Trish, about the clay, the trick is to keep it covered with thick mulch
, at least 6 inches deep. It will settle to about 3", and it keeps the sun off the clay, which is what dries it out and makes it crack. Clay has lots of minerals in it, which is good for us, and makes food and water
taste better. The more mulch you put, crushed leaves, mowed grass, straw
, it will amend your soil, you can use less water, the worms will come up into the thick mulch because it's damp. Once they show up you know you've got it at the right level. Clay will absorb that mulch for a long time, so don't let it disappear. Keep adding to it, make sure the soil is never exposed. It's easier to plant in, it becomes some of the best planting soil there is.
An important distinction: Permaculture is not the same kind of gardening as organic gardening.
Mediterranean climate hugel trenches, fabuluous clay soil high in nutrients, self-watering containers with hugel layers, keyhole composting with low hugel raised beds, thick Back to Eden Wood chips mulch (distinguished from Bark chips), using as many native plants as possible....all drought tolerant.