Permaculture Design

BURPP learnings in Permaculture Design

Bill Mollison: Permaculture Profile

“Though the problems of the world seem increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”            – Bill Mollison Bill Mollison (1928 – 2016) is one of the creators of the permaculture movement, which he co-founded with his student, David Holmgren, in the 1970s in Australia. Together they jointly developed a framework for a sustainable agricultural system based on a multi-crop of perennial trees, shrubs, herbs, fungi, and root systems, which they coined permaculture (permanent – culture).   Bill…

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Urban Chickens

Urban Chickens They’re here! The eagles have landed!! After many years of dreaming about owning chickens (and far too many months building a coop), we are now the proud parents of three beautiful ladies. And not only have these chooks found us, but they’ve found a home in the coolest little suburb in Wellington. So please welcome our three lovely hyline pullets, procured pre-teen at 13 weeks, and (we like to think) saved from a life in a cage. We’ve …

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Tree in the Corner

There is a massive tree in the north-west corner of the front garden. Right in the corner, jammed up hard against the corner of the fence in such a way that it must have been planted there well before the fence was erected. In fact, the tree is so large it must be a similar vintage to our 1930s house. I’m not even sure what species the tree in the  corner is. It’s certainly native, possibly from the Myrtle family.…

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Fruit Tree Guilds

Since planting the fruit trees I’ve been investigating what I could use to under-plant them that will be beneficial to the them, but also might serve other purposes, such as providing resources for us. In permaculture, these kinds of associations are known as plants guilds. This post talks about the considerations I took is designing fruit tree guilds for my apples and pears. Guilds are like next-level companion planting, with a twist. A guild is a grouping a plants, trees, animals, insects and…

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Man versus Pantha – Getting rid of Agapanthus

As attractive as the flower may be, I think Agapantha (Agapanthus praecox) is horrible. It spreads and chokes out other plants and robs the soil of nutrients. And as far as I know, there is no beneficial use for it, not as food, medicine or as part of a permaculture system. Unfortunately, we have a lot of it on our urban ranch. In most places it is so established that the roots sit about a foot and a half proud…

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Breaking the first rule of Permaculture Club

I quoted the first of David Holmgren’s principles of permaculture: observe and Interact in my blank canvass post. Truth is, this takes a great deal of self-discipline. I often struggle to curb my enthusiasm enough to slow down, look and take it all in. I usually just want to leap in and start planting. And this is where I have already caught myself breaking the first rule of permaculture club. In my defense, we have lived here a year previously as renting…

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Base Map

Having brainstormed our ideas for our garden we now have a good idea about what our goals are and what it is we want our garden to be. Next step is to take stock of what we have already got to work with. An essential part of the design process is creating a base map. A base map is an essential tool for helping model and visualise ideas. It can be used as a means of familiarising yourself with the…

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Brainstorm in a teacup

Having clear goals is key to any design. The first part of our planning process was to get a clear idea of what is was we actually wanted our garden to be. We wanted the whole family to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for the garden and to do this we felt it important for the kids to be involved from the beginning. This means getting everyone involved in the design, so we held a creative brainstorm session one…

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“It’s so fine and yet so terrible to stand in front of a blank canvas”

– Paul Cezanne Yet, here we are. Perusing the neatly presented garden on the day we picked up the keys. The previous owner had scraped the weeds back from the beds, making it look very tidy for prospective buyers, and I have to admit, I like they way it looks. Clean lines, no clutter of vegetation, neatly clipped lawns – all these things appeal to my sense of order. As wonderful as it is to be able to put down roots…

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New Beginnings in Urban Permaculture

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…

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