One of the concepts or aspirations I have in mind for the new garden project is to fully design it for creating an over abundance of produce. Not just food, but also materials and benefits.
I have come to thinking that this is going to be a necessary part of the gardens output and so have been thinking over how to best achieve this. The block is sloping sand that faces slightly off from north. There is ample sunlight and good drainage. I just need to build the surface soil and get the soil life flourishing. Rather than container gardens as we have here I am looking at planting out with areas of container gardens around the houses themselves, along with supplementary aquaponic systems here and there. For the main garden my current leaning is towards a couple of swales across the block to make the most of the slope, the sunlight and the water opportunities while also giving the fruit trees a good foundation for getting established and utilising the wood that we have from the tree felling and clearing.
In contrast to Petit Paradis, the new garden will actually be required to produce volumes of produce to feed the family, whereas here we are supplementing our food costs with garden produce and using garden space to also build up seed volumes and varieties in anticipation for the move.
I have also been keeping a watchful eye on what grows well and what produces. I have culled a few plants over the last few years simply because of their inability to produce or to produce well, or because they were just struggling and not really able to take off – and I didn’t have the time or inclination to nurture them, so got rid of them to replace them with something that was working.
Over the years I have propagated bamboo so that eventually I can have an area set out to plant it so that I can utilise the canes for stakes in the garden. I also hope to use some extra seed produced in the garden for green manure crops and have managed to build up a few extra tamarilo plants and have extra babaco plants in the making along with a few carefully chosen and purchased fruit trees. I fully intend on creating pockets of food forests interspersed with blocks of vegetable gardening, fruit trees, compost bins, chicken spaces and eventually a bee hive or two.
In designing the new garden so that the needs of the system are satisfied from within the system I am aiming for an over abundance of produce so that we can also trade some produce, feed some of it back into the system to create a stronger, more resilient system and also, not have to have so many gaps in our harvesting (either in volume or availability) as I have had here due to time and space.
Over the next few months I imagine my ideas of thinking will change as I set to study more intensely some of the permaculture concepts that I look to apply – or to look over those I am unfamiliar with in an effort to see what might best apply to the site and produce the results I am looking for – an over abundance.