We bought a 1/4-acre suburban plot in 2017, and after sitting with it for a year, in 2018, we launched into a "native plant food forest permaculture project." This spring we were awarded platinum status in the Audubon Society's Bring Conservation Home project, a rare feat to have achieved in such a short time. Less than 2% of gardens in the program have reached platinum.
While BCH concentrates on the native plant habitat aspect, it dovetails well with permaculture along the principles of canopy layers, stormwater management, organic weed and insect control, and volunteerism/education, in addition to our shared value in creating a home for beneficial wildlife and pollinators.
When we got rid of our grass lawn entirely in the rear property, what moved in to replace it (all volunteer) was a mix of native violets and geraniums, both edible and medicinal for humans, in addition to providing food for fritillary butterfly larvae and other insects.
Throughout the orchard, we've planted a native nitrogen-fixing plant, Amorpha fruticosa, or false indigo, also beloved by pollinators. These we obtained for $1 a piece as seedlings from the Missouri Department of Conservation.
We added a double-rain barrel system, which overflows into a rain garden, along with a French drain to control water saturation between our house and a neighboring apartment in close proximity. This plus larger, debris-deflecting gutters have solved a leaky basement issue. The rain garden is planted with water-loving natives such as buttonbush and hibiscus, and the hibiscus is edible and medicinal.
Most of the native plants are either edible, medicinal, or both, and the native infrastructure supports the non-native food plants, whether annual (peas, greens, roots, fruits) or perennial (asparagus, rhubarb, potato onion, etc.).
I want to thank the permie community for being an awesome resource over the past few years, as I've turned to you for helpful insights on everything from how to control cedar rust to growing blackberries naturally. You're the best!