Hello All, I hope this will be a fairly long and detailed 'blog' of my Permaculture garden: Step 1: 29th November, 2013 Well, the contract :handshake: was signed on the weekend, so it looks like the house purchase has gone from 'think it will' to 'probably will' so, unless the pest and building report comes back with something altogether horrible Wendy and I will be the proud owners of little piece of Australia. The property has a westerly aspect, which will be nasty in summer, but good in winter. Fortunately, the yardspace is a bit weird shaped so the growing aspect will be northerly. In essence we have 3 yards: Front yard, which is grass (for now - probably forever to be honest. It's not what I want, but in reality it's unlikely to change). The Northerly yard (fully enclosed 'northern side' of the back yard) will become the chicken mandala growing area. It will hopefully provide us with the vast majority of our veggies. I doubt I will do a great deal in the way of fruit, but I'll take that one step at a time. The Southerly yard (fully enclosed 'southern side' of the back yard) will be our entertainment/clothes drying/relaxing space. The barrier between the Northern yard and the Southern yard will be a fairly narrow covered and enclosed deck. The idea being that if we enclose the front and back deck with some kind of screening we will be able to keep the house completely open when the weather is right and get good ventilation through the whole house. I do a lot of BBQing and the back deck will be right next to the kitchen so will work out well (just hope the wind blows northerly when I'm cooking a BBQ chicken =-). The only down side I can see to the whole design at this stage is that the block slopes from north to south, which means any greywater system I setup will be going against gravity to get to the growing area. That's probably not a HUGE issue as the bottom of the house will still be higher than the top fo the property (I think) so will just mean a slow drainage of water... which isn't altogether a bad thing. I may setup a small windmill if necessary (and I can do it) to draw water up to a small storage tank, or just catch rainwater and forego greywater altogether. I'll send 'before' photos when we actually move in (hopefully before Christmas). Any suggestions on kicking off the chicken madalas would be appreciated. I have read Linda Woodrow's book "the Permaculture Backyard Garden" and have a PDC, so I'm not completely new, but advise is always appreciated. My real main question would be... do you think I should just chuck the chickens under a dome and let them defoliate the grassed area as a first step (so let's say a month before starting to plant anything - probably setup seeds into seedling pots to start anyway - so timing might be prefect)? I'm personally for that, but would like to hear from others. Thanks all.