Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Permaculture Forest Blog Launched!
The permaculture forest began with a woman named Di and a rural block of land in South Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. Di purchased the land out of her deep concerns about peak oil and climate change. She wanted to use permaculture to achieve a lifeboat or safe haven where 20 or more people, including her two teenage daughters, could supply the majority of their needs on site. She also wanted to establish a first-rate working example of a permaculture system and ultimately a diverse, abundant and low-maintenance 15-acre forest of food.
From a permaculture perspective the site itself was and remains delicious. Fifteen acres of ex-cattle pasture two thirds of which with a north to north-easterly aspect, a good portion of free-draining mineral-rich volcanic red soi on the higher land and grey clay on the lower, a gentle slope, a great diversity of microclimates and distinct areas, and most importantly water. The property includes two perennial spring-fed streams and an actual spring located at one of the highest points. There is a 2.5 meg dam, and a good deal of uphill catchment as well as scope for channeling in water from Hydes road by which you access the house (this water is currently barreling down the drive straight into the shed). There is an existing house and a copse of mature oak trees south-west of the house, protecting it from the prevailing wind. I don't think we mentioned the tennis court yet, but more on that later.
With help from a team of several designers including herself, Di has not only obtained a permaculture design for the property, but is about to begin its implementation. A bit like Ran Prieur’s land blog (http://ranprieur.com/land.html), this blog has been set up as a resource for others with similar aspirations. Read about what we’ve done and learn from our mistakes! We started with a .5 metre contour map with existing features indicated and we've then developed a water design which will go in shortly (will upload these when we get a chance). Think of the above photo as a before photo. For it is all about to change.