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Nelson Santiago
Posts: 3
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Hi everyone. The design aspect of permaculture has me a little baffled. Could I get away with putting guilds together in random sun exposed areas of my property? So that it will eventually look like a forest like garden. It seems too tedious and overwhelming to put it all together at once. Ex(pear tree, blackberry bush, comfrey, peas, strawberries)Thanks
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My house at 11AM(west facing front)
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1621
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Hi Nelson,

Don't feel like you have to rush anything. I have a large conventional ornamental garden to manage and am gradually making small incremental changes to areas of it. More of my fruit trees have got comfrey around them this year than last, after I divided one of last year's plants. I'm planting polycultures (particularly of perennials - berry crops, comfrey, clover, strawberries, fruit trees, globe artichokes etc...) and spreading woodchips to improve soil in key areas.

Over time I've been building up a mental grandplan, but I'm taking it incrementally.

When you get more comfortable with things I suggest reading the Permaculture Designers Manual - it really helped me pull lots of ideas together and come up with a better "big picture" for our land.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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Don't worry!

I freaked out when I started understanding permaculture too. I wanted to do it all at once, and I wanted it done five years ago! When I found permies I was wishing someone would just figure it out for me Some years of learning, reading lots of permies.com and observation of my own place in, I've got a comfortable feeling. I know I will never be able to understand everything or do anything perfectly, but I am overjoyed to be able to keep learning. It gets, as my kids used to say, funner and funner. Challenges scare me less.
 
kirk dillon
Posts: 61
Location: Maple City Michigan
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Starting with one guild at a time is good because you will learn what does and doesn't work as you go. Better that, than making a mistake on all of them at once.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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Sort of depends on your definition of "getting away with".

Here is a thought: Don't go planting random guilds in various parts of your property. Instead, pick one of those random spots, pick a set of plants to guild in that one spot, and do the one area.

Watch what happens there. See how the plants do, how the harvest tastes. Observe.

Use those observations to inform you about your next guild of plants in your next spot, and plant the next spot.

Keep doing it, and you will find yourself with a food forest with working guilds suited to your property and your needs.

Don't try to do it all at one bite.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
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A few questions:
How much land do you have?
How long do you plan on staying there?
What would you like to produce? (i.e. fruit, nuts, annuals, fertility, beauty, etc.)
What is your budget?

These are just a few considerations.

My two competing ideas are:
-take your time and observe the site and think about what you really want most
-get stuff in the ground ASAP because trees take a while to mature

Both of these are good ideas. A balance between the two is what I'm going with.
 
Nelson Santiago
Posts: 3
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Thanks for your replies. I feel much more assured now that sticking to no more than 2 guilds per year and allowing the process itself to be my teacher is the best course of action for my situation. Again, thanks.
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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But if you want tree fruit, I'd say put them all in ASAP if you know where you'll put them because it takes so long for them to bear fruit.
 
Kevin EarthSoul
Posts: 135
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In addition to the suggestions above, I would check into the local zoning codes and if there are any community covenants. You don't want to go planting perennials that don't look like "garden plants" to your neighbors, only to have a complaint filed against you for letting "weeds" grow. There are cases where people are cited for growing food gardens in their front yards.
 
Nelson Santiago
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Yes, trees are definitely going first. Zoning and neighbors are pretty laid back where I live here in north fl. Been at this house for 15yrs with not very much owed to the bank and less than 5yrs to be an empty nest.
 
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