Permaculture the maximum efficient use of materials and space based on evaluation of the environment and availability to meet the needs of the project in a sustainable way

A concept, which informs our whole project. The Forest Garden is part of the overall permaculture principles as is the design of the house. This section is looking at the whole picture and some specific details

Most identifiable as a permaculture idea is the no dig system

To begin with I am going to grow traditional annual plants with some perennials with the intention of developing the perennials over the years. The annuals allow me to put some food on the table quickly using plants I am experienced with

The land has had sheep on it for the past 15 years part of the land housed a tractor shed, which was a foot deep in compacted sheep poo. It was the work of mere weeks to trench out and barrow the poo onto the land and into 12 beds of sheep poo I also made 2 long trenches of potato beds The poo piles are about 8 in deep I did not put a layer of cardboard down first as I did not have enough but that would have been better. The poo piles are been topped with straw from the chicken shed

I surrounded the piles with the reed cleared from the ditch, which solved the problem of where to put the ditch clearings to at the same time

I wanted to call this area The Darwin Beds It relies on worms to turn the earth over and bring the poo into the deeper layers of soil. Also the use of vegetable seeds relies on research developing vegetables that use Darwin theories. However Poo Piles has stuck as a name

We have chickens, as they are such useful creatures for eggs meat and slug control

Until the trees develop in the forest garden we have some large patches of land not in production. One patch has been mulched down with straw ready for oats in the spring. I am also thinking about a couple of pigs to tractor some land and provide food whilst we wait for the trees to grow

We have dug a pond, which is helping drain the land will keep a reservoir of water for dryer periods it will be stocked with carp and eels  for food and ducks for eggs and slug control.

The no dig bed starting to grow April 2011


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