For my family and friends who arewondering what all this permaculture talk is about, and perhaps why it is all taking so long. Read on!
Zone 0 -the house, the centre of thinking, and sleeping, and thinking about thinking…maybe tomorrow. Probably the most neglected of all zones, hence the lack of internal pictures.
Actually, it is described by experts as:
Zone 0: the centre of human activity, for example, the house.
Zone 1: close to the house, is the most controlled and intensively-used area containing the garden, work-shops, greenhouse, small animals, wood-pile, compost, etc.
The blocks in quotes in this blog refer to this article, which I recommend reading: http://permaculturenews.org/2008/11/08/what-is-%E2%80%98zone-zero%E2%80%99/
Workshop is all sorted, up and running. I have a new table saw which I am pleased with for the price, and am starting to get odd jobs making bespoke furniture items. Not enough for a business but you never know..
The woodshed is complete with a temporaray reclaimed polytunnel plastic roof.
Last week saw the pallet fence completed, well except for the bit where we cheated and put chicken wire up -until tomorrow, or next month or maybe next year. Grand total of about 4 Euros on screws, everything else was salvaged for free. This is primarily the veggie garden with herbs and salads close to the door.
It is Nellie and Cleo proof so far. Eric however, just hopped straight over. Since he is more afraid of the chickens and duckling than they are of him, we’re not too worried.
Another trailer full of scrap timber someone wanted rid of from their yard. It has to be sorted into useable, useable outdoor treated, rotten and needs drying out for fuel, screws and nails removed, stacking and so on. Most people wouldn’t be bothered, but the one thing we do have plenty of, is time. Time spent here in the outdoors with our animals is priceless.An almost ethereal figure in the distance looks like he could be…noo…surely not… scrubbing the caravan roof! Are the parents coming or something?
So the barn, caravan, chicken coop, goat sleeping shed etc are all zone 1, which is more or less complete.
Zone 2: “has typically larger shrubs, small fruit and mixed orchard, windbreaks, poultry, ponds, terraces, etc.”
I have planted about 30 blackcurrant shoots, about 30 raspberry, 2 blueberry, a couple of redcurrant and whitecurrant in zone 2, along with 3 pear trees, two apple, two cherry, a quince and a plum tree so far. I wonder how long before we see any fruit? The pond is still not quite a pond due to all the wet weather making digging almost impossible. The poultry will be free to roam this area and assist the frogs in keeping the slug population down.
Eventually here we plan to have a composting loo and solar heated shower, but hey, manyana.
At the edges of this area, in wetter ground, I have planted scores of willow slips and now some bamboo. Hopefully this will provide more wind-break, material for construction and garden use, and fuel-eventually.
Zone 3: contains unpruned and unmulched orchard, larger pastures or ranges for meat animals or flocks, and main crops.
This is where it gets a bit messy due to the fact that we just have one acre had trouble with siting the polytunnel. By rights this should be in zone 1, but this and the compost heap are in-between zones 2 and 3. Due to the fact that the barn was already right in front of the house, we have no land at the back of the house to the north, and most of the rest was wooded, we had to lose a few sycamore trees last autumn to clear a space for the tunnel and let enough light get to it. It seems to have worked, and we still have most of our beautiful trees.
Hmm, meat animals -nope, we thought about it, but the goats in zone 3 will definitely just be pets. Not sustainable, not permaculture, but there we go…city folks in the country eh? As my previous blog explained, the dairy thing just isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Zone 4: is semi-managed and semi-wild used for gathering, hardy foods, unpruned trees, and wildlife and forest management.
This is “the rest” of the woodland where I have dotted more saplings and fruit bushes around for general foraging and wildlife. We have impregnated logs with edible fungi which hopefully will make their home here. When I finish procrastinating, I will make some bird and bat boxes perhaps. Here we have the hedgehog house, piles of totting wood and lots of spring wildflowers. I am determined to get wild garlic growing here!
- Zone 5: is unmanaged wilderness – where we observe and learn; it is our essential place for meditation, where we are visitors, not managers.
The 6-10ft wide border around the perimeter consist of very tall trees of various species, both evergreen and deciduous, an ancient hedgerow, and on two sides, a ditch on the other side. Apart from throwing a few more dead twigs and branches onto the hedgerow here and there, we are leaving it to the wildlife, just observing and admiring. The other day I spotted a tree creeper for the first time, making its way up our large willow. What a delight that was!