Welcome to BURPP!
We took ownership of a small piece of urban paradise in the capital city of New Zealand in January 2017. We rented the same property 12 months previously but as tenants we were restricted in what we could do. It didn’t stop us dreaming though. We often wondered what we might do if we had free reign to unleash permaculture on the place. What sort productive food systems could the property yield?
Well by an interesting turn of events that wish has come true. We bought the house while visiting family in Scotland, and returned to a familiar yet new beginning. Now we can start to turn those dreams into a reality.
This blog has initially been set up to document our planning and progress as we use permaculture principals to turn our wee plot into a productive garden. With some good planning we hope that it will make our family and perhaps neighbourhood a little more resilient to potential future shocks.
The plan is to grow a continually increasing proportion of our food each year, relying as little as possible on external resources, and favouring local and salvaged when ‘importing’ materials. Being a suburban garden, it also needs to accommodate active kids, be aesthetically pleasing and potentially add value to the property.
An Alternative Approach
I make no apologies for my non-purest approach to permaculture. While I have had an interest in the subject for many years, have numerous texts and have read a lot around the subject, I have never done a Permaculture Design Course and don’t currently intend to do so. As a city dweller, my approach to urban permaculture is shaped to fit my lifestyle. I have one foot in the corporate world which means I am relatively time-poor when it comes to my garden. Family time is also very important to me so we spend a lot of time together enjoying the best of what Wellington has to offer. Therefore, I expect that a lot of what you read here will be imperfect to the permaculture purest.
Progress will be slow and I have no intention of turning over every bit of lawn to productive garden straight away. Whatever we do needs to be sustainable both in terms of the environment and our inputs. I also expect to make a lot of mistakes but will do my best to document them here. But low maintenance is key, so the urban permaculture approach does fit well with our intentions for this space.