Day 6: Lets design!
As you may have noticed, my “post a day” went downhill very quickly… In my defense, we are being worked to death! Just kidding (kind off).
So we learned all about the wonderful principles of Permaculture, which I soon came to realize are not just to be applied in self-sufficient agricultural systems but can be integrated into all aspects of our lives. By making our daily decisions based on 3 ethics: earth care, people care and fair share, Permaculture will become a lifestyle.
With those principles, we are ready to start designing using the following process:
- Goals articulation
- Base Mapping
- Analysis and Assesment
- Design Concept
- Detailed Design
I will elaborate more on these as I start working on my individual project, but in the mean time I will give you a sneak peak of our group design. Here we learned how to apply the concepts above and it’s the main reason why I didn’t post the last couple of days. We went to Applecheek Farm in Hyde Park (future home of High Mowing Seeds) where we mapped out and assessed 150 acres. After that, we went back to Willow Crossing Farm, analyzed all the collected data and began developing our design concept in groups of 5. The following day we finalized the concept, created a detailed design and presented that same afternoon. Now do you get the “residential intensive” part of the course description?
Day 7: Urban and Suburban Permaculture
Today we visited Ethan Thompson from the Urban Homesteader VT. His duplex in Burlington has become an experimental lab (a very bountiful one) to test ideas before implementing them on his clients’ properties. Funny story, we have been collaborating with Ethan for a while now, but I had no idea I was at his home until 10 minutes into the tour. (Sorry, Ethan)
His place is also a great example of the Permaculture principle “stacking of functions” and demonstrates that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food.
One of my favorite things, and I may be a little biased, was his mushroom growing set up (made with MoTown Mushrooms spawn). It consists of a wooden box with garden fabric walls, inoculated mushroom logs at the bottom and hanging straw substrates. On the top of the box there is space for starting seeds; this can be covered with clear plastic early Spring for a green house effect, or with the garden cloth in the summer for sun protection.
It’s important to highlight that the stacking of functions occurs here not only as the physical use of space but also as biological layers. As you water the seedlings, you are proving humidity to the mushroom enclosure and as the mushrooms breath, they release CO2, which benefits the surrounding plants.
Phone lines are open to take spawn orders :)
There is so much to say about the whole design process that I think it would be more appropriate to create a step by step guide under our “learn” section. As you may already know we are finishing this course to jump right into construction of our new facility. So bear with me for a while until I can find a chance to create that page. In the mean time, here is a sneak peek of my final project: