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PDC Permaculture Design Course - September - Island of S.Miguel - Azores

PDC Permaculture Design Course - September - Island of S.Miguel - Azores
Join us to know all about Permaculture
Permaculture is to live in harmony with nature providing for human needs and the needs of the ecosystems

6 Mediterranean Food Forest Garden

6
Mediterranean
Food Forest Garden

"Forest 2 Years developments"

The forest garden area would become a sand box for the combination of traditional mediterranean species and also new varieties used in landscape regeneration.

Educational area developed with the purpose of creating a forest adapting an old orange orchard as an example of permaculture zone 2 in the mediterranean region.

One of the main goals is to establish a system as much diverse as possible, with many different kinds of fruit, medicinal and support trees.


With the support of the “wonderland” garden as a genetic bank of plants, many new species would be introduced in this area, concentrating mainly in productive ground covers and perennial self seeding plants.

This project was developed at the Vale da Lama permaculture institute to support the educational programs.




O.B.R.E.D.I.M.C.E.


Observation

Intuitive Observation
-Almost no maintenance
-Next to zone 1 gardens
-Very exposed to wind
-Soil tilled and exposed
-Next to greenhouse
-Close to main road
-Some small fig trees
-No ground covers
-Soil compacted.
-Water tank close
-Far from main house
-Some wild olive trees
-Some neglected orange trees
-Gentle sloap
-East west orientation

Deductive Observation
-Potential for big production
-Possibility for multiple irrigation methods
-Possible area for chicken tractors
-Possibility to produce the fruits for a big group of people
-For full production high maintenance required
-Big need for organic matter production
-Large amount of mulch needed
-Easy cardboard access in the city
-Many microclimates possible
-2000 square meters area
-Possibility for ponds and vertical growth

Strategies with worms

D.A.F.O.R.
Priority of Ideas

Dominant
Needs strong improvement in soil
Potential for amazing educational area

Abundant
Importance of ground cover
Good for planting many different plants
Possible introduction of animals

Frequent
Important to have more specialized volunteers
Possible genetic bank of trees from all the farm

Occasional
Limitations on materials and tools
Potential for getting great practical experience

Rare
Possibility of heavy frost and hot summers
Weeding maintenance

Desert solutions

Boundaries

Holistic objectives

Vision
The Vision for the “Forest Garden” is to create a educational area of permaculture methodologies used in Zone 2, for the students of the Permaculture Institute.

Mission

The mission for this forest is to be a genetic bank of trees and of useful perennial plants , producing food at the same time as performing as an educational area.

Values

This project has as main values, education, integration, patience, sustainability, hope, creativity and healing.

Quality of life
By developing this project i am looking to have a deeper understanding of Natures patterns in forests and its seasonal flows, and to create a good deposit of productive plants and trees.
Future resource base
For the Future of this project the idea is that other permaculturists and volunteers can keep on learning and developing its structures and thecnics.
Energy flows

Visible Boundaries
2000 square meter area
Exposed soil
650 mm rainfall
Dry summer
Water from well and canal
No shade
Very close neighbors
Limited working materials
Working volunteers

Invisible Boundaries
-Time
-Ideas for some areas
-Presence of client
-Limited knowledge
-Budget
-Time for maintenance and development

Fertilizer factory

The scale of permanence

1-Climate
Very stable weather
Warm temperate climate
Most of rain in the winter time
Not extreme summer
Maximum rain in one day around 40mm
Temperatures between -5 and 38ºC
Possible frost for 2 weeks in February
Orographic effect due to close presence of mountains
Very big Wind exposure

2-Landscape
-Gentle sloap of around 3%
-Compacted and eroded landscape
-Rich ecossystem
-Estuary
-Forest is east west oriented

3-Water
-Water from irrigation canal and well
-Flooding irrigation system
-30 000 liters water tank
-Intensive mulching
-Possibilities for ponds

4-Access
-Road paralel to forest

5-Wild-life
-Not much biodiversity
-Introduction of flowers may attract many insects
-Some stone structures for reptiles


6-Micro climates
-Easy implementation of micro climates
-Stones to preserve heat
-Stable temperature
-Not much shade to create cooler areas

7-Buildings
-30 000 liters water tank

8-Zones
-Rural coastal context
-Easy social interconnections, local, national and international

9-Soils
-Compacted soil
-Very low in organic matter
-Deep clay soil
-Ph 7.8
-No mulch
-Tilled

10-Aesthetics
-Very coasi
-Perfect for as an example of a zone 2
-Characteristics of intensive system
-Potential for art


Subtile boundaries
-Wild olives wind break already stablished as microclimate in north side
-Water acumulation points
-More protected area next to water tank

Desire lines
-Desired lines need to be developed
-Need to implement permanent pathspaths

Local and renewable resources

D.A.F.O.R.
Bounderies
Dominant
Poor soil
Abundant
Irrigation system
Frequent
Working force
Ocasional
Combinning with other activities
Rare
Financial limitations

Water retention

Resources

Visible Resources
-Virtually unlimited water
-Unlimited cardboard
-Abundant coffee scraps
-Around 100 euros per month budget
-Some gardening tools
-2000 square meters forest space
-Vertical growing space
-Trees already there
-Irregular volunteers presence
-Local plants nurseries

Invisible resources
-Limited knowledge
-Abundance of ideas
-Around 40 hours per week to maintain


P.A.S.T.E.
Plants
Animals
Structures
Tools
Events

Annuals

Lettuce
Spinach
garlic
onions
potatoes
Tomatoes
Sunflower
Pumpkins
Courgette
Kholraby
Melons
Cucumbers

Perennials

Cabbage
Swiss chard
Petunia
Primula
Fleur du lis
Strawberry
Wild strawberry
Taro

Banana”
Sugar canne

LEGUME
Beans
Peas
Fava
Luzern
Clover

TEA/MEDICINAL
Mint
Pennyroyal
Basilicum
Aloe
Citronela
Thyme
Calendula
Viola
Mint
Red mint

Shrubs

Eleagnus
Fisalys
Fushia
Abutilon
Giesta

Trees

Fig trees
Plums
Oranges
Peaches
Appricot
Apples
Pears
...

Vines

Passion fruit
Wine
Chuchu

Mammals

Rabbits
Cats
Dogs
Mowls


Birds

Black bird
Sparrow
House Martin
Chickens
Pigeons

Insects

Bumbblebee
Carpenter bee
Honey bees
Dragonflies
Sirfids
Monarch


Reptiles
Rat snake
Water snake

Amphibians

Frogs

Fish

Koy fish
Cherry shrimp





Buildings

30 000 liters water tank


Paths

Paths needed for trees access

Structures

Lake

Machines

Streamer
Shreder

Tools

Gardening tools


Natural

Heavy rains in April

Hot summer

Strong winds

Courses

Introduction to permaculture courses

Several permaculture design courses

Permaculture internships


Visits

Schools visits for environmental education





Education

Plants
English
Cientific
Portuguese
Function
Common broom

Scotish broom
Whyte retama
Yellow retama
Chicpea

Elaeagnus
Cytisus scoparius

Cytisus grandiflorus
Retama monosperma
Retama sphaerocarpa
Cicer Arietinum

Elaeagnus umbellata
Elaeagnus multiflora

Dynamic acumulators
Comfrey
Borage


Giesta

Giesteira-das-sebes
Piorno branco
Piorno amarelo
Grão de bico
Fix N+ Roasted seed for coffee
Fix N+Edible flower
Fix N+Attract bees
Fix N+Attract bees
Fix N+

Fix N+
Fix N+





You can find plant lists to use in this climate HERE and HERE

Semi arid, sub tropical and regenerative local species

Evaluation

Imput and output analysis

Inputs
Needs

D.A.F.O.R.

Dominant
-Volunteers
-Watering
-Wind breaks

Abundant
-Introduction of plants
-Propagation of trees

Frequent
-Compost
-Cardboard
-Straw

Occasional
-Chickens
-Ferilization
-Visits
-Tree plantation

Rare
-Grafting


Outputs
Yields

Dominant
-Quality of life
-Knowledge
-Soil improvement

Abundant
-Biodiversity
-Propagation of self seeding plants
-Oranges

Frequent
-Learning Experience
-Gound cover plants yields like pumpkins and sweet potato leafs

Occasional
-Seasonal fruits
-Eggs

Rare
-Enouth production
-Deseases


Situação actual das florestas em Portugal AQUI

Limiting factors
What is limiting your yield?

-The factor that limits mostly the yield is the not constant flow of volunteers.

Were can i open more niches?
-Many places to develop microclimates

What improvements can be done?
-A good organization of time and tasks

How to extend limits and comfort zones?
-Trying to implement new structures like lakes


Energy leaks
Where are you bleeding?
Watering system
Poor soil quality
Not having a constant work force

S.W.O.C.
Strenghts
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Constraints
Central area
Easy resources

Time
Permanent maintenance
Education
Networking
Experience
Other activities
Climate

Systems dynamics
Guilds and irrigation

Key functions
Learning
Food production
Composting
Planting
Watering
Making fertilizer
Worm composting

Systems to support the key functions
Plant and fruits harvesting
Different watering systems
Practicing
Recycling
Researching
I.T.

Elements to support the systems
Myself
Volunteers
Students
Compost bins
Water tank
Greenhouse
Nursery
Tools  House

Planting an agroforest

Relations + + between systems
kitchen + + compost
compost + + trees
forest + + kitchen

Web of life
Snails as food for chickens
Chickens weed and fertilize forest
Forest produces food for chickens and people
Pond attracts insects
Insects control pests
frogs eats mosquitoes larvae
Flowers attract insects
Insects pollinate flowers
Flowers produce fruits
Fruits get eaten or composted
Compost fertilizes soil
Soil produces flowers

Design

Master plan
Moment 1
-Develop effective irrigation system

Moment 2
-Increase quality of the soil

Moment 3
-Plant new trees

Moment 4
-Open for visits

Moment 5
-Courses and education

Zoning
Forest garden” is a zone 2 area
-Most of the forest for fruit production
-Vegetables and medicinal toguether
-Mixed garden with perennials and annuals and fruit trees.

Sector analysis
"Future cultivations"

P.M.I.
Plus
Minus
Interesting
Micro climates
Vertical stacking
Resources in close city
Fast development
National exposure
Create the opportunity for permaculturists to learn
Experience on design and implementation
Long growing season
Potential for subtropical plants and trees
Maintenance
Not much time for observation
Combining with educational activities
Quality of soil
Watering system

Abundance of resources
Experience in semi arid landscape
Easy promotion
Frequent visits
Use of permaculture principles
Interesting for regeneration
Many plants and tree species possible



Filtering Tools

Permaculture Ethics

Care for earth

Reduce

Reduction on water uses

Reuse

Use of many local species from stacking

Recycle

Cardboard from city for compost and mulch

Repair

Soils


Care for people

Social landscapes

Landscape used for many visits, courses, and education for 

volunteers.


Fair share

Seeds exchange

Open visits to the garden

Fruits and herbs for visitors

Information Knowledge

Permaculture Principles

The most frequent principles applied were:

The problem is the solution

Integrate rather than segregate

Start small

Use local resources

Each element must perform several functions

Financial analysis 

Important to have a good investment in seeds, plants and 

compost


Quality of life

-The quality of life we have tried to achieve, despite the limiting boundaries, was to have a constant fruit production and courses to share the research with students.

Grafting olive trees

Implementation

D.A.F.O.R.
Dominant
Get compost
Improve watering system
Abundant
Observation
Start germination
Mulching
Frequent
Tree planting
Plant flowers for insects
Occasional
Fruits harvesting
Grafting
Rare
Weeding
Introduce chickens


Stacking
Time

Life story
2011
Improving soil

Implement new watering system

2012
More stable flow of volunteers

Introduce lakes

Green ground cover established

Seasonal
Spring
Intensive germination

Introduce leguminous plants

Propagate worms in garden

Intensive mulching

Grafting

Summer
Planting of pumpkins and melons

Special attention to watering

Make preserved foods

Autum
Heavy mulching

Seed harvesting and organizing

Winter
Heavy composting

Improving growing lines

Space

-The project was design to use as much as possible the space without compromising the sun sector.
Maintenance

S.W.O.C.
Strenghts
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Constraints
Education
Soil improvement
Diversity of plants
Irrigation
Permanent maintenance
New crops
Experiments
Experience
Weather
Time

P.A.S.T.E.
Plants
Animals
Structures
Tools
Events
Water 2 times a week in summer
Doesnt need water for all winter time
Reproduction by cuttings
Grafting
Seed saving
Protection from animals
Harvesting
Collect eggs
Improve shelters
Protect fruits from birds
Attract insects
Worm incoculation

Harvest fertilizer plants in lake and cactus area
Build chicken tractor
Organize seed bank area

Organize garden tools
Measure ph
Measure humidity and temperature


Harvesting fruits
Composting
Mulching
Prepare for winter rains
Make fertilizer from willow and nettles
Organize courses
Plant pumpking

Collecting data
Most of the data collecting was done by videos and pictures since the beginning of the project.

The video reports can be seen at 
You Tube Channel HERE


Celebration

D.A.F.O.R.
Dominant
Courses
Visits
Abundant
Observation
Frequent
Building Trelices
Occasional
Art
Music playing
Meditation
Rare
Building ponds
Painting

S.W.O.C.
Strenghts
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Constraints
Central area of farm
Frequent students
Creates a lot of inspiration

Time
Maintenance of demonstration areas
Logistics
Education
Sharing
Relaxing
Exchange

Combining with other developments
Space for big groups


EVENTS
Characteristics
The events organized in the “Forest garden”were mostly related to education, having the students maintaining and developing some of the elements, and also researching and designing.



Evaluation

P.A.S.T.E.

Plants
Animals
Structures
Tools
Events
Crucial importance in choosing the best place
Shaded area for shade plants
Many plants collected around the farm
Trees develop in amazing way
Old orange trees can produce more than 100 kg of oranges
Incredible impact on the number of biodiversity
Many more insects and lake animals
Monarch butterfly established
Turtles arrived
Constant possibility for improvements
Limitations acording to resources available
Many improvisations
Required


Tools dont last very long
Important to reduce the need of tools as much as possible
Better to invest in quality
Extreme importance on doing things at the right time
Events must be very well planned
before
Use energy flows as much as possible


Limiting factors

What is limiting your yield?
-The factor that limits mostly the yield is the need for constant working force for implementation and maintenance

Were can i open more niches?
- Better alocation of trees acording to theyr needs.

What improvements can be done?
-Make the system in a way that it can be maintained by a small number of people

How to extend limits and comfort zones?
-Introduction of fungal structures.

About this region conditions click HERE

S.W.O.C.
Strenghts
Weaknesses
Opportunities
Constraints
Knowledge
Experience
Attitude
Networking
Finding proper niche
Timming
Angsiety
Patience

Personal and professional growth
Quality of life
Learning
Language
Time
Confidence
Luck

Systems dynamics
Web of life

A nice story about the influence of this project to the biodiversity of the area is related to the introduction of a local plant that attracts the Monarch Butterfly


Creation of Monarch Butterfly sanctuary

What would i do Different?
One of things i would problably do different would be to have a more constant presence on the forest.

I feel thats the permaculture zone were i really feel the extreme abundance and diversity that permaculture can create.

Its never easy to combine professionaly and at the same time all the multifunctional activities that permaculturists have.

This area combined with my educational functions, acted as my investigation laboratory and healing temple at the same time.

The time stops in this place and the time spent there is never enouth, because of all the impressions on the 5 dimention, that is the landscape were the connections manifest, and i love so much to observe  


Final Observations

The forests are the key to a more sustainable future, they provide most of the resources we need to survive, from the wood for construction, to the water we drink, to the fruits and vegetables we eat.

 The impact of deforestation and overgrazing are having a huge impact on the ecossystems for the last thousands of years and the lost of forests is causing huge influence on the climate change.



"500 years carob tree @ Vale da Lama institute"
 
With the mediterranean food forest garden i felt like ive helped  reversing that process, giving charcoal to the soil and old wood to give back the carbon to were it should be, and creating a green cover with regenerative plants and delicious fruit trees .


I got surprised by the speed of the impact and how i was able to in 1,5 year to create a regeneration from semi arid landscape to a pasture with 1,5 meter deep root perennial grass.


The mediterranean is consideried to be in the level 8 of the britle landscape scale very close to the 10 that is the maximum and considered to be a desert.


With a good provision of water well distributed along the landscape ive speeded up the self regulating systems of nature and the natural succession, creating conditions to grow bananas in were only spiky plants and cactus would naturaly grow.




This reminds me of what  Darren, an australian permaculturist used to say wen asked about the importance of forests.


"Foreast? 

Eats thee oonlay why meite!" 


"Ernst Gotch brazilian forestry teacher"

"This project is dedicated to all the forest people "





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