learning about permaculture

lovely, and yummy papaya

As I return from work today I was happy to see my husband just harvest 3 lovely betik “papaya” from our backyard garden. Yes we are proud gardeners…no pesticide, and all love from Sunshine, healthy soils and hardworking earth worms!  so in month of May, we have harvest 5 yummy and juicy papaya! not bad ehhh…😉

The history behind this lovely papaya, is accidental. Well we usually throw away vegetables and fruits waste outside our backyard because it will make a good compost we notice a lot of earthworm in the soils… but we did not expect it to grow and become very delicious and sweet. With all this price hike and no good solution from the govt/ any political party to take a action and step in this serious matter, I think its time for us to use the small land we have and start permaculture garden and make use out of it.

Well tonight, I’ve spend few hours reading and surfing the web to know more about this. My loving husband inform me he had downloaded an E-book about permaculture gardening. Awesome! Anyway, I found very basic information on how to start a permaculture garden:

so what is permaculture?  if you refer in wikipedia,

Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.

Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.

The principle of living

Another simpler introduction on permaculture from permaculture: ten steps to an organic permaculture no-dig garden   Permaculture is a method of producing food stuff in a closed loop that maintains a self-sufficient system. In any habitat animals, plants and micro-organisms work together in harmony.

Organic permaculture takes the closed loop one step further to include insects – both pest and predator. When pesticides are used against insect pests, both pest and predator are eliminated. As most insect pests breed much faster than predators in the food chain, the pests will return quicker than the predators, eventually causing havoc which will result in further applications of pesticides being necessary.

The need for continual pesticide application causes the evolution of pests which are immune to pesticides and stronger and stronger applications become necessary.

In permacuture it illustrate how important understanding the importance of maintains a self-sufficient system.  From soils, to animals such as chickens, earth worms, source of water and the understanding of relation on pests and predator that contribute to the garden and also for us to understand the protective habitats for all living things in the garden.

permaculture principles (click on image to view)

Everything relates, benefits and contribute

this are few importance things to know about permaculture garden:

1) The soils:  Micro-organisms and worms are an essential part of healthy soil, keeping it friable and loose. Minerals and trace elements produced by worm castings continually enrich the soil.

2) Animals, example chickens: Organically produced chicken manure is high in nitrogen and essential elements and minerals that soils will begin to lack when asked to produce heavily. Therefore, chickens become an essential ingredient for the soil. Chickens will also clean up most garden pests when allowed to roam in a free-range situation. Spent chicken shed bedding produces a very rich and protective organic mulch that is ideal for the soil and the plants that feed off the soil.

The chickens’ main diet of insects and worms from the worm farm are supplemented on vegetable peelings and scraps from the kitchen and table.

The benefits of healthy, happy, free-range chickens will be healthy soil, few insect pests and an abundant supply of rich eggs which are a delicious deep gold, eggs free of antibiotics, steroids or other damaging chemicals including pesticides.

worm farm good for your plants

3) Worm Farms: Worm farms are not an essential item of a permaculture garden, though the compost, castings and liquid produced are an added bonus to the health and vitality of soil structure when added to compost. Worms also add to the removal of vegetable scraps, weeds and even old newspapers.

4) Compost Bins: Compost heaps are an essential part of the organic permaculture garden and utilise any extra organic matter that may be discarded. Nothing organic should be wasted in a permaculture garden. In fact having enough waste for a continual supply can be the hardest hurdle to overcome. The best system is a rotation of three large compost bins. Filling the first by the time the last is ready for use. Adding grass clippings and chicken bedding to any remnant vegetable scraps the chickens or worms do not clean up produces a fine rich compost. Do not use meat scraps in compost bins as vermin will be attracted.

5) Water: Water in the permaculture garden is important not only for keeping the soil and plants hydrated but also for attracting insects and native birds, which will also feed on insect pests. A water feature with a small amount of mud, encourages predators such as dragon flies, frogs and wasps.

6) Protective habitate for pests and predator: Rocks, logs and other places to hide are important for large and small native predators such as lizards, frogs, snakes and spiders. A water feature is the perfect spot for the placing of a predator habitat, having a two fold benefit of being pleasing to the eye, and a daily sanctuary for predators (and pests). Some people may not like the idea of sharing their garden with snakes, wasps, spiders and other predators. It must be understood that in a closed loop system, a mini “garden of Eden” is being created, and all must be welcome. With a suitable habitat as a sanctuary, these creatures will keep to themselves while retaining their rightful place in helping to keep pests and vermin at bay.

Pests and predators are kept at healthy levels at all times. Obviously some small loss of produce will result from a healthy population of pests. If pests become out of hand, then something is lacking in the garden – the solution is to deal with the problem, by encouraging the missing link, without ever needing to reach for a commercial pesticide.

There are a lot that can be learn about permaculture on the net, what I like about permaculture the idea of sustainablity land used designs and of course because its benefits all living in the area. ok I’m going to read more about this and hope to share again soon!  oh before you leave check out a video by  D Acres of New Hampshire Permaculture media blog