Permaculture Community Garden Design

have a giving spirit

Permaculture Design For Community Garden by A. Sampson-KellyBuilding Blocks of Permaculture

There are two basic goals in a permaculture site plan: Use natural energies to increase our productivity and make the key features serve multiple functions. A permaculture design for a community garden would address some key steps to build resilience and long term success of the community garden:

  1.  Choose a site with a good position. Check there is a gentle slope.  A slope that greets the morning sun can provide lots of growing time. If there is too much sun, shade plants will help to reduce the glare.
  2. Ensure the entry has good visibility. Make signs and gates that look welcoming.
  3. Plan and implement good water filtration and re-use.
  4. Include strategically placed perennial food plants for windbreaks, privacy screens and shade in hot summer months.  A typical western community garden has a lot of annual plants. Aim to include carbon-sequestering perennials. Perennials need less maintenance. These food plants are good structural plants and last for several years and sometimes decades. The space will mature and be enhanced as it ages.
  5. Native animals and insects would be encouraged to help with pest control and increase biodiversity. Position some big trees on the far corners of the sun-less side of the site. These trees will trap condensation. They will also provide tinder for cooking, mulch for the garden, sticks for small trellises or plant ti-pis, a shady corner for nursery plants and habitat for wildlife.
  6. Encourage participants to learn to cook and eat what grows easily rather than force the landscape and climate to grow what they are in the habit of eating.  The notion of re-educating our palette can be very helpful for us to cope with climate uncertainty.

Strengthening Community Heart

Include spaces to enhance the social unity in your community garden.
Create spaces to:

  • meet andHello there! exchange ideas (this can also be a stage) Northey Street City Farm has a small outdoor stage under a mature tree.  For decades this space has served as a great space to hangout day and night.
  • share tools and enjoy harvests together
  • Entertain one another and have fun. In our recent design here for a Permaculture community garden we have made the whole site in the shape of an amphitheater. This demonstrates the true creative spirit of permaculture – to serve many functions!

Stacking The Action

A multi-functional community space like this can run events throughout the seasons and at different times of the day. This is the stacking principle taught by Bill Mollison. When we stack different plants together we utilise the vertical space and when we put things into the space at different times of the day or year, we are utilising the 4th dimension – time.

 

 

 

Art Of Permaculture Intensive Workshop

Art of Permaculture Intensive Workshop to be held at Sydney Permaculture Institute. Imagine if there was a chance that you could express the complex ideas in Permaculture creatively with clarity and power.

The-Thinker---best-version2_small

About Art and Permaculture

Do you sometimes have an idea you find hard to express? Do you wish you could simplify things so others can better understand? Do you want to enrich your projects with good promotional material? Join us in exploring your artistic side, building skills and learn the basics of communicating powerfully and quickly.Image3

Art has always asked the difficult questions. It has often been the brave voice of reason. And sometimes the shining light in troubled times. Through Art we can help make a difference:

  • Stimulate self questioning,
  • Open discussion
  • Build awareness and
  • Inspire people to create changes and
  • Empower people to become part of a beautiful and productive solution.

About the Trainer – April Sampson-Kelly

Image1aApril has been teaching permaculture for 20 years and in more than 60 countries. Because she teaches permaculture online, using her own text and to many people who need visual prompts, her artwork has traveled the world. Permaculture is a very complex design system and requires a lot of different skills to be understood and practiced well.  Her artworks first set up to explain a lot of the tricky concepts in Permaculture. She has also done a range of permaculture designs for clients in Australia and abroad.

April started with a Masters degree in creative arts and has been successful in various artistic projects. She started as an accomplished musician, composer, and lyricist. Her inspiration began as she and her family began building their permaculture food forest in Wollongong 20 years ago. April started teaching permaculture online in 1993 and in her goal to present permaculture in plain English with lots of images and illustrations; she started developing different artistic media to develop permaculture education. She noticed that through art her permaculture clients and fellow educators are able to illustrate, communicate and inspire permaculture ideas. Now her work has traveled the world to promote permaculture. She and her son were the illustrators for the logo for 2014 International Permaculture Day.   Some of her permaculture graduates have been inspired to design permaculture card games, more teaching tools and beautiful graphics.

Workshop Outcomes

During this workshop you will explore all the amazing ways Art can influence design and empower you to explore your concepts. From Patterns through to details we will explore various media, learn their limitations, skills required and find different media that enables you to convey ideas. Even if you think you have no artistic flair, you will be encouraged to explore your ideas and build your creative realm.  With April’s unique combination of a deep knowledge of permaculture and  passionate artistic background you can build the skills to create  inspiring, beautiful and memorable designs. This is one of her iconic designs that have been top in online search ranking for over 10 years.

Image5

The Art of Permaculture

This workshop is for: permaculture designers; landscape architects and designs; design students; teachers; artists; community and school garden designers; anyone interested in art for self skill development and fun.

Workshop Program

  • What is your definition of Art? What different art forms can we explore (realism, fictional and propaganda)?
  • Recognise how art has been integral and powerful in helping permaculture and environmental issues be better understood in the world.
  • Discuss the types of design platforms, advantages and limitations (from spatial art through to software).
  • The basics of design, how the permaculture principles can be applied to our workplace and lifestyle.
  • Discover your unique aesthetic, find you art mentors/idols, determine if you are visual, aural, or kinesthetic.
  • Explore reactive versus proactive Art.
  • Determine where mainstream is and how you may be able to communicate to mainstream without compromising your goals and preferred techniques.
  • Know your market
  • Discuss what challenges artists face (i.e. writers block, client relationships)
  • Define your goals and become empowered through focusing on how to get your passion to pay.
  • Find out how to create employment, find your right-livelihood as a communicator and artist.
  • Pitfalls and benefits of being self-employed.
  • Discuss ways to overcome copyright concerns.
  • Ways to collaborate with other artists and ideas people.

You will set your own goals, define your priorities and create the beginnings of new artworks. There will be lots of exercises in quick fixes, fun cheats, a little light-hearted art-soul searching and most of all an exploration of tools for staying inspired, connected to nature and making powerful permaculture messages.

All artworks shown are the work of April Sampson-Kelly.

Book me in!

 

 

 

 

How Can I Compare Technologies?

compost_poopA lot of people wonder how to compare new technologies that come on the scene promising a greener world, healthier life or better waste management.
Below is an Evaluation Table that we developed with our students Morgan Stephens, Tessha Mearing, and Penny Cross (Tessha and Penny are now graduates). You can apply this comparison tool to any product you are considering purchasing.

Evaluation Tool to Compare Similar Technologies

Field of interest

Features

Weight
How important you feel this feature is.

Points scored
can be positive or negative but not zero.

Subtotal for that feature = Weight multiplied by points scored.

Investment

Is this a Procreative (+ve points) or a Degenerative (-ve points) Investment? Or parts there-of? (see chapter on Community Recycling to define investment types)

Will the money spent on the purchase encourage the supplier or manufacturer to investment in better technologies?
(Yes = +ve points)

Is the place of manufacture local? Reduce score for significant transportation, size and weight of freight.

Is the supplier local and have they been in the industry long?

Modular investment

Is there a way to modify and existing technology by adding a new module?

Limitations of User

List any restrictions eg. Some users/sites have restricted solar, wind, land ownership, local government by-laws, legal constraints, cultural expectations.

Purchase Cost

Purchase or parts cost in cash $

Purchase labour you must spend on installing and learning to operate this
(work out your labour cost in $)

Ethical cost – What is the cost to the environment and the workers and families who live in the mining and factories localities?

Environmental cost of full production and of components including embedded energy.

Is the embedded energy able to be reused later?

Running Costs

Moving parts = wear and tear. How many moving parts are there and how important are they?

Durability

Modular parts – are the parts able to be replaced, are they common and easily available? Or does a large component require replacement?

Lifespan

Estimate life span of the technology with maintenance

Is this technology fit for your future needs?

Ease of maintenance, does it require a specialist trade to be maintained?

Running labour cost

How much time is required to run this technology? e.g. Per day or per km or per kilowatt

Operational Ease

Can a child or elderly person operate this technology safely?

Educational Benefit

Would the user gain educational experience from use of this technology?

Impacts

Pollutants (smoke, compaction, other)

Noise

Visual (eye-sore or work of art?)

Space required that other things could have eg. Storage or land space has a cost.

Transportability

Is the system or device relocatable?

By Products. These can be
useful (+ve) or harmful (-ve)

chemical by-products

Physical by-products

Accumulation of by-product.

volume of product is also a factor in determination of usefulness.

Ease of management of by product required? Is specialist knowledge required? Do users need to be trained and educated?

How much time is required to manage the by-products?

Can the by-product be sold or reduce costs elsewhere?

Risks

Can the technology cause a catastrophe?

Is there risk of damage to other things?

Can the technology or device cause an injury to someone else? e.g. Some cars are safer for pedestrians than others.

Energy Efficiency

2nd law of Thermodynamics – how much energy is lost during running?

What happens to potential energy when the system is not running.

Other considerations

Where To Put Down Your Roots

dead butterfly 008A lot of people wonder where they can settle to build a more sustainable lifestyle.
Most people think that it all depends on climate and soil quality.
Here are some permaculture Ideas for the selection of your new home

The priorities for choosing a site:

 

  1. A likeable community with whom I could feel a useful and valued part. Choose a site within a community that values its natural environment.
  2.  Good climate preferably Subtropical or temperate site with minimal frost, preferably in good rainfall area unless you enjoy a dry climate.
  3. A slope that faces the morning sun or you will be faced with many more problems than you may bargain for (including hot wind, hot sun, slower plant growth etc).
  4. Good soil or at least clay soil.
  5. Bonus EXTRAS would include: An existing canopy of fruit trees, as in our system we bought an old orchard (though this could harbour hazardous chemical residues, check the soil first). A site that is not too far from other people, specialist services such as health services and public transport so you can start reducing your reliance on a motorcar. Most other features including improved soil by good water management, you can build yourself.