Elements of Permaculture Plants & People Ben Kessler & Meredith Hartwell Laughing Crow Permaculture
2 Analysis of Elements List the Yields, Needs, and intrinsic characteristics of each Element. Lists are made to try to supply (by some other Element in the system) the Needs of any particular Element. Experiment on paper, connecting and combining Elements to achieve no Pollution and minimize Work. Close the Loops!
3 Guilds A Guild is made up of a close association of species clustered around a central element, usually a plant or an animal. This assembly acts in relation to the element to assist its health, aid in management, boost yields, or buffer adverse environmental effects. Corn, Beans, Squash & Mullet Mullet remains dug into soil at planting to boost nutrients. Corn provides structural support for the Bean vines. Beans provide Nitrogen for the Corn and Squash. Squash acts as a living mulch for the Corn and Beans. Food waste fed to Mullet.
Ecological Equivalents Ecological Equivalents are organisms that fit similar niches in an ecosystem, or fulfill similar Functions in a design. Often the result of convergent evolution. Dusky Hopping Mouse Kangaroo Rat Small Five-Toed Jerboa Notomys fuscus Dipodomys sp. Allacteaga elater Australia North America Arabia Small, Seed-Eating, Hopping, Burrowing, Desert-Dwelling Mammals
Garden Inputs Soil Amendments to raise pH, organic content & nutrient values: ~ Compost, leaves, animal manures, organic fertilizers, earth worm castings, beneficial soil mycorrhizae, nitrogen fixing plants (green ‘manures’), straw or hay mulches Water: ~ Capture on landscape, drip systems, water in evening 10
Yields: Food! General guidelines for growing high elevation crops: ~ Emphasize cool season veggies in your garden: Cole/cruciferous crops, greens of all kinds (from arugula to spinach to lettuces), root crops, certain grains (quinoa, millet, amaranth, spring wheat ~ Select short-season & short day varieties: less than 90 days to fruition is ideal ~ Start warm-season crops inside, esp. nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, chilis) & plant them in a WARM microclimate ~ Include mid-story native berry shrubs ~ Plant late-blooming fruits (Best: apple trees with 800-1000 ‘chill hours’ before blooming; cherries, plums, grapes, & certain varieties of apricots & peaches) ~ Companion plant fruits, veggies, flowers & trees wisely for beneficial relationships 11
Other Yields: ~ Compost ~ Improved soil structure ~ Beauty ~ Sense and/or knowledge of place ~ Personal experience & knowledge of your garden ~ Seed ~ Localism: contributing to bioregionalism by growing and eating locally ~ (Perhaps) Increased community involvement involving food 12 Photo by Jennifer Temkin Photo by Meredith Hartwell
13 Groundcover Living Mulch, Walking Surface Helianthus Helianthus sp. Pussytoes Antennaria parviflora Wild Sage Artemisia ludoviciana Photos courtesy of Jennifer Temkin
23 Composting at SSLUG Photos courtesy of Ian Dixon-McDonald
Accelerate Succession Stack functions in time and space To enable a cultivated system to evolve toward a long-term stable state, we can construct a system, carefully planning the succession of plants and animals so that we can receive short, medium, and long-term benefits. “Place is a verb.” – Jeanette Armstrong Introduction to Permaculture (2004) Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay
Rampant & Invasive Species “Is it better to build systems that include exotics or should reforestation aim only to replace what has been taken away? Is a rampant exotic a weed, or nature’s most effective first aid treatment?” – Permaculture International Journal Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) on a CA hillside What are the differences between invasive species and changing ecosystems?
Local Rampants Salt Cedar Tamarix sp. Benefits: Willow Flycatcher habitat, basketry material, erosion control, butterfly food Detriments: Soil salinization, willow & cottonwood exclusion, flooding, water table draining Russian Olive Eleagnus angustifolia Benefits: Bird habitat & food, erosion control, N fixation, windbreak, mulch, shade Detriments: Willow & cottonwood exclusion, meadow encroachment “All rampant or weedy and invasive plants are gonna be everywhere eventually-why not just speed things up?” – Bill Mollison
28 Plants in the Landscape Forest Garden Hedgerow Silvopasture Coppice & Standard Alley Cropping
29 Plants in the Landscape Companion Planting Keyhole Garden Intercropping Herb Spiral
Integrated Pest Management “Mulch your cat. It’s eating all the frogs and lizards that control insects.” – Bill Mollison Integrated Pest Management is a crop management approach designed to address ecological dilemmas in agriculture. 1. Acceptable pest levels 2. Preventative cultural practices 3. Monitoring 4. Mechanical controls 5. Biological controls 6. Chemical controls USDA IPM Principles: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/ipm.htm “[Industrial pest management] is like pokin’ a gopher with a rope- you can’t do that!” – Gordon Tooley
Convergent Evolution Ecological Equivalents are organisms that fit similar niches in an ecosystem, or fulfill similar Functions in a design. Often the result of convergent evolution. Lesser HedghogTenrec European Hedgehog Short Beaked Echidna EchinopstelfairiErinaceuseuropaeusTachyglossusaculeatus Adorable, inedible, insectivorous, little mammals
33 Thanks to The Internet for words and pictures and Joanna Hale, Jennifer Temkin, DeJa Walker & Ian Dixon-McDonald for photographs Contact Information firstname.lastname@example.org laughingcrowpermaculture.wordpress.com