Permaculture forum: Permaculture standards

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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
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Oberon46
Mar 26, 2012 11:03 AM CST
After reading all of this, I guess if you have to do anything to your garden (water, feed, weed, etc) then you are not practicing good permaculture. Well, I will do the best I can. Already think I have an answer for some weeds, and I am planting vegies among my flowers which are mostly perennials. I will try to see where I can dig up more lawn and maybe make an herb spiral like Dave, and maybe a raised bed in another spot. I have a 3000 gallon pond with some short flat falls that I think I can introduce some bog to by encroaching with stones, filling with pea gravel, and the planting water loving plants. And of course since I have let my ground become depleted, I bought bags of a mix of Salmon and whitefish, peat, ummm, and some other stuff that should perk up the ground. Will ask the neighbors for their leaves and trimmings. Guess that is a start.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Mar 26, 2012 11:42 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Mary Stella,

I certainlly can't speak for everyone on this forum, but I dare say that none of us would say that we practice "perfect permaculture"!

We've only lived on our farm for a couple of years now. In order to afford the amount of land that we want, we purchased "unimproved land". It was malnurised, overgrazed, and poorly managed. Those are some of the nicer things I say about it! We've imported, we've watered, we've added a 30/30/30 fert in order just to get a crop of veggies, and I'm sure every other "wrong" thing.

But all the while, we're working toward a greater goal. We're working to build soil fertility, to set up a permaculture foundation, structures, and implement ideas. None of this happens overnight for us, but gets built over time. Looking at the difference in our land (never mind the gardens) from then to now is nothing short of amazing. While it has taken a lot of time and work, we're proud that we didn't take the easy way out and hire someone to spray all the weeds, replant the pastures, and chemically fertilize everything. For the veggies, when we had to fert to get something to grow in our poor conditions, we consoled ourselves that it was better than WM food, and we were on our way. Some of our gardens now have the richest soil I could have dreamed of, but I still water!

I don't believe we'll ever hit "perfection". We don't live in a perfect world! My goal is to do the very best that we can year after year building to more and more self sustainability- both personally and for our land- all the while, doing what needs to be done to achieve my goals. I'll probably always have to water, do some weeding, and it could take a great many years (if every) that I'm able to not only supply my family's food needs, but also all the animals under my care. For me, that's ok, because perfect is not my goal.

We're all here, not to brag about any of us having perfect permaculture, but rather to share and encourage ideas and inovation. Most of us don't know anyone in person who practices permaculture, but rather we just read about it in books. It seems like much of the teaching and true permaculture practices are happening in Australia and CA. The rest of us are doing the best we can, building one step at a time.

Be encouraged!

I tip my hat to you.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

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hazelnut
Mar 26, 2012 7:14 PM CST
I think all gardens are a work-in-progress. I don't think permaculture means 'no work', but it does mean less work if you incorporate the concepts of no till, and choosing plants that will mutually benefit one another.

Here is an urban permaculture garden in Oregon, that will perhaps give you an idea of how the plants are incorporated into a back yard, using the concepts of guilds and zones.

http://lamafoundation.org/permaculture-urban-hobbs.htm

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 26, 2012 10:17 PM CST
thanks Hazel. My husband is really getting interested in this so I will have more to show him.

Mary
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Mar 27, 2012 8:32 AM CST
If you are lucky enough to own a piece of this earth, then at least knowing about permaculture seems to me a responsability. Probably none of us practice perfectly what we preach, but from what Ive read and practiced over the 70 + years Ive been here, permaculture is the first gardening practice that promises to leave the earth in better condition than we found it. It is a legacy to our children. (Even if you don't have any of your own, like me!)

Trish. Your place sounds like the American Dream. Do you have any animals, yet?

For a small place I can recommend rabbits. Ive found in the south the main trouble is that they have to be protected from the heat. Otherwise, they are a great source of garden fertilizer. They don't make much noise. And they are always willing to listen to your troubles!
[Last edited by hazelnut - Mar 27, 2012 8:55 AM (+)]
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Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Mar 27, 2012 11:10 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Yes'm- we have a dairy cow (and she has a heifer calf), we rotate beef cattle in and out while we repair and rest parts of the land, we have chickens, and we had pigs last year.

We hope to add pigs back in ASAP, and I really want to get the rabbits started this year. Turkeys are really high on my list, but don't tell Dave Hilarious!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Mar 27, 2012 2:37 PM CST
As I remember both pigs and turkeys love to chase kids. I still remember Elmer who chased me every opp. he got and more than once ran me up a crab apple tree. I think elmer is the reason I can still run at a pretty good clip even today.

I love rabbits. I got a Flemish giant once for my birthday. They are huge. But later I mostly had New Zealands that for some reason people couldn't keep (People who raise rabbits will often give away males, because they fight with each other.) But any rabbit is an automatic fertilizer making machine. Put straw and a handfull of worms under their cages and you have instant compost.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 27, 2012 3:36 PM CST
Where do you get your rabbits? or chickens for that matter?
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
Permaculture Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Herbs Organic Gardener Dog Lover
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milkmood
Mar 27, 2012 4:42 PM CST
Most feed stores sell rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks, etc. Hatchlings. Except the rabbits. Except at Easter.

Had a 16lb French Lop when I was a teen, his name was Jabba. Granddaddy rabbit. Still not as big as a Flemish.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 27, 2012 4:50 PM CST
Jabba --- way cute. I will check with Mill and Feed here. thanks.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Mar 27, 2012 4:59 PM CST
Chicks at the co-op. Rabbits were advertised in the State Farmers Bulletin for all the counties in Alabama.
Unfortunately, The State Farmers Bulletin has ceased publication, but by now I know most of the rabbit people around. Usually, your co-op people will know because they know who buys rabbit food. There are some elite rabbit breeders. But I would suggest you will wind up with a healthier rabbit, if you get a mutt. My Henry -- a New Zealand mix-- lived to be 20 years old. "Dancing Rabbit" -- a Flemish Giant named for the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek only lived to be four. The Flemish Giants are sort of like an over-knit sweater. You hold up one part, and the rest is dragging on the floor!

Not as big as this one though:

http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/giantrabbit.asp

I suspect that smaller rabbits will have a longer life span, than the larger one's-- as in dogs. Not an issue if you are going to eat them (gasp!!), but for fertilizer and just to have around as a furry friend I perfer my animals to have a long life span.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 27, 2012 5:08 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We usually also get our chicks from the feed store, but nowadays we hatch our own. Smiling

Also, we have ordered from Ideal Poultry several times in the past with good results. It's fun to get chicks in the mail.

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Mar 27, 2012 5:11 PM CST
To build a rabbit cage you can do it the hard way, like this guy is doing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjVH_5ZfL6c

Or, you can just build it out of galvanized wire mesh, joined with J-hooks. These are crimping fasteners that will hold two pieces of wire together. Build the size you want -- mine are about 5 ft long and the width of the roll of wire.
After the cage is built, you can rest it on cement blocks -- no need for a wooden frame that might rot, or be chewed by the animal. Rabbits need to be protected from heat and from dogs. The mesh on the bottom should be just big enough for the poops to go through. If their feet go through the mesh, a favorite thing for dogs to do is get under the cage and pull on the rabbits feet. Needless to say this is fun for the dog, but traumatizing for the rabbit.
Name: Chris Powell
Glendale, AZ (Zone 9b)
Living a better life; if times get
Permaculture Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Herbs Organic Gardener Dog Lover
Birds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: United States of America Region: Southwest Gardening
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milkmood
Mar 27, 2012 6:23 PM CST
dave said:but nowadays we hatch our own. Smiling


And your money for nothin' ?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Mar 27, 2012 7:21 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Sure can't beat the price! Free chicks is great.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 27, 2012 8:16 PM CST
"--- and chicks for free!"
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Mar 27, 2012 8:41 PM CST
I raised rabbits for years, New Zealand Whites, and did so mainly for meat and poop. I would highly encourage it. A couple does and a male will begat quite a few rabbits in a years time, plus loads of nice fertilizer/plant food for the gardens and compost bins. And yes, you can even have some for pets if you aren't into eating meat or into butchering.

Course now, your breeding does and male(s) will be around for a long time and those become pets, often get named and are very tame.

Trish, your response above hit the nail on the head...I think even in a permaculture garden you may always be inclined to pull a few weeds (then throw them right back into the system) and also building your soil will be an ongoing thing, adding to it so you can take from it (like a bank account...you have to make a deposit in order to make withdrawals, eh?)

Shoe - sittin' here with ten two-week old chicks in a box next to me having the time of their lives so far!) chasing a worm I just tossed them!

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Mar 28, 2012 8:03 AM CST
Great analogy, Shoe--bank account.

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