Permaculture Presentation, Mar 6, 2014



Permaculture Presentation, Mar 6, 2014
Gardening 2.0
Melissa Miles
Tom McGlynn
Environmental Biologist
Founder of Feed the Burbs
NOFA Accredited Organic Lawn Care Professional
“Facilitating a culture of regeneration”
Founder of Two Miles Micro-Farm
Founder of the Permanent Future Institute
Organizer of Eastern PA Permaculture Guild)
Permaculture Design
Three ethics underpin all
Permaculture Design:
Permaculture Strategy: Sheet Mulching
sheet mulching is a no-dig gardening technique which
mimics natural processes
When done properly (and in combination with other strategies)
sheet mulching can help create healthier, more productive and low
maintenance ecosystems.
Horizons (layers)
in “natural” soil
Monday, December 12, 2011
“Ultimate, Bomb-proof Sheet Mulch”
My version of Toby Hemenway’s, Gaia’s Garden, recipe
As you add, WET DOWN EACH LAYER (w/ non-chlorinated) water!
SEEDLESS MULCH: straw, dried leaves (2 - 3”)
THIN layer of COMPOST (1 - 2”)
Bulk O.M.: old hay, stable bedding, etc.
8 - 12”
no spaces between
added if
Cardboard, newspaper - or natural fabric (no “shiny” or colored ink!) ~1/2 “
THIN layer of well rotted Manure (1 - 2”)
Existing vegetation
Existing soil (replete with LIFE)!
Water harvesting
Bio-infiltration swales (a.k.a. “keyline”)
Melissa Miles, AOLCP
Permanent Future Institute "
[email protected]
Water harvesting:
on a site located in Bucks County,
eroded soil &
8 - 15 % slope
Melissa Miles, AOLCP
Permanent Future Institute "
[email protected]
Herb Spiral
Sun (dry condition) loving herbs at the top
Herbs which prefer Cool/wet conditions at the bottom
Mary Ann’s Herb Spiral, 2013, NJ
Rethinking Weeds!
“A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill,
except for learning how to grow in rows.”
-Doug Larson
“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
“WEEDS” Not a botanical group:
Plants in the wrong place, at the wrong time
indication that something is out of balance in the
Nature’s way of attempting to heal the landscape
(pioneers: coming in to restore balance)
Bare soil is damaged soil, before removing a weed
be ready to put something else in its place (or, you
might end up with an even more aggressive
Can’t beat ‘em,
Eat ‘em
One of my favorite strategies
Permaculture Strategy: Plant Guilds
Similar to ‘companion planting’
A plant guild: any group of plants which support each
other while growing in proximity to one another.
“Guilding” is the act of intentionally placing plants to
grow near one another so they may help to provide
for each other’s needs; creating a more healthy and
diverse ecosystem (while making less work for us).
A classic sample guild would be the traditional
“Three sisters” [corn-beans-squash combo] used in
the gardens of some indigenous gardeners.
“Three sisters” guild (corn, beans, squash)
residential permaculture garden
Fruit Tree Guild
Apple or Pear (Malus spp. or Pyrus spp.) as central element
Comfrey shades roots of the tree, competes with grasses,
chop & drop mulch (also a medicinal plant)
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) also competes well
with grasses, effective against Monilia in apple trees
(edible/medicinal plant)
Chives (Allium spp.) extremely pest resistant, and are anti
fungal and insecticidal. Flowers attract wasps and other
predatory beneficials (also edible/medicinal)
Clover (Trifolium spp.) grown as a ground cover amidst the
other plants to fix nitrogen and compete with other less
desirable weeds
Sweet Peas (Lathyrus spp.) will climb into the branches
and provide summer-long blooms, as well as fixing
nitrogen in the soil
Tulip (grass-supressing bulbs) bloom before other
perennials have emerged, attract pollinators to apple
blossoms (add aesthetic element; minimally, a medicinal).
Permaculture Strategy:
Edible Forest Gardens
mimic the architecture and
beneficial relationships of
a natural forest (an
analogue of a natural
Highly productive,
largely self-maintaining,
systems with diverse
product yields (‘the 7 fs'): food forests are not
‘natural’, but are designed
and managed ecosystems rich in biodiversity and
food, fuel, fiber, fodder, fertilizer,
and, fun!
Edible Forest Gardens:
Perennial Polycultures of Multi-purpose plants
(a guild of 7 levels)
Can you name ...
The Most extensively irrigated crop in the US (~ 270 billion gallons water/week)
Responsible for drawing down/depleting aquifers throughout the US
Covers (roughly) the same amount of land as the entire country of England
Our beloved lawns
USA: Annual maintenance
budget for this crop: >$29 billion
Monday, December 12, 2011
50 - 70% residential
water use
Monoculture (low biodiversity)
High energy input (time/$)
An ecological sys. at it’s most immature - we are always fighting nature to maintain it!
Low permeability/infiltration of water (just slightly better than concrete)
Not resilient or terribly useful (maybe for croquet?)
Consider: how much of it do I really need?
Books, organizations and websites
Eastern PA Permaculture Guild (a regional organization offering education and events related to permaculture; no cost to join):
Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, by Toby Hemenway
Perennial Vegetables: From Artichokes to Zuiki Taro, A Gardener's Guide to Over 100 Delicious and Easy to Grow Edibles, by Eric Toensmeier
Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set), by Dave Jacke
NOFA Organic Land Care:

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