enough berries for everyone to enjoy…in the cool dappled shade.


Go Go Green Thumbs!



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