Tag Archives: permaculture

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The term permaculture (as a systematic method) was first coined by Australians David Holmgren, then a graduate student, and his professor, Bill Mollison, in 1978.220px-maler_der_grabkammer_des_sennudem_001

I was donated thousands/s of worms from a local farmer who had too many in their bath tubs. They started from about 1KG of worms, just 2 years ago.

I collected bags of them and quickly transported them back to their new home that had been prepared with car tyres. I found this the most cost effective way to make enough space for all these worms as tyres are collected for free from the local tyre dealerships in town. This is a very effective way to turn your waste into nutrient rich vermicompost. I used layers of brown and green leaf matter, soil, grass cuttingsand damp newspaper matter for a couple days before the worms arrived.

What and what not to feed your worms.

Do Feed Worms:

  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps and peels (mold/rot is fine)
  • Bread and grains
  • Teabags
  • Non-greasy leftovers
  • Coffee grounds (and filters)
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Napkins, paper towels, cardboard, newspaper

Don’t Feed

  • Citrus
  • Meats,fish, poultry
  • Greasy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Twigs and branches
  • Dog/cat feces, cat litter

Been threatening to build a greenhouse for 4 weeks already. I have marked out the space, positioned it properly and given it a lot of thought. We have a full day of sun everyday unless there is rain, which is a blessing. Ok the title is a little incorrect, but both Xolane and myself are every happy with the work we put in, and the materials we used, cost us almost nothing, except for a few cable ties, and a split thumb.  

This is not the greenhouse I had in mind, and actually just next to the spot where it will be. It’s just been setup for seedlings and cuttings to have some shade, aswell as a spot in the vegetable for us to work. The materials we used were all found on the farm:

– Shade netting found lying around the farm.
– Black wattle tree stumps for the structure
– Salvaged wood for the support structures and working bench
– Salvaged nails from the wood we found
– PVC piping from old pipes found around the farm

We dug holes to put the main tree stumps in, and measure them to a nice height to work under. We reinforced the structure with other wood to make sure it was sturdy for the strong winds. And then  connected the shade netting with cable-ties. i found some lovely pine retted planks under a bush going to waste and salvaged in time to use for the bench. Other than that it took us two a few hours to put it all together and now we have some shade for good development of smaller plants.

One thing that I will remember in future, and a very good tip I learnt last night is to remove the bark of the black wattle and paint it with tar or diesal, it lasts longer and repels insects.

It does have a bit of an angle, and does not look sturdy, but it sure is, its reinforced from all angles, needs a little more work, and will serve us well for many years to come.

Zones and sectors is a principle of permaculture practise. It is also used in other fields to break down a bigger picture into small pieces. I am using zone planning  for quite a few projects as it is a birds-eye view of a bigger picture. This makes life easier to plan placement of elements such as buildings, trees, fences, security, water catchment, crop rotation and highlights efficient use of energies and resources.

You can draw up to five zones on a simple map of your plot, using space and energies as the zones. Zones do not need to be physical boundires such as fences or structures.Instead you would you use zones to use your energies most efficiently such as placing things that you frequently use around the house in Zone 1, such as a herb garden, and in zone 2 place an orchard. The pond will less frequently be used and will be in Zone 2. The Cottage will be in Zone 2 and the House in Zone 1. Zone 1 is usually situated around the house, as it is the most intensively used place, controlled and maintained that require most of our attention. The rest of the zones carry less importance until you get to Zone 5 which is not maintained, or barely maintained.

By breaking up even the largest site into smaller sections, it’s much easier to design. Dividing up the site into zones does this for us, sector planning involves observation of nature to see where the elements of nature come into our site design. You can now easily plan efficient use of energies such as wind, rain, sun and even the slope of your land. Priorotise placement of elements around your property to maximise on natural resources.


Below is a youtube video clip of Zone planning for a compost heap.









Permaculture is a theory of ecological design which seeks to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems, by attempting to model them on natural ecosystems



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