Permaculture is a design system for self-reliant living that respect the essential nature of things. Where everything is connected to everything else. It is an ecological science and an global grassroot movement that build harmony through cooperation.
Designing the Garden
Pattern provide new ways to look at things as well as allowing us to organize our projects and thinking. This labyrinth inspired spiral pattern give me both a meditative pat to walk each day and allowing me to slow down my path to get to a certain area in the garden.
There is more life on the edge where two systems overlap. Systems can then access the resources of both. Use the edge effect and other natural patterns observed to create the best effect. There are no straight lines in nature. If a pond has a shallow ledge it provides places for fish to breed, for plants to grow which can feed the fish. Also, with a wavy edge it can provide more edge for this habitat.
Garden planning 2012
Soil remediation using pine needle to increase acidity on the urban alkaline soil. This is my blueberry patch that would greatly benefit from it. I manage to acquired the needles from my friend and neighbor Lisa's yard. Her waste became my resources.
Planting Comfreys (Symphytum) as dynamic accumulator to keep soil fertility high. It will be used as compost activator or as mulch material. It is also a high protein fodders for my flock for chickens.
Adding Compost Tea to enrich the soil with nutrient and beneficial microbe. My recipe for compost tea is fresh worm casting, water, molasses and add oxygen by stirring a 5 gallons bucket for 10 mins. Rest for a 24hours and repeat the stirring. You can assign this task to a young child, it is a good exercise for them.
Winter Rye is best known for its ability to provide a cover crop that prevents erosion while also providing good weed suppression. Rye is very cold tolerant and is the hardiest and most disease resistant. Winter rye has an extensive fibrous root system, can scavenge nitrogen very effectively, and utilizes early spring moisture to grow very rapidly.
I test out theory that I read in books or learned from classes in my garden. This is my green laboratory.
Companion planting: The Three Sisters
The three crops benefit from each other. The maize provides a structure for the beans to climb, eliminating the need for poles. The beans provide the nitrogen to the soil that the other plants utilize and the squash spreads along the ground, blocking the sunlight, which helps prevent weeds. The squash leaves act as a "living mulch", creating a microclimate to retain moisture in the soil, and the prickly hairs of the vine deter pests. Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, which the body needs to make proteins and niacin, but beans contain both and therefore together they provide a balanced diet.
Products from the garden
Smudge Stick made from the sage the grew abundantly in the garden. It is great to activate a new space when you move into a new home or office or just to have some natural incense in your room for meditation or relaxation. It is a great gift item too.
Job's Tears seeds can be made into decorative beads.
Recycle urban artifact such as a ladder, chair and shopping cart to be repurposed into a trellis.
Reusing my neighbor's trash, a bunch of bamboo laid on the street on trash day and use it stake my chicken wire divider to prevent the chickens from eating all the garden's young seedlings.
Girls, you are now cornered. No more hooligan behavior.
Leave some are of your garden wild and natural, allows wildflowers and weeds to remain. Many beneficial insects, birds and butterflies are host specific, they will feed or lay eggs only on very specific plants that may not be the typical landscape selections. Reduce lawn area and plant hedgerows, meadows and lush border gardens. Encourage diversity and incorporate herbs into your flower beds and landscapes. Include a water elements like ponds, bird baths to encourage all the creature to enjoy and remain. Respect the intricate web of life in your backyard and be aware the complexity and the invisible interactions that are going on. Tread carefully and act responsibly.
Caterpillar of American Dagger Moth and Spotted Grapevine Beetle
Tomato hornworm parasite by wasp cocoon, American Goldfinch festing on sunflower, Painted Lady butterfly and a Mourning Dove.
Planter Boxes Gardening
In our urabn environmnet, we may be lacking of land space that have actual exposed soil but don't let the concrete pavement stop you from enjoy gardening. Start your own planters garden now. Below are some thematic ideas that might spark your interest.
This project was developed by Ane Salerno, Kriste Ossmann, Maria Marasigan, Sonya Kharas and Tattfoo Tan under the guidance of Claudia Joseph
Three Acres and Liberty, Bolton Hall (out of print)