Vale da LamaPedagogic Pizza Garden Co-Created by Josh Gomez & Rosie Stonehill
Clients RequestsGarden that produces all the ingredients of a pizza ( including base and toppings)Pizza shapedSome small livestock for egg, cheese, meatTrees, esp olive, maybe some fruit & nutsChildren and family friendlyPedagogic education centre – for children to learn about the origins of all ingredients on a pizza, have contact with animals and possible hands on connection to the vegetable garden
Design ChallengesBefore we started this design we looked at the proposed areafor this garden, the “pizza” spans 70 m across with the two 35m halves either side of the road, the client wanted one half fortopping and the other for the grain. We repeatedly told theclient that we felt this arrangement was disproportionate tothe quantities of ingredients needed to make pizza i.e. toomuch vegetable topping and not enough grain to makeequivalent amount of bases. We also estimated that, on thislarge a scale it would take 15 full time workers just to keep thevegetable garden from becoming a mess of grass and weeds.But after all this he still really loved the idea and wanted adesign from us for his pizza garden. We also liked the basicconcept of a pizza garden and this was an interesting situationin that there were no limits to financial input. So, as we enjoynew design challenges and we wanted to try to accommodateall the requests of the client into a more functional design, wecreated this design proposal.
Garden features• Two styles of chicken tractor, one theeggloo dome structure in the forestgarden, the other a long hoopedtunnel tractor, with a nesting box onone end, to go on top of the raisedbeds, clear up, de-pest, weed,scratch/till, fertilise the beds ready forre-seeding/planting.
Garden features•Synergistic raised beds marking outthe shape of a pizza in a continuousrotation of crops, except permanenttomato beds which create a red ringaround the perimeter.•Integrated deciduous fruit treesprovide some summer shade, supplyniches for more shade loving speciesand lengthen the growing season.
Garden features•Around the outside, creating the“crust” is a mixture of pepper and chillibushes and some soft fruit shrubscreating a sheltering belt of moreperennial crops and bridging theannual garden with the more longterm forest garden.
Garden features•On the other side of the road there isa rotating system of grain crops andpasture using an adapted version ofthe Fukuoka method including Rye,Oats, Corn, Spelt, Buckwheat, Favasand Clover. It is likely that, to providesufficient grain to be able to makebases on a scale equivalent to thevegetable toppings, there would needto be other areas in the farm allottedfor growing grain.•Around the outside of the field thereis a proposed windbreaking shelterbelt of trees which create a beneficialmicroclimate for the grain crops.
Garden features•Alongside, and rotating with, thegrain crops are two pastures for smallto medium livestock (a relevant andcompatible selection from: geese,ducks, guinea pigs, rabbits, pot belliedpigs, sheep, goats etc...). Smalllivestock and pigs could stay in thepastures, in rotation with the grain,and can also be brought kitchen andgarden scraps to supplement theirdiet. The larger grazing animals (sheepand goats) would only be in thepastures when there are visitingschool groups for the children to havecontact with the animals and seewhere the milk comes from. Theseanimals would need to be grazed andhoused elsewhere for them to haveenough food and a proper place tosleep.
Garden features•There are two ponds within thedesign, at the centre of the pizza, oneither side of the road, which serve tocollect excess runoff from road andfield. The pond in the grain / pasturerotation provides water for theanimals and, when soiled, can be filledfrom the irrigation, overflowing intothe grain fields giving morefertilisation. The pond in thevegetable garden would functions as asmall aquaculture with some fish e.gcarp, tilapia.
Garden features•Pedagogic education centre and pizzaprep house with solar parabolicconcentrating pizza oven, with outdoordining area, water collection from roofand educational signs explaining thecomparisons between the pizza hutindustrial pizza and the Vale Da Lamapermaculture pizza
Design Summary Process Review Examples of Ethics & Principles applied in DesignEarth Care: This design, if effectively put intopractise and once fully established, attempts toprovide all the elements of a pizza reducing theneed for any off site agriculture and allowingmore land to be left to return to nature. The Problem is the Solution: The site of thepond in the centre of the raised beds half of thepizza was a place which we observed was boggydue to run off collecting. Rather than suggestthat this be drained for planting it made moresense to turn this into a pond and takeadvantage of this natural water collection.Maintain/Encourage Polyculture and Diversity: This design mixes so many different elements:huge variety of vegetables, trees, shrubs, grainand animals that it is hugely boosting diversity inthis area.Use Appropriate Technology: Parabolic Solar KEYCollector Oven provides the energy for an Ethicselement which would normally consume vast Basic Principlesquantities of non renewable, highly polluting,energy. Design Principles