I am a 50 year old single mom, with a quarter acre of Pennsylvania half mountainside, half floodplain land. I have not much money or time, but would like to plant my quarter acre in a permaculture way... I have read the nutshell book, and lots of stuff online. Can't afford taking a permaculture design course. I already have a nice 12x35 foot hoop house, in the somewhat marshy lower section of my yard, and a nice chicken setup with 9 chickens. I want to think about the long term design issues on my property, of which there are many. I can afford to spend about $30 on a book or two now. What do you recommend that will help me choose what landscaping (earthworks, trees, other large things) I need to prioritize?
I think there are a couple of books that might work. Here are some links from our list of books here at the forum. You will see the reviews and a "Where to get it list" with easy links . There are also links to more reading associated with the books that are free. Also all of the threads here at permies would fill a large set of encyclopedias !
Thanks Miles and Scott! I actually have read Sepp Holzer's book, and One Straw revolution as well, but both were quite a while ago, and only remember parts of them. I should get Paradise Lot, because I grew up with the author, and have been meaning to read that. Do any of these have sort of procedural info, or specific guidelines on how to choose which things are best for your property and growing zones? I am just struggling with where to begin, since i can't do it all at once, financially.
I'm pretty new at this so I get how this can be overwhelming. I think starting with trios is the best way to get a food forest off of the ground. Gaia's Garden has lists of suggested trios..i.e. fruit tree, nitrogen fixer, ground cover etc. with lists of plants. You will have to research each individual plant to see how it does in your zone. Also, if you do fruit trees and bushes research the most disease resistant. (cedar apple rust may be an issue in PA check out the liberty apple)
The Stefan Sobkowiak video really opened my eyes to thinking about the process. He is a French Canadian who uses permaculture principles on his orchard. I used his ideas and expanded them...it's a good start. I am using trios as a base from which to build. This has worked out pretty well as I am sheet mulching by hand. Creating islands of chips as a base is helpful if you aren't using machinery.
Watch this video if you like it you may want to purchase the documentary film on his orchard. Jump to 11:00 to skip the fluff.