Xisca Nicolas wrote:About what works good here, is to use climbing plants in trees.
I have an air potatoe in a lili pili tree.
This tree is there for its quick growingm and its fruit is small and not the best, so I have a second crop in it.
I also have passion fruit in a legume tree (tagasaste).
I also have a mini cucumber climbing in trees.
My best "works" are the importance of planning paths (my place is steep and very variable),
and the use the the third dimention.
Then I would say the observing and using of the shade zones, and their creation when needed.
You can say the same for your sun zones if you lack sun!
About not too big not too fast, I think that the "out of season" and the "out of climate" stuffs should be kept last.
Let's do what work best 1st, and keep the more difficult last.
Also, path design is good to plan ahead on. I love having wide paths that are comfortable to roll a loaded wheelbarrow around.
My best "works" are the importance of planning paths (my place is steep and very variable)
I see permaculture as the science of design, which therefore is not a collection of methods, but a collection of principles. Methods are many (infinite, I would say), principles are only a handful. If you master the principles, you will understand which methods to choose to fulfil your design. Hence the "it depends" type of answer. The "guilds" that you mention are the methods, not the principles. Before you even ask yourself what to plant in a guild, you may want to ask "do I need to plant a guild?"; "why should I plant a guild?"; "what will the guild do for my design?" And if the answer is convincing, then you go on and think about what to include in your guild.
That's why permaculture - if understood and applied correctly - is the antithesis of the reductionist way of thinking, which is unable to deal with the infinite ramifications of the multiple factors at play in complex natural systems. "It depends" is the answer LauTzu or the Zen master would give you, because LaoTzu or the Zen master understand the fluidity of nature and the uniqueness of each situation.
By the way, if you need ideas of methods - what may work in a certain situation, what may not - there is plenty of information on the Web. Don't restrict yourself to searching for permaculture cases / stories, but rather look for any type of success story or inspirational story. For example, in China - where you currently live - I saw many exciting TV documentaries about farmers who experimented successfully with difficult-to-grow plants (e.g., one found a way to propagate an endangered medicinal tree from cuttings, AND to farm that tree AND extract the medicinal component), or innovative cropping systems (e.g., rotation of rice and potatoes in terraced fields), and so on, and so forth. BUT none of these claimed to practice permaculture - they just practiced common sense. (Many of these films can be found on the Chinese movie sharing sites like www.youku.com or www.56.com).
Good luck !