Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
bowtop

Permaculture

I'd like to do a permaculture garden. Has anyone done this? Did you do it yourself or did you go on a course? Does it work better than conventional growing? Thanks for any replies Smile
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I'm building up a forest garden in miniature, my main info sources are/were various blogs and Martin Crawford's book - though he is UK based so probably less relevant to you. Extra titbits by Paul Stamets (the role of fungi and mycelia) and hugelkultur.
The aspect I'm aiming for is essentially enough perennial planting to feed myself, my rabbits, and dog a good proportion of our needs, whilst being wildlife friendly/low maintenance. As I wait for perennials to grow, I'm growing standard and odd annuals in the gaps.
This came about mainly because I couldn't see how annual digging wouldn't harm the soil - and because I'm newish to the whole veg-growing thing I haven't had the "rules" drilled in to me yet Wink

To be honest I find the broader permaculture movement a bit....woo. I glaze over at the sight of flower diagrams about nurturing spirits and all that.
bowtop

Im UK too Smile That sounds good. I'll take a look. Is much growing now? Theres snow where i am! I know what you mean about the spiritual side. I'd just like to try and help nature and not have to do too much work (i know, lazy!) and get food from it. Thats what iv gathered permaculture does. Gotta lot of clearing to do before i can grow stuff though! Sometimes it sounds a bit technical and puts me off, but i think ill just try and create my own design that works. Trial and error i suppose. The fungi thing is interesting. The more i look into it, the more i realise how it all works and has a purpose. Even the tiniest fungi is needed!
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Nothing growing as such, some broccoli is standing, and all the fruit bushes etc are still there.

Have a look at http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/forgndg.html ?

How big is your area of land?

Sorry, thought you were US based after your posts on stoves and water collecting Wink
baldybloke

Check out the Permaculture Association website and you might find a local Introduction to Permaculture course. These are weekend only and will give you a good idea. Aranya's book on Permaculture design is a pretty good starting point as well.
Piggyphile

I did one of Martin Crawfords weekend forest gardening courses and am now trying to develop a forest garden. Also have a veggie patch as well using no dig and mulching methods. I need to put more work hours in though. Also did a sustainable smallholding course with these people http://www.lowimpact.org/courses.htm run by Simon Fairlie, realy good
oldish chris

Permaculture is becoming a wide church with many approaches. Your particular approach will depend on your own circumstances. I have found the Permie Mag to be inspirational ( http://www.permaculture.co.uk/ ), I recommend it.

My back garden is more "informed by permaculture".
bowtop

Nothing growing as such, some broccoli is standing, and all the fruit bushes etc are still there.

Have a look at http://www.agroforestry.co.uk/forgndg.html ?

How big is your area of land?

Sorry, thought you were US based after your posts on stoves and water collecting Wink


That sounds pretty much like permaculture without the spirit stuff Smile its probably about quarter of an acre i think.
bowtop

Check out the Permaculture Association website and you might find a local Introduction to Permaculture course. These are weekend only and will give you a good idea. Aranya's book on Permaculture design is a pretty good starting point as well.


I was thinking of getting that book actually. Yeah a weekend course would be good, just cant afford a whole week. Would you say its necessary to go on a course though?
NorthernMonkeyGirl

I haven't been on a course, but I enjoy reading around and trying things out, plus I only have a garden to play with.
In a bigger, permanent area I might be inclined to do a proper design course, it's better to put your trees in the right place as they're pretty permanent!
bowtop

I did one of Martin Crawfords weekend forest gardening courses and am now trying to develop a forest garden. Also have a veggie patch as well using no dig and mulching methods. I need to put more work hours in though. Also did a sustainable smallholding course with these people http://www.lowimpact.org/courses.htm run by Simon Fairlie, realy good

Once you get it going will it need much work. Or are you gonna have to see
bowtop

Yeah, im inclined to just try and do it and look up as much as i can. I tend to get put off if its piled on at once and i think i cant do it. Iv got a bad habit of that! Maybe a short course would be good though. Its interesting hearing what others are doing though Very Happy bowtop

Permaculture is becoming a wide church with many approaches. Your particular approach will depend on your own circumstances. I have found the Permie Mag to be inspirational ( http://www.permaculture.co.uk/ ), I recommend it.

My back garden is more "informed by permaculture".

Do you find the permaculture method has helped? What difference have you found from conventional growing
baldybloke

Check out the Permaculture Association website and you might find a local Introduction to Permaculture course. These are weekend only and will give you a good idea. Aranya's book on Permaculture design is a pretty good starting point as well.

I was thinking of getting that book actually. Yeah a weekend course would be good, just cant afford a whole week. Would you say its necessary to go on a course though?

I did an introduction course a few years back and really enjoyed it and it gave me a lot of inspiration. Just haven't followed it up with a PDC. Lack of time and dosh.
Piggyphile

I hope the forest garden will be low maintainance. Martin reckons he does a couple of days a month maintainance mostly with garden shears trimming back some of the more aggressive plants and if he weeds, he drops the plant on the ground so it rots but minimal weeding. I shall have to wait and see. His forest gardening and perennial plants books are very good. NorthernMonkeyGirl

Bowtop, have you done any kind of gardening or landscaping before?

If not, a course might be a good idea Smile

If you're already familiar with garden jargon, you might learn more just be visiting e.g. garden fairs (there's one at Stoneleigh in March I think?)
oldish chris

Permaculture is becoming a wide church with many approaches. Your particular approach will depend on your own circumstances. I have found the Permie Mag to be inspirational ( http://www.permaculture.co.uk/ ), I recommend it.

My back garden is more "informed by permaculture".

Do you find the permaculture method has helped? What difference have you found from conventional growing Permaculture isn't a method, its an approach based on ecological principles. Intellectually, I think that Permaculture is quite a challenge and for the congenitally curious, a fascinating subject. Treacodactyl

Permaculture isn't a method, its an approach based on ecological principles. Intellectually, I think that Permaculture is quite a challenge and for the congenitally curious, a fascinating subject.

And the more practical aspects of permaculture seem, to me at least, to be basic common sense. I think too many get bogged down in the physiological arguments and forget to get on with things. (I have several books and have read the PM magazine for several years now).

I would suggest to anyone not familiar to it to get a basic book from their library and have a quick look through before going on a course, to see if it's for you and to see if you need to do it.
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Yes, that's why I like the "forest garden" and hugelkultur - simple methods, explanations behind it (such as planting of N-fixing plants, windbreaks, considering the changes through the year and seasons so you can plant early crops in deciduous shade), suggestions, and.....off you go!


Remember that however many courses you go on, they are not on your land, in your soil, with your sun (ha!) or frost tendencies
Mithril

It's a very interesting topic. I agree much of it is common sense (when I looked at my little plot I found much of what I'd already done, before I'd even heard of permaculture, didn't need changing. I've added lots though).

I haven't been on a course, but I've read lots. I think until I have the money to do the full design course I'll hold off as there is so much info. out there. Plus, I've got involved in a permculture community garden which is really interesting and nothing beats practical experience.
bowtop

It's a very interesting topic. I agree much of it is common sense (when I looked at my little plot I found much of what I'd already done, before I'd even heard of permaculture, didn't need changing. I've added lots though).

I haven't been on a course, but I've read lots. I think until I have the money to do the full design course I'll hold off as there is so much info. out there. Plus, I've got involved in a permculture community garden which is really interesting and nothing beats practical experience.

I really liked the idea of a community permaculture type garden. Would love to do it where i live if people would like to get involved. We'll see.Do you get much food from it, and are people quite interested in it?I havnt really had any experience with gardening, but id like to start. Would love to help the planet and grow my own food. Thats what i like about the idea of permaculture, it helps the wildlife system.
Mithril

Not sure where you are, but if you are in or near a transition town you may find such a project is already underway.

My local community garden is in it's infancy (I think it started March last year) and I've only been involved for a few months. It's a long term venture but I believe some crops were harvested and distributed last year. My motivation is for learning as much as anything else, which is fine as giving people the skills to grow their own is one of the objectives of the project.

Edit: Here's a link on transition towns etc.
http://transitionculture.org/
NorthernMonkeyGirl

Just came across this blog http://milkwood.net/

Seems to cover lots!
Based in Australia though Cool
NorthernMonkeyGirl

If you're in the borders this chap's doing short courses http://grahambell.org/permaculture-2/forest-gardening Smile
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home