Permaculture Site Visit #1

October 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Design, Permaculture

My neighbor asked me to come by and discuss some of the possibilities of a permaculture design for his garden. He has some really nice features already in place, and also some challenges.


Positive Features

-Large mature trees providing shade, and fertility with their leaves.


-Slope that adds interest and microclimates.


-A mature grape vine


-A productive, level garden plot that benefits from a leach field.

Raising Chickens For Eggs

Sloped area where 2 swales and the orchard/ food forest/ chicken forage to go


Negative Features

-Too much shade. There are very few spots on the property that allow for the sun needed for most garden plants.


-The entire front yard is along a busy road, so road debris is an issue.


-Ground hogs and deer are constant pests


After considering the positive and negative design features, and talking with my neighbor, below are some of the ideas we discussed that may be a part of the design.


1. Trees taken out to allow some light for growing. This has already been done. I am not an advocate for removing mature trees, but in this case, a large area has been opened up removing only 3 medium sized trees. Also the wood will be used in hugel beds.

Sustainable Food

Great wood for hugel beds!


2. Swales to be installed to hold water that would otherwise wash down a slope and cause erosion. This will also be used as the area for the food forest/ orchard/ chicken forage area. The trees can be planted in berms downslope of the swales. The berms will also be planted in a polyculture taking into account chicken forage plants.


3. Chicken paddock shift system to be used. These areas will be planted with chicken friendly edibles. Large mature trees are in the paddocks, which will be nice for chicken shade in the summer.

Vegetable Garden

Future Chicken Paddocks


4. Hugel bed to be installed in spot where trees were taken out. Stumps have remained, and will simply be covered up to rot in place as part of the bed.


5. Original garden plot to be retained as it is very productive.


6. Possible additional garden spot to be installed downslope of hugel bed.

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