I've recently retired and I'm attempting to introduce some permaculture methods into my garden.
I've an interest in growing veg and herbs for family use with a side interest in foraging our local countryside for wild food.
It isn't all about the food, hinest. I do have a desier to preserve traditional "heirloom" varieties for teh enjoyment of future generations.
Thanks Nancy, for the welcome from the Isle of the Mist. I'm assuming that's Skye?
I do live in the Bury near to Manchester although we still refer to ourselves as Lancastrians since the collapse of the GM County a few years ago.
My garden isn't too large and consists of the usual urban beds surrounding a lawn.
I grow apples (and harvest wild ones) for preserving as well as immediate consumption.
I also grow Rhubarb, Onions, Potatoes, Kohlrabi and beetroot along with soft fruits (Raspberry, Blackberry and Gooseberry)
My immediate plans are to try and grow more herbs for medicinal as well as culinary purposes.
In a few years time, we intend to downsize, since our children anre now grown up and away from this home. We'll be looking for somewhere with a smaller house but maybe a larger garden to provide for our needs.
Yes I live on Skye. We've been here about 13 years having moved up from sunny Brum and still haven't regretted it (although it comes as a package!)
It sounds like you have a pretty productive garden there. What I like about Permaculture is the lazy gardening aspects. Mulch to protect and feed soil = less weeding, Perennial fruit and veg. = less sowing and potting on. Etc.
Permies tends IMO to be North American biased, but that means you sometimes get a very different take on things which can be helpful.
The soil round here is heavy clay with a thick, black, heavy topsoil. I have tried to condition it over several years with home-made compost and seaweed (when I used to be able to get to the beach.)
I like variety in my growings and I also like to experiment with growing methods. That's why I'm looking into permaculture. I'm always interested in things that reduce the labour in the garden but the concept of allowing the garden to look after itself is a revelation.
I have several different apple varieties and a bit of variation in the soft fruit. I was surprised that the fruit would grow so well in our damp, cold weather (we don't have a climate!) and poor soil but we manage fairly well. One of the features of my dream home is a small orchard of apples, pears, cherries and a variety of soft fruits. I'd also like neatly ordered veg beds and experimental growing areas but hey, this is a dream, right?
Raised beds are on the "plan" for the future. I'm also thinking of making a "hugel" to kultur in :-) I have a few old logs that came from a dead almond tree that should suit, provided I bury them deep enough.
Water retention isn't a problem here, as you say. Whatever drains out of the soil is likely to fall from the sky tomorrow. We very rarely face drought conditions but I was intrigued to read about hugelkultur as a way of letting nature manage the watering.
I haven't really room for a six foot mound of soil and twigs so I'll have to settle for something like a "hugel" pit rather than a mound. I know, it's a contradiction in terms but I think that the log would rot down just the same and feed the soil as it does so.
I went for a pit rather than a mound when I built my hugelbeds. With such thin soil, I would never have had enough to cover a mound, unless I had dug soil out, anyway.
If your soil already retains water, perhaps you don’t need hugelculture. On the other hand, if your soil tends to be damp, the wood should rot and feed it well. I’d have thought worms would enjoy the food supply as well.
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