“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”
~ Bill Mollison
We are now in the second day of Urban Permaculture with Toby Hemenway and we are reviewing zones and the city foodshed.
What are our Permaculture “zones” in the urban area?
What type of land access do we have in the city?
Problems we may encounter in the city?
Some resources contributed by attendees (mostly for schools):
We then reviewed some concepts from both Gaia’s Graden (Toby Hemenway’s book) and Edible Forest Gardens by Dave Jacke http://www.edibleforestgardens.com/
I’m not going to go into detail as most of this info is explained much better in both books, but forest gardens are mainly composed by five pieces of structure: vegetation layers, soil structure and ecology, vegetation density, pattering and diversity (now I recall all my studies from the Organic Master Gardener course I took last February) and are distributed among seven layers (or even more, if we consider the fungal layer)…all this info allow us to start thinking on how we will re-create this into our edible urban forest, that can have hundreds of species in areas as small as a college classroom, if well designed and organized.
We explored different patterns and guilds and how to use strategies such as decreasing height to allow for more sunlight exposure, etc.
Some good resources from this section:
In the afternoon, we talked about guilds in Permaculture:
More info on guilds:
“A guild in Permaculture landscape design is a harmonious assembly of species (plant or animal) physically associated with a central plant or animal species to provide it with some benefit” (http://foodgrowsontrees.blogspot.ca/2010/02/permaculture-guilds.html )
Also can be defined as a “group who synergize among themselves for mutual benefit” (and this concept can be applied to plants, animals, other design elements and even to human relationships, business, etc.)
We reviewed how guilds can be created or organized:
We closed the day after working on a group exercise to find guilds created by different people, as a big “business model” where each one of us would provide for and need some input to and from others in the team, showing how Permaculture concepts go way beyond the garden and food production and can be applied to almost anything in life.
We talked about the different challenges we were facing in our area (Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland) to apply Permaculture projects and people came up with some that I list here:
Toby Hemenway closed asking us to act, to go out and apply what we learned and seek the company and support from others, teaching by example with our own lives and actions…
Lead by example, as Toby quoted from a (friend?): “A picture is worth a thousand words, but a model is worth a thousand pictures”
Or like Toby signed in my Gaia’s Garden book: “To Silvia: Grow a great garden”
“Emerging at the other end, we will not be the same
as we were; we will have become more humble, more connected to the natural world, fitter, leaner,
more skilled and, ultimately, wiser.”
~ Rob Hopkins,Originator of the Transition Town movement
Category: Community Resources, Education and Training, Food Security, No Waste Living, Reflections on an unsustainable world, Resilient Living and Choices, Simply Living, Social Justice, Sustainable Living