Phil Williamson wrote: I don't see how mixing ground crops in is a problem plant them in between the fruit trees in selected areas. One area you plant a certain under-story another area you plant another under-story.
osker brown wrote:From what I'm hearing, I would suggest that you spend some time reading the first few chapters of Mollison's design manual, and try to more clearly define your goal. A lot of the things you mentioned like "keeping it all zone 1&2" are not compatible with whole systems design. I'm not an expert, but 100 acres of intensive crop production does not sound permanently sustainable to me.
osker brown wrote:I'm currently working on a design for a 110 acre site and zones 1 and 2 as of now comprise about 5 acres. Zone 3 is probably 10-15 acres, the vast majority is zone 4, where we'll be doing coppice/standard systems with nut crops, small animal grazing, and diverse understory plantings. By designing most of the acreage with low maintenance systems, it will be easily maintained by 2-3 people.
osker brown wrote:The object of your design is the thriving health of the humans involved, with a healthy regard for the ecosystem they inhabit. Statements like "That would decrease the high value crops we are looking to plant." sound out of place to me.
Robin Hones wrote:
If you pick up Bill Mollison's "Permaculture - A Designers Manual" and/or "Introduction to Permaculture" you will see many examples of larger scale permaculture projects. In these projects the "actively farmed" elements often include polycropping on a designed basis not a random basis. For example, a row of n-fixer trees that also supply mulch and shade, followed by rows of taro, casava, corn, pigeon pea, etc, etc in systems of strip planting on contour. How interactive or stacked these polycopping systems are depends on your climate, soil, target crops and imagination.
Taken down a level, there is no reason why you couldnt guild under a tree using a root/herb/shrub/vine combination (which might also be in concentric circles). If you kept the guild to, say, 6 members which had distinct physical differences (no more than 1 or 2 in each category) then there should be no issue about your laborers needing a botany degree. You could have mutiple such guilds, which would give you the variety you want of understory plants without the same level of headache for identification and harvesting.
osker brown wrote:From what I'm hearing, I would suggest that you spend some time reading the first few chapters of Mollison's design manual, and try to more clearly define your goal.