Thanks, so far, for your replies and input. Getting rich is not my motivation. I am interested in establishing a resource that can continue to produce a yield indefinitely after an initial investment of capitol with minimal maintenance costs.
So, then, where to begin? The simple answer is, in your own back yard if you have one! One of the important things you learn in Permaculture is design, for Permaculture is ultimately a multidisciplinary design system.
The biggest obstacles are taking the first step, believing in yourself, believing you can do it, trusting it will work! This approach was all learned from first-hand experience, diving head first into my garden project, a full-time three month solo effort that transformed an average Melbourne home backyard into a demonstration Permaculture garden that is a living proof of concept and thriving success, which has seen several garden tours and hundreds of people since it was first built two years ago.
By sharing this information, I hope to encourage more Permaculture graduates to dive in and make it happen! What is a Permaculture Garden The first step in building a Permaculture garden is to figure out what a Permaculture garden is to you. Having a finalised design means you have something to build, it ensures that you have committed your ideas to paper, and to do this they have to have some structure and form.
Designs encourage decisiveness, some people like leaving their options open, which means nothing gets done. Decide what it is that you can do, and want to do, right now, not in some distant possible future, but at this very moment, then make the commitment to do it on a certain day and date, preferably now.
What you need to decide at the outset is the degree of incorporation of Permaculture principles in garden design.
The size of the garden will in part dictate this, the scale of the project, it can be anywhere between a balcony container garden all the way through to a broad-acre food forest. Principles of Permaculture, Emulating Nature The next step is to decide which Permaculture design principles you wish to use, or to which degree you emphasise them.
Also, look at how you will choose to emulate nature in your Permaculture design. Here are some points to consider: Soil preservation — how do you intend to protect the soil?
Mulches, ground cover plants, etc. Bare soil will be compacted by rain, which will degrade the soil structure, as well as wash away the top layer!
Garden beds can aid in maintaining good soil, as long as they are a size you can reach into easily so you never step into the garden beds. Stepping on the soil destroys the soils structure by compacting it, preventing air and water penetration to the plants roots, which affects plant health, restricts plant growth and reduces productivity.
Rebuilding soil — if your soil is pretty well dead, very little organic content and humus, if it is compacted, or damaged in any way, it has to be repaired. Soil building activities will be required to remedy the situation. You can use plants with deep tap roots such as fenugreek and dandelion to break up the soil If absolutely necessary, you can dig or fork the ground, once only, to loosen it up, then mulch it over to cover it up and protect it.
Composting over the soil can be used to bring life back into it, either utilising compost heaps, or more easily and quickly, using the technique of sheet composting.
Use of green manures, plants grown then chopped down afterwards, to generate lots of biomass to mulch the soil with, which will rot down to create humus. Using this layout allows a greater utilisation of space, and greater productivity for a given garden area.
Succession planting — stacking in time Nature regenerates plant growth to protect soil — plants are replaced as other ones die off. Edge Effect — in nature, the edges of any ecosystem, where the environment transitions from one form to another, is the most productive.
If you wanted to emphasise the Edge Effect Principle, you would perhaps lean toward curved edge garden beds, mandala design garden beds, or just use a large number of smaller rectangular beds. Microclimate — groups of plants planted together create differences in temperature, shade and humidity in comparison to the surrounding area, better supporting plant growth.
Use plants growing together to protect each other from the elements wind, sun, etc. This will help them survive and create a more resilient garden. Remember, one plant on its own in a bare garden bed is like a man standing in the middle of a desert under a burning hot sun!
Here are some ideas: Various vines such as grapes, kiwi fruit, passionfruit can be grown over trellisesarches, fences, and pergolas.
Cucurbits, such as pumpkins, rockmelons, watermelons, zucchini, gourds, loofahs can be grown vertically up a wire mesh with widely spaced mesh big enough to fit hands through supported by posts. Espaliered trees can be used along fences or narrow spaces to maximise the productivity of large unused vertical spaces.
Water gardens — aquatic ecosystems are the most productive ecosystems of all, and they have many design functions. Can be used to grow edible aquatic plants, such as water chestnuts, sagittaria, lotus, Vietnamese mint, and many others. Can support aquatic or amphibious life, that is, fish or frogs.
Monocultures make plants more accessible to pests, and prevent the use of companion planting or plant stacking. Emulate nature by mixing plants up, if you have to go to some effort to find them, so will the pests that eat them!
Monocultures of annuals take more work, effort and record keeping, as planting one type of annuals in the same spot for more than one season will lead to nutrient depletion, and susceptibility to pests and diseases.Microgreens Business Plan - Friends of Permaculture BC - Local Business Plans.
Permaculture is meant to make the most of what the land has avaiable. Making a swale to catch the available rain to keep the water from running away is permaculture, but you are still dealing with a limited amount of rain in Utah.
Editor’s Note: This post is a good reminder to ensure you take good before, during and after photos as you implement projects! Case studies like this become an awesome portfolio for yourselves, and help people to see the practical potential in permaculture.
Permaculture is meant to make the most of what the land has avaiable. Making a swale to catch the available rain to keep the water from running away is permaculture, but you are still dealing with a limited amount of rain in Utah. After conversations with David Holmgren, Rob Hopkins, co-originator of the Transition Network, put together some thoughts about how to apply the permaculture design principles in business. Business, Resilience and Transition “In many ways business is already ahead of the rest of us in terms of some of the thinking approaches that are required for energy descent. To do this you need a business plan like any other farm. However, keep it basic. By over-planning things, it’s easily to get caught in ‘analysis paralysis’.
It can be totally inspiring, and help get people moving on the ground! Case Study – Noela’s Garden, as installed by Geoff and Nadia.
The Permaculture Business Plan Julie Donker offers some very sound tips on making Permaculture pay. Permaculture principles reward us in many ways, more than just dollars and cents with the chance to produce our own food and materials for living in a sustainable environment.
To do this you need a business plan like any other farm. However, keep it basic. By over-planning things, it’s easily to get caught in ‘analysis paralysis’. A brilliant plan, your Permaculture Masterplan. I’d love to join your network. I’ve recently started my own “business” as a permaculture teacher and designer, specializing in urban design.
Living in the Netherlands there is lots of urban environment to work with.