Tropical permaculture: how to make a keyhole raised bed garden with old banana stalks

Last week, I had the unique pleasure of visiting Narayan’s permaculture farm on the Big Island of Hawaii — located in one of the wettest spots in the world.

Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.

—Bill Mollison
Because banana trees grow so well on his property, Narayan uses the old stalks and leaves to help retain the soil in his raised beds and keep out the weeds. And he starts his garden beds with a layer of black cinders to ensure adequate drainage in the case of heavy rainfall.
permaculture hawaii raised bed
Freshly made tropical keyhole raised garden bed


The keyhole shape simply maximizes the grow space on all sides of the mound.

Watch how to make this jungle-style keyhole raised bed.

Narayan’s Homemade Organic Fertilizer Recipe

Organic neem cake –
Seabird guano –
Bat guano –
Bio char –
Azomite –

Hope this video post inspired you to grow more shit. Till next time, happy farming humans!

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