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Permaculture in this small Dutch town  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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I live in the Netherlands, in the small town Meppel. Not much here know about permaculture. Several years ago one of the pioneers of Dutch permaculture (Hans Carlier) lived here for some years. It was from him I first heard the word 'permaculture'. And he explained it a little.
But only last year I decided to start re-arranging my garden, and follow more of the principles of permaculture. First project: composting, second: a herb spiral. After some beginners' mistakes it now seems to go in the right direction. I'll show you a photo.

Also I wanted to interest some more people in this town for permaculture. I thought the best idea was: to start a 'picking garden'. Like a small food-forest, not owned by anyone, where we together sow, plant and pick (harvest) herbs, fruits and vegetables. This project is not yet started, but there is a group of interested people now. We will have a meeting soon and then we'll contact the town council, to ask for a spot to start this project (and maybe some more help ...).


recent (july 2015) photo of the herb spiral in my front yard
 
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Hi Inge,
Nice project seems interesting to start this way, with a public garden, all the best!
Have you tried signing up on permaculture global: permaculture global/users
at this link you can see if there are other people tha may live close by and be interested in permaculture. It's always hard to start a group but then it just seems people involved in permaculture are like mushrooms they pop up everywhere when you learn how to look for them ( we use this expression in Italy )
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi Lorenzo, thank you for the tip. I think it's worth the try.

For all of you I have another photo of my garden. This is my 'pocket pond' for the rainwater. The water comes from the roof two stories above us, I first gather it in a large barrel. When that's full, it overflows through a hole in a gutter leading to the pond. When the pond is full (up to the hole), it overflows in the soil, where I planted the ferns.
 
pollinator
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Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
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Hi Inge,
Almost a year down the line, I wanted to ask if there was any momentum built up for interest in permaculture?
I am based in Hilversum in the Netherlands and am also trying to spread the word by developing an education program for people with veggie garden beds, www.urbanfarming035.nl
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Shaz Jameson wrote:Hi Inge,
Almost a year down the line, I wanted to ask if there was any momentum built up for interest in permaculture?


Hi Shaz, I do not know exactly what you mean by 'momentum built up for interest'. Can you explain in easier to understand words? Maybe even in Dutch?


I am based in Hilversum in the Netherlands and am also trying to spread the word by developing an education program for people with veggie garden beds, www.urbanfarming035.nl


It's a good time for educating people to start using the principles of permaculture in their gardens. Interest in permaculture is growing, maybe even 'booming' now. Even in this ordinary neighbourhood in a small town in the quiet eastern part of the Netherlands, there are people interested to start a permaculture community garden!
Of course you are not the only one starting an education program. But it's a good thing people can make their choice. Each course, schooling or education is different.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I have to update the photos of my garden!
The gutter with water is now hidden under a sort of Hugelkultur-bed.
Here are photos, but since then there are some more changes.

the pond in the snow

the 'Hugel' next to the pond, over the gutter
 
Shaz Jameson
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Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
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Looking good!

We're not specialising in an education program for permaculture per se - it's more trying to reach the masses in our community who are interested in maybe growing a few tomatoes, and how to bring them up to the next level. The people who are really serious about it will take their own initaitive. We are more dealing with people who have the Albert Heijn Moestuintjes, and trying to take them to a more sustainable place (what i'm referring to for hte non-dutchies is the largest supermarket in the netherlands, practically a monopoly, during spring gives out these dried up boxes of soil with some seeds for veggie gardens as a market thing. for many people its their first introduction to growing their own food).

As for building up interest, what I meant is that it's one thing to tell someboyd about permaculture, its another to get them excited enough to actually change their own behaviour and do something about it. people always seem to say 'yeah yeah, sounds good', and thn that's it. do you know what i mean?
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
pollinator
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Hi Shad. Now I understand.
As far as I know only young children love to have the 'moestuintjes'. I found one, thrown away on the sidewalk, took it and now the tiny tomato plants are growing My fear is: many children who try growing their veggies from such 'moestuintjes' will be disappointed, because it isn't as easy as A.H. tells them
So some more education on 'how to grow your own veggies' is really needed. For young children, teenagers (a challenging group!) and adults. Did you already start it? Is there a website /blog / Facebook-page? Being on the internet is very important nowadays! When it's a local project, try to get articles (free promotion!) in local newspapers, on local television, a.a.
 
Shaz Jameson
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Thanks Inge!
We do, we are online at urbanfarming035.nl though we are mostly communicating with our monthly newsletter.
If you get interested or involved with groups interested in permaculture wehre you are, please let us connect!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Hi Shaz. I had a look at the website, registered for the newsletter, liked the FB-page ... Yes I like this initiative!

Here in Meppel we are starting 'something' too. It's called Permacultuur Meppel. The town-council is OK with it, we can use a corner in a park (nearby). Last Friday we visited the permaculture garden of Transition Town Vollenhove, we were a group of 9 (8 women, 1 man) there. Now we are busy observing 'our spot', to get ideas on how to make this into a good-looking, educative, abundant permaculture community garden
 
Shaz Jameson
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Thanks Inge, I appreciate that!

Best of luck with Permacultuur Meppel, it's great that its spreading and with collab from city councils
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Today I 'harvested' my first beans (you call them 'fava beans', I say 'tuinbonen' ). I had to, because the slugs were trying them too. But there are still more of them growing. See photos.

celebrating the first beans with some flowers (of chives and sage)

more beans
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I made photos for the new 'Garden failures' thread. Yes of course there are some failures. But I am so glad good things are going on in my garden too! Both back and front yard gardens have vegetables growing. Pictures say more than words ...

'the sunny side' of the back yard, with strawberry, white and red cabbage, kiwi and beans growing


the raspberry-bushes (lots of almost-raspberries) in the front yard


the herb-spiral in the front yard, between the raspberries and red berries
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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o, I forgot to mention the tomatoes next to the cabbages
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Sorry, I made two topics about my garden. The other one is here: http://www.permies.com/t/56112/projects/Future-Miniature-Food-Forest-Front#481751
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Some recent photos

Pumpkin and radishes (flowering, but the seed pods are a nice snack!)

Looks like tomatoes are coming ...
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I harvested a few tomatoes and two small pumkins (one is in the photo, the other in my stomach) of my Hugelkultur. Most tomatoes (plants too) were in bad shape after too much rain in August. Inedible and brown

Now I did tidy up the Hugel, left only the green stuff. Most of that is  a pumpkin plant, which tries to grow new pumpkins even though the season is over. And there are 'volunteers' growing: from the grape branches I put in the Hugel grew new grape vines. I hope they'll do better than their 'mother'.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I started building a second 'Hugel'! The large tree needed a haircut (the highest part still needs to be cut, but I can't reach it myself). That's plenty of branches to put in the Hugelkultur-bed. I added a large tree trunk I found close by. At one side I build a bench of concrete tiles. I did that too in my first Hugelkultur. These tiles come from my back yard, which was totally paved. In the back yard I remove the paving to make garden beds, but here in the front yard I build Hugelkultur beds on top of the paving The 'bench' is at the northern side, so the sloping side gets all sunshine it can get. In this cloudy and not-so-warm climate that's the best way. In a hot and sunny climate maybe it's better to do it the other way round.

Next step: getting the largest bag of soil I can haul on my bicycle to cover those branches
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I made some videos in my garden. Here's the most recent one: autumn in my front yard. From there I hope you can find the others too. 
 
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Another video of my 'future miniature permaculture food forest'
 
master steward
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I merged your thread with the following one, so all your pictures are in one place. I hope that helps!
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Since last year (or in fact starting the winter before with preparations) I am busy with the metamorphosis of my front yard. It's about 8 x 8.5 m, I don't know how that's in 'acres' and 'yards', at the south-eastern side of the building (I live in a ground-floor apartment). It was all surrounded by liguster-hedges. This early spring I made an opening in the south-eastern hedge, to have more sunlight in the garden. Maybe next year I'll make an opening at the other side of the same hedge (if needed).

Close-up of the opening (low cut part) of the hedge, and the beans I planted there.

Not being chronologic I started the project with a 'Permaculture Herb Spiral'. Suited for the Dutch (moderate, rainy, windy, often clouded) climate: the spiral of stones/tiles/ blocks provides different micro-climates (sunny, shaded, protected by the low wall), for growing different mediterranean and other kitchen / medicinal herbs.

Here you see the Herb Spiral as it was early this year (end of winter).

Another thing I did last year was my Rainwater Collecting System with Small Pond. The photo says more than a thousand words


I'll tell and show you more in next post
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Photo to show the Herb Spiral last summer.


This year the Rainwater Collecting System is combined with a 'Hugel'. Used concrete tiles, cut trees and branches, plus an amount of soil covered the gutter and made it into a sort of hill. So I got a garden bed that catches more sunlight and -warmth and still keeps the humidity inside. The side close to the house has a steep wall of tiles. I use that to put potted plants on (in my collection of terracotta pots). There's room to sit there, next to the house, on not-so-warm-but-sunny days.

Here you see it on a rainy day, through the (open) living-room window.

This is it for now. More news next time
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Today (May 10th) I made some sunny photos of it all.

The 'Hugel', I named it 'Mont Valise', with the Rainwater Harvesting System and Pond and the little corner with chair (now too hot in the sun).


Herb Spiral, future tomato spot and the entrance of my garden (named Portal Berde).


After some chop-and-drop activities.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Because the Pond wasn't visible on the other photo, here another one.

This is the part with most flowers now in May. Other parts will get their flowers later. At the right hand of the Pond you see an experiment: plant container with turnip-tops above the water gutter (not aquaponics, there isn't a constant flow of water here).
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Another corner of the garden, to show you my Grapevine. It gets sun here from early morning till about 4 p.m. That's nice for the grapes, but too much for sitting on my blue bench (have to do something about that ... )
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Celebrate! A frog in my pond! Welcome! There are plenty of slugs for my little friend to eat here.
You have to look very well at this close-up-photo. Under the right leaf of the left waterplant you can see it peek out with one eye But I really saw it. I was doing some odd gardening jobs and then heard 'bloob'. The well known sound of leaping frog, so I turned my head to the pond ... yes, there it was!
 
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Thanks for sharing the photos, Inge! This looks awesome! Are any of your neighbors doing anything like this?
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Jordon Thompson wrote:Thanks for sharing the photos, Inge! This looks awesome! Are any of your neighbors doing anything like this?


Hi Jordon. Most of my neighbours like gardening, but they don't have edible plants, or only some berries and strawberries. I think they don't know 'permaculture' at all. Today a lady living a ittle further on the street happened to pass by while I was in the garden. She started talking 'you like gardening, don't you?' and 'what flower is this?' and I told her about the kitchen herbs and veggies I had. She looked interested.

We just started a permaculture group in this neighbourhood. We can (probably) use a small corner in a park*, for a community garden. An educative project on permaculture and how to do it as a community. We'd like this to start spreading, first to people living close-by and then to other parts of this town, and villages around it, etc.
* see photo
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Finally, after many dry days, the rain came!. I quickly planted some new plants. Of course plants like moist soil. But ... slugs and snails like that too
Nevertheless my garden does it best to grow. It looks green in most parts (with ground-cover sedums). Chives and beans are blooming. And the neighbourhood project is doing well too (there's a thread I wrote about that too).
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I think I got myself confused. I have another thread about my garden (project) too (in the 'urban' forum). I posted my new photos there. Nevermind. So I have two threads going on

Latest news now: I made videos of my garden. After looking so many nice and wonderful 'vlogs' by Justin and Rebekah Rhodes, I tried it myself, with my new tablet. Here you can see them:



I hope you enjoy them
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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The other topic is here: http://www.permies.com/t/48736/urban/Permaculture-small-Dutch-town
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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whoever gave me the pie and the apple: thank you very much
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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So I'll post my new video here
If you don't understand the Dutch language: I use my window sil as a greenhouse, sowed seeds of lettuce, red beets, tomatoes, cucumber, etc. In the video you can see the seedlings look good. Since I made it (some days ago) most have grown even more. Also the melons.
 
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Some new photos of my garden.

the kale from which I ate the leaves during winter has now turned into a wonderful bouquet of yellow flowers!


those small plants have grown from seeds in my window sil, now I 'harden' them, putting them out in the morning and back inside in the evening.
red beets, romain lettuce and nicotiana
at the wall (at the warm side of the house) you see pea flowers
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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It's silly I have two threads going on, both on my own garden. But now it's the case, so I leave it like that.
Here's a picture of my tomatoes some months ago ... no new photos yet.
 
Nicole Alderman
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Would you like me to merge the two threads together? The posts won't be in chronological order--it'll be all the posts from the whichever thread started first, and then all the posts from the newer thread. I could probably delete any posts that are repetitions, if you want (you'd just have to click "report" and say "please delete duplicate thread").

If that's something you want, just tell me, and I'll try to make it happen, so you don't have to keep posting in two threads if you don't want to.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Nicole Alderman wrote:Would you like me to merge the two threads together? The posts won't be in chronological order--it'll be all the posts from the whichever thread started first, and then all the posts from the newer thread. I could probably delete any posts that are repetitions, if you want (you'd just have to click "report" and say "please delete duplicate thread").

If that's something you want, just tell me, and I'll try to make it happen, so you don't have to keep posting in two threads if you don't want to.



Oh yes Nicole, I would love that!
It was because my memory isn't always right, I started a new thread. And then later I found out there were two ...
 
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Thank you very much for sharing your plant growing adventures as well as your rainwater catchment, pond, and frog! I also have quite been enjoying your dog!   He or she looks like a wonderful companion. One of the things  I have really been appreciating about your thread is how it shows that no matter how large or small one's space, one can do all kinds of innovative things in it, with creativity and know-how, and a spirit of adventure! I very much appreciate you sharing - it has been inspiring. Thank you!
 
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So beautiful and inspiring!
 
Tell me how it all turns out. Here is a tiny ad:
It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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