Part One – Zero to Abundance
I find it pays to refresh the mind of concepts from time to time. Each time I take a look at zones there is a different mind-set of learning and experience that views the zones and my approach to them differently. Mostly due to a different piece of land and its uniqueness.
Permaculture Zones are a tool used to place elements within a design so that they use energy transactions more efficiently. In this way elements are placed by order of use, work required and frequency of visits. Sometimes the frequency of visits can be under-rated as a tool to placing elements. However, it makes sense particularly in a situation such as ours where we are dealing with various slopes and heights.
Are we really likely to want to go out and get salad greens from the top garden if it means going to the back of the house, climbing a stair case and walking up a sloped block? What about if its raining? Rain happens here.
Often. True story.
In its most simplified form the zones are often presented as a series of concentric rings. Realise however, that the rings would grow in size the further they move out from Zone 0. This is because the zones naturally become larger up to Zone 5 – wilderness or natural landscape and as a result require less human intervention. In the real world they will not be nice, round circles either, but rather more organic shapes depending on the size of the areas being used for each zone and the structural or geographical nature and shape.
Typically the zones are from 0 – 5 though some people add extra zones. In reality, ours is likely to only apply up to Zone 4, though if you were to look at the bigger picture we are only 150 metres from natural bushland reserve. This is evident when you observe the birdlife that visits the garden area. Splendid Fairy Wrens, White-browed Scrub Wrens and Red-eared Firetail Finches. Each of these bird species rely on native bushland for their survival, but will frequently make visits further afield to forage for food. ie, to our urban garden.
With frequency of visits in mind and making the most of our given area for high productivity I have looked at our Zone 1 to see just how much we can produce from this area. It is likely to utilise both the back paved area and deck and also the small front garden area which will get ample sunshine being north facing and not receiving much shade at all.
More on this to come.