Welcome back to “Understanding Permaculture Part 2”. If you haven’t read part 1, you can find that here. To begin, we’re looking at The Scale of Permanence, which is a scale that starts with your most permanent factors and moves to your non-permanant factors. All of which will affect your success and work load on your property.
Picking up where we left off, let’s take a peak at Micro-climates. Micro-climates are small areas on your property running counter to your over-all climate. They can be created by a multitude of factors. For example, a tree creating a shady area can drop the temperature a few degrees and give you the opportunity to plant shade loving varieties that maybe you would have to forgo otherwise. Another example of micro-climates would be your local wind patterns. Consider where the wind enters your property and the path it takes to leave (predominantly, but maybe not always). You are looking for the norm when you investigate these factors.
Next, take note of Buildings and Infrastructure. For buildings, look at the location of the doors, windows, and size. This will help you determine how close to plant or where to build your greenhouse. Infrastructure would include things like the well, septic and underground pipes. The buildings and infrastructure are things you can adjust and move but will probably be costly. Maybe, adjusting these could be in your overall plan, but are put on hold until finances are raised. This is a picture of our house with a beautiful big oak tree. It helps keep the house cool but is just too close to the house (I have a fear of falling trees). Eventually, when budget allows, it’s firewood will keep us warm in the winter.
Zones of Use are the next layer of the scale of Permanence. In permaculture, your property is organized into zones. These zones begin with your house, zone 0, and work outwards to zone 5, the wild and untouched areas. As you work your way out to the other zones, you want to place things in relation to how often you need to visit them. This is why a lot of people place the kitchen garden right out their door. Our chicken tractor is an example of zone 2. It is close enough to the house to visit a couple times per day and parked close to the vegetable garden.
Soil Fertility and Management will let you know how your soil needs amending. If possible, find out how the land was used prior to your ownership. Gathering this information will help you determine how to best go about rebuilding the soil’s health.
The last area to observe is the Aesthetics/Experience of Place. This is where things can change frequently. Making your land reflect your style would involve aesthetics and the experience you want. How you want guests to feel on your property, this is all about the look!
We are fans of permaculture! Not because we believe it’s the only way to grow food, but because we can set up our property to grow more permanent food. It’s easier to implement organic gardening because the plants help each other. This summer, we’re gardening with a combo, using permaculture and Ruth Stout gardening. We were gifted this amazing book, which gives valuable tips on organic gardening.
Someone we have learned much from in permaculture is Sepp Holzer. You can pick up his amazing resource below.
Have you tried implementing permaculture on your property? What are your thoughts about permaculture? Leave us your comment below!
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Talk to you soon.
Shaun & Alisha