What defines a permie system ?

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by Diggman, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. Diggman

    Diggman Junior Member

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    Hi,
    I'm reluctant to post any pictures of my ''system'' because 1: I haven't gone on a course and haven't done enough research so 2: I'm not even sure what can be considered a system in terms of size etc?
    I have a garden in the London suburbs, its about 7 meters long by 5 meters wide, with border beds along the fences each about 50cm wide with some ornamental plants / shrubs from the previous tenants and I have placed one raised bed (didn't dig under the lawn, just laid down quite a lot of newspaper to kill off the lawn then added my manure / compost) with the option of adding another smaller raised bed (need to keep some lawn space open for the family to have BBQ / sitting / playing space). Now, I plan on doing a course in the coming future years inspired by one of the videos I watched of the farm tour, but can I create a perma' system in my small garden?

    What initial things can I do to start it off ? I'm already growing veggies and fruits but this makes it really just a garden with a food space / patch in it ...

    luckily I get a good amount of sun (when there is some) and I do have a rainwater barrel (220 ltrs), plus have a mini worm composting bin.

    A small or large list of things / changes I can make to get things kicked off would be great .. .and an explanation of what defines am urban perma' system ie: minimum size, land situation etc ?
     
  2. mouseinthehouse

    mouseinthehouse Junior Member

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    You definitely can have a permie system in your back garden and you already have the making of one already! :) I guess for me it is about keeping inputs on site as much as possible rather than importing stuff. So composting/worms/chickens for eggs & manure/cardboard and paper for sheet mulch/harvested water etc. goes into the system and if possible has more than one function. Then you produce as much stuff with the help of those inputs to reduce your consumption from external sources or to swap or sell or barter for other local foods and goods. Really a permie system is any size. It is about creating self-sustaining systems - these can be micro systems and small solutions even in apartments and balconies! It would be great if we could all have the 'ideal' size plot etc. but realistically permaculture is about implementing solutions to whatever site you have. Can you look at energy usage and ways to perhaps generate some of your energy? Can you grow more in pots or vertically along your fence boundary to produce more food? Could you grow things inside in boxes like mushrooms? Can you grow plants to attract insects and bees to your garden? Learn skills like how to make your own yoghurt and cheese and tofu and preserves, how to save your own seeds etc. Also for me although we live rurally, it is to reduce consumption in other ways....use the library instead of buying books; second hand clothing instead of new etc. Can u reduce transport energy usage (very hard for us here in the country)? anyway hope there are some ideas there.
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with MITH, you're on your way. For me it's all about integrating the systems so that they all work together well, which is kind of what Mouse said. I believe one could design and implement a Pc system in a single planter on the patio, so no minimum lot size.

    Have you considered adding fruiting vines, shrubs, and trees (maybe dwarf) for more perennial food sources and the beginnings of a multi-storied food forest? Attracting birds helps with insect control and adds micro-manure. Are you familiar with aquaponics?
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Um, not doing a course shouldnt disqualify you in any way.Its what you do with what you have learned from where ever you learned it be it a book, here or elsewhere on the net or on a specific course.

    You have to look at what your land can do as well as what you need it to do and how best to help it get to that point, the important point is actually doing something to get things closer to how you know they should be.

    You are taking your back yard from what it was to what you know/believe is more optimum. That takes time. Be gentle with yourself.
    I use the principles of permaculture as a guideline to getting my backyard more to what I consider to be permie.
    I find these help me stay on track while things are in progress.

    Dont forget, there's lots you can do inside the house as well while you are playing the waiting game for the garden to catch up with you.
     
  5. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    If it is guided by the 3 ethics and the principles, it's permaculture…. It's a journey not a destination. (Now I'm just waiting for Kimbo to tell me I'm deluded….)
     
  6. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

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    ECO;

    I believe Kimbo will agree with you rather than tag you as deluded. I know you're just itching to get started on a new adventure when the dream home sells. The timing is right, as you can be getting the new place worked up for the upcoming new growth part of the annual cycle. Only try to get them to let you come back for the Chooks when you get settled. No, you are not deluded, girl. You have described pc perfectly.

    Uncle Ben
     
  7. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Hi Diggman,
    This question has been posed on the forum many times, & I don't think we have ever settled on a definitive answer. I can't give you a succinct answer, in spite of mulling it over for years. How about making a collage from these responses? : )

    Take mouse's "permaculture is about implementing solutions to whatever site uou have." "It is about creating self-sustaining systems"
    & nail that to 9anda1f's "it's all about integrating the systems so that they all work together well"
    Throw in a little mischief: "... not doing a course shouldnt disqualify you in any way. Its what you do with what you have learned from where ever you learned it be it a book, here or elsewhere on the net or on a specific course."
    Add an eco "If it is guided by the 3 ethics and the principles, it's permaculture….It's a journey not a destination."
    And give the last word to Uncle Ben "No, you are not deluded, (man)"

    See? It's easy : )







    Finally, do a backflip & re-engage eco "Now (we are all) just waiting for Kimbo to tell (us we're) deluded…."



    OK I'm just kidding about the last bit : ) However kimbo & I & probably a few others could, & probably should, start a thread about the things that don't work in a permaculture system. A thread recording that information could be invaluable.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Ben - Kimbo would tell me that the journey / destination bit is deluded and that you aren't a proper permie unless you are a 100% committed to the concept and live in a house knitted from your own pubic hair and powered by your urine. He has once before (sort of). ;-)
     
  9. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

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    don't mind me, i'll just shut the hell up and listen to what everyone reckons i might say -

    nod to the respectable side of the place -

    ben, 9andhalf, eco et al

    i am mellowing on my hard arse attitudes - i'm resolved to democratic process - i find life lonely as a bad mannered uncouth looser - and my defences i understand as my cage

    no one is more deluded than i, i got caught up in a role, and now i'm trying to escape my role....it's scary, it's dangerous.

    but i'm an old guy who does not want to stop growing because i've got not too much to show for 56 years....less one counts the people i've pissed off.

    lately i've met some people who are teaching me by example (curse you john wayne), and i'm sad i might have upset a. mao

    right - so carry on.

    and if you want me - i'll be down in chat - trying trying trying
    you realise how hard it is to win a hand when your cards are just crap?

    k
     
  10. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Kimbo is evolving hmmmmm how long til its ok to have a mandala .
     
  11. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    :giggle:

    If kimbo gives up policing them I'll take over. It's the least I can do :p


    ;)
     
  12. Gonhar

    Gonhar Junior Member

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    Kimbo, one does not change for change's sake. I for one, value your insight, even if I disagree with some of them. Evolve if you must, but always on your own terms (I think you already know this). Diverse thoughts and points of view are as needed as different plants and animals are needed in a polyculture.
     
  13. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Oh god - if Kimbo starts building mandalas next to his shed it really will be the end of the world as we know it!
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    haha.... HAHA....god I need to sweep the floor!
    Dont worry eco, I'm sure he'd do it some where where nobody could see, not right next to his shed, unless of course it turned into something miraculous at which point, I'm sure it would be moved to that prime location.
     

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