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What's my next step towards permaculture?  RSS feed

 
Janet Kenworthy
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I am in a similar situation. We have a large yard, about an acre, with some beautiful trees, a 20 x 30 veg and flower garden,and a fenced chicken yard.I need to figure out the first, next step, towards permaculture.
 
Aranya
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Location: Seaton, Devon, England
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Hi Janet,

That sounds like a lot of land to me, over here in Britain we mostly have small gardens, often no bigger than that veg and flower bed of yours.

So I would say you need to identify what is currently the most unproductive use of your time and to address that in some way. Protracted observation is one of the cornerstones of permaculture and I'd invite you to check out my post on that here:
http://www.permies.com/t/17485/permaculture/Simplifying-steps-design-process

Usually it will be spending a lot of time and/or energy maintaining something which isn't really giving you much of a yield (lawns often fall into this category), or traveling a long way to do a regular task, like looking after chickens at the far end of the garden. Placement and the integration of different systems is one of the tricks to getting permaculture to work for you, but we often need to spend a lot of time observing how things are currently functioning before we can see the bigger picture.

Permaculture also considers best placement for elements based on the incoming energies such as sun & wind, along with the general form of the landscape so we can get gravity to work for us as much as possible.

That's a very simplified version of course of a process that I explore in far more depth in my book.

So to sum up? First see what opportunities there are to learn permaculture locally and visit a project / get on a course if you can. Connecting with others in your area who are already doing permaculture will get you inspired and offer you support. Books can be helpful and where no local support can be found may be your primary source of information. Once you have the basics, you know what to look for and you can start to make sense of what you are seeing on your land. And remember that nature generally makes small and slow changes, so if we want to minimise any mistakes (those gifts that we learn from) so should we...

And have fun exploring this exciting subject, it might become a whole way of life!
 
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