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How much space is needed for permaculture?  RSS feed

 
Ben Souther
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I'm on a very small lot (1/10th of an acre).
I have a small vegetable garden in the back and a lawn in the front.

Would a book like Gaia's Garden be useful to me or is it aimed at people with more space?

Thanks,
-Ben
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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As for permaculture in general, I know that Bill Mollison (the guy that made up the word) has demonstrated growing a whole lot of food on just an apartment balcony!

So if you have a tenth of an acre, you have gobs more space than lots of folks practicing permaculture!

Toby's book is going to be fantastic food for your brain how how to grow more things, with less effort - and have those things feed each other. 

In other words, you might choose to have a fruit tree with grass under it.  Toby's book will explain how you might plant a bunch of stuff under that tree that will not only give you more to eat, but the tree will be healthier and produce more fruit.

There is far more to Toby's book.  I think for you, it will probably introduce you to a whole new way of thinking about growing stuff.    The plants sort of take care of each other so that they don't need you so much.  At some point in the future, the only thing you might do is walk out and eat the bounty!
 
Ben Souther
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Thanks Paul.
It's on my wish list.

-Ben
 
Toby Hemenway
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I'm on 1/10 acre as well, in Portland, and find that having defined boundaries (fences and curbs) makes intensive, stacked designs easier to manage than when we had 10 acres. Keyhole beds and guilds can pack a lot of food, habitat, and biomass generation into a very small space. At first I worried that I wouldn't be able to pack all my favorite fruit trees into such a small yard, but once I got to know some of my neighbors, realized that their yards are my orchard and vice versa--one fruit tree produces far too much for one or two people. I just planted what was missing from my neighborhood.

Gaia's Garden was written for people with 1/4 acre or less, so most of what's in it applies to small yards. And a key concepts in permaculture are stacking, layering, and small-scale, intensive systems. So, if I do say so myself, it's applicable to urban lots.
 
Ben Souther
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Thanks Toby.
Looking forward to reading your book.

-Ben
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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