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beginner urban permaculture ?  RSS feed

 
Taylor Adam
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Hey guys im a 23 year old kid from southern california who has been drawn to permaculture through my interests in a healthy nutrient based diet, gardening, and understanding the importance of design systems originally being inspired by bucky fuller. My question for you all with experience is what are the simplest yet most effective ways you have seen permaculture put into action especially in an urban environment? I have started two gardens(locations) so far with permaculture in mind and seem to get a bit stuck due to lack of experience, reading only takes you so far sometimes. Im all for experimenting which i am doing so far but would greatly appreciate some advice from those with experience!
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
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Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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What's a beginner to do? Keep doing what you're doing! Everyone has to start somewhere. Failure only happens when you are trying to do something so that means you are on the right track!!

I love that you are 23yrs and are interested in permaculture and I'm pretty sure everyone here would love to get you moving in a successful direction.

Now, how about some specific problems? Like what particular plant are you trying to grow and what problem(s) do you have with it?

Need to know specific plants and specific problems.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I've really been enjoying this blog about permaculture in a suburban setting: http://www.happyearth.com.au/

Another good example of an urban system: http://urbanhomestead.org/
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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start planting, acquire knowledge, don't stop.
 
Alex Ames
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Location: Georgia
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There are rabbit trails in any endeavor that lead away from the intended purpose. You should always be trying to
grow something. I recommend getting the ground covered with mulch. It can recover very fast if kept moist
and an environment is created for worms. There is always somebody who will tell you that what you are doing
is wrong. That will not change regardless of experience. Use what you have, keep your costs under control and
make a game of creating abundance. Set up a system that minimizes inputs and maximizes outputs.

You are young and have other things to do. Make this where it does not need to be babied once the system is
in place. Timing is important in growing things. Seed has to be planted! Set up a calendar so you don't miss key
times in the growing cycle. If you need specific advise be specific about what you are trying to do. Don't quit.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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I would read read read but also IF I knew where I was going to be living, for sure, I would shop for some land..esp if I could find affordable land with water available..I know in Calif that might be a difficult thing to do..

the very first garden related thing I did on OUR property when we purchased it was to plant trees, and I have planted more trees every single year we have been on the property !! there were pear and apple trees here when we bought, but eventually they died and had to be replaced..but we started planting screening and shade trees, and then switched to fruit and nut trees..and then the berries, brambles, vines, etc..and perennial food crops..

they are the backbone of a good edible forest garden
 
Taylor Adam
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thanks for the responses! i guess some specific issues i have are the following: for one thing my main location is at a rented house so i cannot turn the whole backyard into a forest lol. We built 3 8x4 boxes so far from free lumber. so its hard to plant any long term species that can't grow in the box i know thats somewhat counterintuitive but gotta start somewhere. any suggestions for growing in beds especially concerning companion planting? I came across a bunch of small plastic pots and have started seeds already. I've started artichokes, asparagus, basil, beets, cilantro, spinach, kale, peppers, onions, chives, chamomile, st johns wort, beans, echinacea, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, tomatos, and zucchini. with the intention of building several more boxes. Im especially interested in any other suggestions for essential herbs you might have. I'm also trying out composting so far just in a bin with a bunch of organic leftovers from fruits and veggies that we eat. Right now im focused on learning how to grow and how to be less wasteful as to encourage my friends and peers around me to do something similar and getting permaculture/ regenerative design much more recognized especially within my generation
 
Isaac Hill
gardener
Posts: 357
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Hey Taylor! I'm a 23 yr old guy too, welcome to the party. If you really want to get into permaculture and start doing stuff, hook up with your local permaculture guild. I'm sure there are a lot of master permaculturists in SoCal that you can learn from. You hear about Seattle starting an acre food forest? These are the kind of projects that people in our generation can get motivation and energy for, and these are the kind of projects that need to happen. But anyway, there's also a lot to learn to get to that level. I'm doing an internship at a permaculture farm this summer and getting my PDC for free, plus getting the actual experiential learning so I don't look like a goof giving gardening advice. I've seen other programs like this and you can also ask other permaculturists who have farms if they'd be interested in doing something like that. When it comes down to it, if you have passion and energy for it, people can tell and they will want to help you on your path.
 
Taylor Adam
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Isaac you're the man! I just looked and found a small guild in my area thanks for the tip and good luck with your internship! I will also look into the seattle food forest project
 
Alex Ames
Posts: 406
Location: Georgia
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Taylor Adam wrote:Isaac you're the man! I just looked and found a small guild in my area thanks for the tip and good luck with your internship! I will also look into the seattle food forest project


Perennial herbs can be dug up and go with you to your next site. You should be able to get some
of these at no cost from fellow gardeners: mint, thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano. I like flat leaf parsley
better than the curly and it grows from seed. Cilantro grows well from seed. True French Tarragon does
not grow from seed so watch out on that one. Russian grows from seed and is invasive and not as tasty.
Don't forget basil. There are several good varieties of basil.
 
Taylor Adam
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ok didn't think about digging up the perennials thanks alex!
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 307
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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You could also look for a larger site close by, that will allow you to build something more natural than can be done in 4x8 boxes.

Is there an garden share program in your city? Is there unused public space that you can get permission to cultivate? I did both and now have way more space than I need.
 
Taylor Adam
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No garden share programs but I will contact the city about unused spaces to use thanks
 
Tony Gurnoe
Posts: 21
Location: Encinitas, California
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I'm from southern California and in a similar situation with my home. I'm very glad to hear you've started composting it makes a world of difference to have that extra organic matter in the soil. The main limiting factor here naturally is water. Where I live it averages somewhere around 10 inches of rain per year so any water that can be captured or reused is doing the environment around us a huge favor. Not many landlords are yet educated enough to favor installing grey-water systems but I can guarantee they will only continue to become more popular as time goes on. Talking to your landlord about a drip irrigation system might be a more amiable conversation.

Most of the Mediterranean herbs, several of which Alex Ames mentioned grow with little water and especially like our hot dry summers. Some of them are well suited for replacing landscaping plants that serve fewer functions. Around here people have rosemary in their yards as a landscaping shrub often without even realizing it. The blue flowers on some varieties are great for attracting bees as well. Research what you're planting because mint for example if planted in the ground and watered will take over a whole garden bed but it does just fine in a big pot on the patio.
 
Lloyd George
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look up Quail run...a large permaculture project in Ventura...might be worth a visit...might be worth an internship..
 
Taylor Adam
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I agree tony water is an issue here and i will propose one of the alternatives you mentioned. Good advice about the rosemary i will look into that thanks a ton!
 
Taylor Adam
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I had never heard of quail run and I am in fact in ventura county! Weird coincidence I will definitely check them out thank you Lloyd!
 
Isaac Hill
gardener
Posts: 357
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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http://www.quailsprings.org/home ?
 
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