Permaculture Consult – part 1: What’s Important To Us & What Do We Want To Achieve?

On Wednesday Beck & Mark from Cydonia Permaculture came up and did a Permaculture Consult. This means we walked all over the property together checking out the soil, the plants, animals, structures, the lie of the land and other features. They asked lots of questions, particularly about what we wanted to achieve and what was important to us.

Then we brainstormed all the different ideas that could work in our particular situation based on what we want to achieve and permaculture design principles. Beck drew some pictures. We scribbled on the plan. Went back outside and rechecked a few different things. Came back and wrote them all down.

After three and a half hours we have a list that is seven pages long (and still growing) of all the things we could do! Next step is to prioritise and work out what is the most important things are. There will be a flurry of information exchange in the next few weeks via email and lots more questions asked.

So what is important to us and what do we wanted to achieve? The list we came up with is as follows, not in order of importance:

  • Living as sustainably as possible with as little intensive work as possible, as I’m the full time carer for 3 special needs boys and part time to my chronically ill husband, so time is something I have little of
  • Growing as much of our own food as possible, especially fruit, veggies, eggs and chooks. Possibly a house-cow or a goat, bees and ducks. Maybe even grain crops. Growing stock fodder thus reducing the amount we’ll have to buy in
  • Maximising the amazing south facing views from the house
  • Not mowing or whipper-snipping to keep the grass down every few weeks. Our property is set out much like one of those English Manors or Parklands with trees dotted around the place and lots and lots of lawn
  • Improving the soil. Making it less boggy in places. Using the natural bogginess in some way (it’s so wet and muddy here I’m sure we could establish our own wetlands! You sink into the soil almost everywhere in the backyard or step into large puddles of water pooling all over the place). Need good drainage where we don’t want it boggy
  • Retreat spaces throughout the garden to sit and enjoy. Play equipment for the boys integrated within the garden spaces, not standing out like a sore thumb, using existing structures or making new ones that are also part of something else