Forest gardens and permaculture


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The talk after the "The Farm for the Future" screening.

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  • The answers. Many people watch this film (The Farm for the Future), and they loved it. I think because it gave real answers to our problems. Not long ago I talked with my fried about the recent great crisis. The climate is in chaos, the natural resources are exhausting, the economy is faltering, counties are bankrupting. What can we do? We had no clue.
  • This man, Bill Mollison had similar problem. He saw being destroyed the natural landscapes of his country, Tasmania. He began to work in environment protection, but they had just failures. They made study of pollution of Howard zinc work, and they found that the mercury of this pollution get into food chain, and accumulate in the fish in of bay. Every body turns against the study. Not just the zinc company, but the local people attacked them too. The wives of the fishermen in the bay went into a TV-show; they cooked their fish and ate it showing it was all right. In the fight of environment vs. income, the income always wins. In 1971 Mollison gave up and retreated in the bush. However he could not find his peace. A year latter he decided that he would return and make his best: A garden. That garden would work like the forests and it would give home both people and rest of nature.
  • Returning to the university, Mollison met a young man, David Holmgren, and he helped David to make his theses. They published the enlarged thesis in a book. Its titles was Permaculture One. Permaculture was coined from the words of permanent and agriculture. Double aims: Human needs, self-sufficiency + Protection and development of natural environment
  • It is a brilliant definition, however, I need to read it, because I can not remember it. It may be not too impressive. Perhaps this inspired him to use some principles instead of the pure definition for the permaculture in his next book.
  • Principles. The other cofounder, David Holmgren went home after the university, and he converted his mother's farm, the Melliodora to a permaculture pilot farm as a prove the truth of the permaculture. It worked. Many people ware interested, so they started permaculture curses. The experiences of the curses told that it is the best to teach along some basic Pc principles.
  • The first group of the principles is ethics. We need ethics, because „Science without ethics is sociopathology” (by Mollison, he means it as social insanity) First two principles come from the base of permaculture. Care for the Earth – soil, water, animal. The Earth is fine without humans too. We need her. We need a healthy and fertile living environment. Care for the people - Ourselves, our family and community. We need support out basic need. Angry green view, as humans vs. nature, is not acceptable. Share your surplus. The self-sufficiency has limits, it always had, even in the Stone Age. The trade must be fair, there is no free soup.
  • An example for the usage of these three principles is the community support ed agriculture. A packet system. Its subscribers get packet of vegetable of an organic farm every week for some annual or monthly fee, or for something other contribution. E.g. computer support, massage. There is a direct connection between the subscribers and the producers. They are co-dependent. The subscriber can know what they get, and they can take part in the life of the farm.
  • Observer First design principle. Wait a year! Not to sit a year, but before any major change, (building, earthwork, hardscape object) you have to look at the seasons, the weather, extremes, cold-hot-flood-wind, soil, slopes. Two useful tools: Sector s – flow of energy from outside - sun, wind, different kind of wilds Zone s – how often used, daily, weekly, seldom
  • Sector s – sun, wind, different kind of wilds Capture and store - suntrap We protect ourselves and mitigate the damage - windshield, wild fence
  • Zones Zone 1: Daily care or usage. Vegetables, herbs garden Zone 2: Weekly. Orchard, staple crops, domestic animals Zone 3. 2-3 weekly. Forestgarden Zone 4. Semi wild. Pasture, meadows. Zone 5. Nature. We are guest here, to have a rest, to learn. Wild plot in little garden. In a city?
  • Capture and store energy and the other resource s , specially the water. The story of the waterdrop on the road and in the forest. Swale. A ditch is across the slope, along the contour line. Rainstorms fill it. The water penetrates into the soil slowly. The berm behind the ditch forms a waterlens, its water feed the slopes under. A well formed water catchment and distribution system rehydrates the landscape.
  • Multiple elements for each function. The industry cuts the duplicates and redundancies for efficiency. The nature ensures the critical function multiple. Greenhouse. The heating is such a critical function. Glass sheet (double) keep in the warm air, reflect back the heat radiation. It is attached to the building utilizing the heat loss from the building. Similarly, sometimes a sauna is build into it. A chicken-coop can protect the north wall too. The thermal mass of mini pond and the pavement-rock and the walls help to balance the daily heat swings. The plant beds are raised well above ground floor, so the cold of the evenings stays down.
  • Multiple functions for each element Black locust is most common Hungarian tree. In the fence, it may have several functions as windbreak, shelterbelt. Growing up, it will be fence post, a living part of the fence. Its root fix nitrogen, so it can survive any lean soil, it nurture the soil, and keep the slope against the erosion. Bee feeder, its flowers are medicinal and edible raw and fried. The young leaves and twigs are good for forage; the branches are used for tools. The cut tree became heavy lumber and slow burning firewood.
  • Biological resources. Use b iological resources in stead of industrial one. E.g. we use natural fertilizers and mulch. A deluxe sheet mulch, so called lasagna mulch is on this picture.
  • Succession. We start from a pattern, and then we tailor it to our purposes. One of our favorite patterns is the succession. After disaster, e.g. on a plowed and abandoned land, the nature rebuild the texture of life by the waves of annual and perennial herbs, shrubs, pioneer trees and hardwood. Every wave builds up more resource and organic material. The canopy of trees closes, and a mature forest grows in 100-150 years.
  • Forest copy. Witch plants? We need a life-community. Our model will be a plant community of a forest from our own region. Its member will be substituted by use species. E.g., the central hawthorn is replaced by an apple tree, the dogwood by a red-currant, and the bayberry by a sorrel.
  • From Pattern to Details 3. Maybe I don't want to wait 150 years for growing up my forest garden by succession. Instant succession. Plant all species at once, and the waves of succession will step in every one-two years. Weakness. It needs huge amount propagation material, hundreds of shrubs, thousand of herbs, it requires a lot of money and time, and the typical permaculture gardener is poor and has to work for living. Nuclei that merge. Mini forests, a central tree surrounded by a circle of shrubs, and herbs are planted in the gaps. The circle is near self maintaining, growing outside. We can get propagation material from them, and we establish new circles. The circle are growing and merging into each other and they cover the garden.
  • The natural system are near closed, they use cycles, every byproduct of any process is a resources some other ones. The outputs are always inputs too. This gentleman sits not on a simple outhouse but on a compost toilet. The compost toilet is similar to an outhouse, but it covers the product by sawdust to damp the odor and to help its decomposition to compost. The byproduct will be a resource. This compost toilet was made from reused lumbers. The gentleman is a second hand one too, as he is divorced and he is remarried husband.
  • Use little and slow solution in stead of the industrial fast and large ones. Not always the slow is the slower. A b icycle may be faster than a car in the city traffic: You get into the car, start it, stop at the lamp, jam, look for parking place, park in, close the car, walk to you destination - a lot of time, and the are other hidden time , as you must work for the owning a car, fuel, maintenance, etc. It is time too. This young man a Hungarian permaculture designer from the town Szentes uses this tricycle for transportation. His vehicle was made from reused materials according to the "No waste„ principle . Principles - indicators of sustainability (Larry Santoyo)
  • Integrate Rather than Segregate. It is a hard to keep principle. Even the permaculture community tends to close out its extreme subcultures. Age segregation - the younger and generation are closed from the useful work. Practically the younger must not to work under 18, they must stay in school till they are 25, and later they are accused to be lazy. The older are retired relative early, and sitting in front of TV during decades as a gift, but there is no worse than to be useless, needles waste. This is a” clapping hands" house from the Shirakawa region of Japan. This region is not suitable for growing rice, so they bred silk work. It needs much hand labour, and all the grand family took part in it. Every body has some work: Cut the twinge, feed the worm, make the silk lines, etc. About 20 people lived in this little house.
  • Begin at you door ! Begin in small and enlarge your circle.
  • Kalákák, találkozók „ Bevezetés a Permakultúrába” tanfolyam PDC – Permaculture Design Curse Tanuló kör – 2013 tavasza
  • Forest gardens and permaculture

    1. 1. Permaculture and Forest Gardens
    2. 2. Bill Mollison• We need a garden
    3. 3. 1974 - Permaculture OnePermanent AgricultureHuman needs + Protection of nature…Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. (Graham Bell)
    4. 4. Permaculture Designer Manual…. Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system. (Mollison 1984)
    5. 5. Principles• David Holmgren
    6. 6. Ethics• Care for the Earth• Care for people• Share
    7. 7. Community Supported Agriculture
    8. 8. Observe• Wait a year !• Sector – sun, wind, wilds• Zone – how often used
    9. 9. Sectors
    10. 10. Zones
    11. 11. Capture and Store Energy• Swale
    12. 12. Multiple elements for each function
    13. 13. Multiple functions for each element
    14. 14. Use Biological Resources
    15. 15. From Pattern to Details
    16. 16. From Pattern to Forest Garden• Create communities of life – Forest copy
    17. 17. From Forest Nuclei
    18. 18. No waste• Compost ..
    19. 19. Small and slow
    20. 20. Integrate Rather than Segregate• Shirakawa
    21. 21. Start at your door !
    22. 22. Beginning - Web• Mailing list• Hungarian Permaculture Association• Forum• Sources of these slides:
    23. 23. Beginning - Personal• „Kalaka” and other meetings• Introduction to Permaculture curse• PDC – Permaculture Design Curse
    24. 24. Beginning - EgerPermaculture learning circle Spring 2013