Starting off on Dreamland, we knew we had to apply some strategic thinking.
At Homeland we have learnt and are still learning a lot of lessons. Daily. Just recently I have had to move a 12m x 1.2m double layer hardwood vegetable box 900cm to the left because of bad planning. It is not that we didn’t plan at all, but we grew organically way beyond what we had planned initially, secondly and even third time round. I mean, initially we thought 6 vegetable boxes and a row of 20 fruit trees down the driveway was thinking big. But at Homeland right now we are on 138 fruit trees and 12 vegetable boxes, plus two more boxes for blueberries…
OK, focus. Strategic thinking for Dreamland. Here goes:
- Edible, herbal, medicinal forest garden
- Organic, biodynamic, permaculture garden
- Low maintenance, high yield, “holistic pleasure”
- First prize: “Health Sanctuary”, which combines fitness, healthy living and eating, peaceful tranquil surrounding, “self-service” foraging, and healthly produce.
- Second prize: Rent out house / family retirement home, with good productivity from low maintenance edible forest garden.
- Tree identification and clearing
- Landscaping – access road, hills, work area, paths, pond, open areas
- Ground preparation – topsoil, compost, biodynamic preparations, holes for trees
- Irrigation – additional tanks, rainwater diversion, water distribution and scheduling
- Initial tree planting (July – Aug)
- Duck pond – location, filtering, water supply, drainage (to compost)
- Chicken coup
“Open items” / Questions
- Unfenced ducks vs foxes?
- Unnetted trees vs bird pests?
- Where do we incorporate more grape vines?
- Privacy (of rented home) vs connectivity (of health sactuary)?
- Path surface – cost vs easy of movement (e.g. for old people)?
It was interesting, while we were doing all this planning, I saw this diagram on William Horvath’s blog (permacultureapprentice.com). That gave me some confidence we were tackling things at least in an appropriate order:
We are just doing Access, Structures, Soil and then Water in that particular order, because we firstly need to organise access around the current tenants and we do not have natural flowing water to deal with – in our case it all has to be piped to where it must be collected and then from there to where it needs to be applied. In our case the landscaping will affect where how much water will be required and when. (Besides I have done too many re-irrigation exercises at Homeland, to know I must do the irrigation at Dreamland later on.) We also split step 4 into separate steps. We are doing the Soil conditioning a few months before Planting, so the biodynamics can start working, and the compost can settle before we put bare-root trees straight into it.
Below is our initial fencing concept, and photos of our did-it-ourselves fence to provide truck and work access, as well as gates being put up between Homeland and Dreamland.
So now starts the exciting journey to follow this strategy to hopefully meet its objectives!