The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

7.50 USD15.00 USD

An educational film about the largest permaculture orchard in eastern North America and on the future of fruit growing.

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The Permaculture Orchard : Beyond Organic is a feature-length educational film that will teach you how to set up your own permaculture orchard at any scale. Recognizing the limitations of the organic model as a substitute to conventional fruit growing, this film proposes a more holistic, regenerative approach based on permaculture principles.

Based on 20 years of applied theory and trial and error, biologist and educator Stefan Sobkowiak shares his experience transforming a conventional apple orchard into an abundance of biodiversity that virtually takes care of itself. The concepts, techniques and tips presented in this film will help you with your own project, whether it is just a few fruit trees in your urban backyard, or a full-scale multi-acre commercial orchard.

Beautiful, full of hard-won information, humble, practical.

Eric Toensmeier / author of Paradise Lot

A visually appealing film that delivers at both the environmental and economic level, while setting the stage for a new modern standard for commercial fruit production.

Jenn Jennings / Examiner.com

Film contents

  • creating habitat for birds / pollinators
  • natural pest control techniques
  • the trio system / plant combinations
  • the shrub herbaceous layers
  • seed planting of annuals
  • planting fruit trees / drainage considerations
  • tree training vs. pruning
  • grafting / overgrafting
  • creating habitat for birds / pollinators
  • natural pest control techniques
  • the trio system / plant combinations
  • the shrub herbaceous layers
  • seed planting of annuals
  • planting fruit trees / drainage considerations
  • tree training vs. pruning
  • grafting / overgrafting
  • starting your own trees vs. buying trees
  • mulch options with a focus on plastic mulch and why/how
  • drip irrigation
  • the importance of cultivar selection
  • the grocery aisle concept
  • spraying / fungi control
  • tree protection
  • frost protection

Trained as a biologist and landscape architect, Stefan Sobkowiak has taught fruit production, landscape plants and design, and natural history of vertebrates at Montreal’s McGill University. He owned a landscape design firm for 20 years, developping hundreds of projects for private, institutional and municipal clients. He’s been teaching permaculture in Quebec since 1995 and has given numerous presentations and workshops in Europe, New Zealand, United States and Canada.

Stefan is the owner of Miracle Farms since 1993.

462 reviews for The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic

  1. Julian B.

    Most informative. was able to re-plan our orchard based on those key principles

  2. Dimitar N.

    Thank you for your dedication and kindness in making this movie. I was glad to be a part of it, by funding you. I think the movie is very direct and, sort of, step-by-step, but in a kind and generous way to the viewer. I hope and expect to see another one from you guys soon.
    May God be with you, I wish you all the best and thing only good of you!

  3. Leea V.

    I love it! Planning to do something similar here in Finland. Now learning more of the living soil… I also have chicken and have had previously sheep and goats and geese and rabbits, I understood that another film is in plans – waiting for it! The book online is great! Downloadable format would be nice of it too! The film has been interesting to my friends too, just not everyone knows english here, would be great to have one with finnish too!

    Yours, Lea Valkonen

  4. Frank B.

    Enjoyed this, found some useful ideas around training, pruning etc and also the positives around using plastic as groundcover . Overall well put together by a person who is passionate and knowledgable about his subject.

  5. Zachary S.

    High quality, beautiful movie with lots of great, practical information!

  6. Kevin s.

    Never did get it to open.

  7. Daniel W.

    Great to see an example of successful commercial permaculture

  8. Scott S.

    It was informative and encouraging, but thought it did not go into much depth about pest and disease management, even though they were alluded to. They are one of the major hurdles in an organic or permaculture orchard and there was no mention other than one sentence saying that miracle farms was a very low spray farm. Would have appreciated more detail on this subject.

    But overall very uplifting.

  9. David H.

    Outstanding! Full of experienced wisdom, practical knowledge and inspiring ideas.

  10. Esther S.

    Very inspiring and informative!! Loved it !! Seeing that it is possible to cultivate food in a permaculture fashion while providing food and income. Enjoying the abundance of nature at its best, the way things should be.

  11. Andrew W.

    Awesome! Will compel you to start an orchard. Highly professional and great quality video. Definitely worth the cost. Would purchase again.

  12. MARY-ELLEN K.

    Very well done video! Lots of ideas well presented and explained and many great little take-away tips that I can try on my own property. Also, it’s really nice to see a ‘home-grown’ example; orchards in Virginia or California don’t have the same climate conditions as Quebec. Permaculture anywhere is inspiring, but to see such stellar results here at home is beyond inspiring – it’s empowering! Bravo!

  13. Andrea Z.

    SUPER!!!!

  14. Maranke S.

    What I love most about this film is that it makes permaculture easy enough to actually do it.

  15. Alexander B.

    I found The Permaculture Orchard inspiring, well shot, loved the overall aesthetic tone & typography, and worth the money spent. Many of the ideas such as the introduction to the french pruning and training system, placing similar harvest date trees in the same row, and the concept of thinning through “over-pollination”, were new and helpful. I think that the ingenious “Pick your own CSA hybrid” is the way of the future and solves so many traditional polyculture orchardist problems in an elegant manner. I was grateful to finally see a side by side comparison of plasticulture to traditional orchard ground management. Additionally, I truly respect the fact that a follow up video segment was posted addressing some of the more up to date challenges.

    The reason for 4 stars instead of 5, however, is that the point of the film seemed aimed at convincing people that this is a viable option for the future by presenting ideal situations rather than empowering people to actually do this by sharing detailed knowledge of solving actual problems encountered.

    For example, the economics of plasticulture are break even at best. With today’s plastic prices and a two liner three irrigation hose setup, plus the required water source, support pumps, filters, piping, and maintenance, as well as a minimum 5 year wait for any return on investment, I think many young non-trustfund orchardist are priced out of this system. One might be tempted to say that this is one minor drawback in an impressive system, but I can promise you that not using plastic and irrigation necessitates an entirely different management system.

    Other examples of critical areas that were not addressed enough, were the response to periodic extreme disease and pest pressures. Good management reduces these occurrences, but inevitably every few years even the best orchards deal with a make or break crisis. I would have appreciated more actual examples of the challenges encountered and the solutions found.

    In conclusion, though, I would like to thank and congratulate every one who worked on and supported this wonderful film, on being part of the solution and a great step into the future. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  16. Joachim V.

    Beautiful movie !!! Well made, great fun to watch … pleasure pure.
    Wish there would be more orchards like this.

  17. Matt P.

    This was the best movie I’ve ever purchased online!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! AMAZING!!!! AMAZING!!! I loved it.

  18. PAUL K.

    Sadly, the quality of the box, the content and the subject matter was little better than average in our opinion, especially considering the high price of purchase.

  19. Rodney K.

    This video provides a wealth of information regarding layout, soil development and maintenance, the development of a self-supporting community of plants that creates its own inputs, and manages unwanted plants in productive ways. Watering systems, grafting instructions, pruning and training of branches are all provided in a way that gives the novice clear directions and a confidence to try it. We are developing a community orchard and this video is a great tool to help draw interested people into joining us when they can see what we a working to build. In the future, we will probably seek permission to use it for larger community open house events to gain the support of more residents as we seek to transform other parcels of land in the community into fruit production.

  20. Michelle O.

    Wonderful. Such great information

  21. laura s.

    MOLTO INTERESSANTE.mi piacerebbe capire come modificare con specie più adatte al nostro clima.
    laura

  22. Greg M.

    The film was beautifully done. Stefan was great in it and it was wonderful to see his concepts in practice. I’ve already watched it 3 times. Would love to see a follow-up in 10 years! I’d also love to see this become a series demonstrating others’ permaculture systems. Thank you so much for producing this film.

  23. Gregory K.

    Great information, high quality video and incredibly inspiring! Thank you!

  24. Sharon M.

    Thoroughly enjoyed it and learnt more permaculture to use around home.

  25. Adam S.

    Excellent video. Of particular value to us were the very specific details (plants, trees, technical details, tricks). We live in a similar climate (Indiana, USA) but not one that is native to us, so it is very helpful to have that level of granularity.

  26. Justin K.

    Worth every penny, beautifully filmed, and truly informative. I highly recommend it.

  27. Brian M.

    Great inspiration and resource! I’m going to start planting my small permaculture orchard this year!

  28. Marijtje M.

    Hello, unfortunately our dvd-player refuses to play this dvd (while others are no problem)… So we plan to send it back.
    Best, Marijtje

  29. Darrell J.

    Great video

  30. Ryan C.

    Excellent, instructive, well-made.

  31. Heather S.

    good explanation of management

  32. Катя Е.

    Amazing inspiring film! Excellent work!

  33. diane d.

    So informative. Can’t wait to get started

  34. Rose D.

    Well worth the money! The viewer gets many listings of plant varieties, lots of helpful tips for pruning, and a very simple introduction to grafting (which made me feel more confident about trying it). The music and cinematography are beautiful as well. I will be watching this over and over again.

  35. Fort B.

    Interesting, well made video with excellent and practical information.
    Especially nice that it points out the difference between what is generally considered “organic” and a healthy permaculture ecosystem.
    A great investment. This video is being added to our library!

  36. Chris K.

    This movie was shown at a community farm called the “Horn Farm” in Hallem, PA. As a group we found the information very informative with nice tips and tricks that were noted. The movie is in a very nice format and was made very well. The presenter was clear with his information and noted his justifications for certain topics that fell outside the border of the permaculture standard. Pruning & training the trees, as well as grafting was discussed in good detail. As a group we found very helpful information in this field. What I believe should have been discussed in better detail includes the layout design of his specific terrain and solutions to obtacles that were met. Also, to be noted would be more detail regarding innovative ways to incorporate habitat. This movie was a good pick for a Farm movie night and hope that there will be more videos that can follow this type of presentation format. I will be looking forward to an update with findings in the future. Thank you very much from your friends at the Horn Farm Center

  37. Tony H.

    Excellent resource! This DVD is full of useful tips for those serious about avoiding the destructive practices too often used in commercial agriculture. I am very pleased to have purchased this product.

  38. Judith M.

    Good information if you’re a beginner. But if you’ve studied permaculture and orcharding for a while then a lot of the information is redundant.

  39. Cheng T.

    Well worth the money to learn the technique that works!

  40. Stan W.

    I really enjoyed this video. The cinematography was excellent and eye-catching, and there was so much information presented that I’m going to want to watch it several times to get all there is!

  41. David T.

    Good info, very knowledgeable tutor, can’t beat years of experience and honesty. Thanks Stefan for sharing.

  42. Heidi S.

    Loved it! Some great new ideas to incorporate in my permaculture efforts here. A real springboard for other ideas I wanted to build into our plan as well. The narrator did a great job–interesting and authentic; I especially loved the candidness of it (ie. We don’t have all the answers, but this is working well for us) Thanks for sharing, guys. The bird houses were FAB! And the production was very professional and approachable. Good Job!!!

  43. Maria B.

    Awesome!!

  44. Don F.

    Awesome! We are starting to implement these ideas on our 60 acre farm. If you are ever in Colorado we would love to host Stephen sobakiwk

  45. Torunn R.

    I loved it, and learned a lot

  46. Maureen S.

    Inspirational!!!

  47. Chris E.

    Very enjoyable and detailed journey through the Permaculture Orchard. Loads of useful information for those who might want to embark on this or a similar endeavor. I was hoping, from interviews on TSP, there would be an inclusion of how livestock fits into the equation, guess we’ll have to wait for Part II 🙂

  48. Colin H.

    This video is truly inspirational. Makes me want to go out and plant more fruit trees right now!

  49. Sheldon N.

    Its great, amazing production. I just wish it were longer.

  50. Jamie R.

    It was beautifully done and informative! I just don’t like the plastic mulch aspect.

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