Social Permaculture – Family Design

So we’ve been asked this week to consider our relationships as part of the permaculture system we are trying to design. Humans have needs and yields the same as any other part of your system, but we have variables that make us much more challenging to design for like mental health, social upbringing, and differing…

EARTHQUAKE!

One of our assignments this week was to envision there had been a massive earthquake that not only shut down local roads and supply lines, but also sent a tsunami down the west coast, cutting off the major ports of Vancouver and LA. What would we do? How would we fare? The electricity, internet, and…

Got Worms?

Worms are incredibly hard workers in a permaculture system. They help to break down kitchen and garden waste, facilitate composting, and create a magnificent nutrient-rich goo affectionately referred to as “worm juice”. When introduced into your garden soil, they directly fertilize your plants, though I don’t think they survive the winter here. I decided to…

Goats! You’ve got to be kidding…

This week the mission is integrating an animal species into the property design. While animals aren’t necessary for a functional permaculture design, they sure come in handy. We already have chickens on the property and we keep bees in the summer (though I have serious Alaska bee guilt, so who knows how long we’ll keep…

Neighbors? Who knows their neighbors anymore?

So, one of this week’s assignments is to take stock of our local resources, and I mean local. We’re supposed to determine who, in our neighborhood, composts, has worms, knows things about the local soil, would have coffee grounds to spare, has manure to spare (horses, chickens, or goats, not human!), who rakes leaves in…

Vegetable Garden Design

One of our assignments this week was to design a small garden plot. Since I won’t be planting much this year because I will be gone for much of the summer, and I have too much to observe at the property before doing anything permanent, I decided to work on the design for my small-scale…

Guilds, more refined, and edible!

Hey there! So last time, I attempted to form my first plant guild. I chose honeyberries as my central species, because I knew they were yummy, and I have a source for getting cuttings from multiple species. Our new assignment this week is to make an edible plant guild for our property. After reviewing my…

Plant Guilds

On the docket this week : plant guilds. This idea builds off of the concept of a forest ecosystem, and is similar in many ways to companion planting. A guild is a group of plants that work harmoniously together to support a central species. It is made up of plants performing different jobs like fixing…

Thinking About Water…

Water seems like such a crazy thing to be contemplating in the middle of the winter, as we are wholly surrounded by it but so far away from the re-emergence of its more fluid form. But the topic of water is on the docket in this week’s permaculture class, and as such, it’s on my…

Drafting Value Trees!

One of our assignments, to help us with brainstorming during the design process is to create “Value Trees” for the Land, or Client and ourselves (the Designer). The thought is that values that are important to each entity form the “base of the tree”, the goals form the “branches”, and the criteria for determining success…

Sectors and Zones

To elaborate on my Basemap, I’ve added layers for Sectors and Zones. Here’s a great blog post from Deep Green Permaculture that explains these concepts in depth. I’ve had to branch out and use a free program called Inkscape, to draft my overlay layers. When you try to make overlays in SketchUp, you run into…

Basemap, SketchUp Edition

So, after realizing that Grant stole the only charging cord for the computer that had Illustrator, and trying unsuccessfully to load the program from a backup disk, I resorted to using SketchUp to create my basemap. So far, I’m really glad I did! SketchUp is a Trimble product, and provides a limited version for free…