Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Permaculture Design Certification Course Homework

 Zone 0:
The house
to shelter humans
is shaded in summer to east and west
 by deciduous trees
that are bare in winter letting in sun.
Inside, a wood burning stove
to warm and cheer the winter evenings.
In summer, vents draw cool air from earth wells dug beneath the floor
that are insulated in winter
while warm air is drawn out by chimneys in the roof
pulling cool air up from the floor.
One well and chimney draws air for an insulated food pantry year round.

Zone 1:
The south wall warm for tender fruit trees
the roof slanted to collect rain in a barrel
to water the tender trees
and the vegetable beds
that feed the humans of the house
the animals of the farm
the leftovers going to worms
dried leaves for bedding, scraps for food
their rich waste feeding the tender fruit trees
and layered vegetable beds.

The greenhouse
to keep tools from rust
start seedlings and root cuttings
shelter the ducks
the roof slanted to collect rain in a barrel
to water the pond or berry bush  guilds
acid loving blueberries, groundnut and pine mulch from the Christmas trees.

On the north side, the chicken enclosure
inside, a shelter for them at night
the roof slanted to catch rain in a barrel
to water the chickens
the moist mulched shrubs
fed by their droppings
drop fruits and berries
for humans and animals
drop bedding for chickens and worms
that mulch and fertilize and moisten the shrubs
that give shelter from hawks
also nearby hardwoods
drop limbs for edible fungal innoculations
in the moist mulched shrubs
collecting bugs and grubs and worms beneath
that are turned to eggs
by greedy beaks
the feathered pest control for moist mulched shrubs
egg insides eaten by humans
outsides eaten by worms, turned to compost, taken up by shrubs and bugs
back to greedy beaks.

The fence, protecting chickens
hung with creeping vines
honeysuckle, to be woven into baskets to collect eggs
and all the fruits of the farm.

Human waste
collected from toilet building
(with slanting roof to collect rain in a barrel
to supply compost moisture or water shade shrubs)
combined with tree waste
composted to feed trees
producing nuts and fruits and fire for warmth
or composted to heat water
or rotted for methane, burning just enough
no more carbon than the trees breathe in
and return to biomass
for the dishes, washing, cooking, bathing, freezer and Sunday and market day trips to town.

Zone 2:
The orchard
on the sunny south slope
under a carpet of nitrogen fixing clover
for ducks to munch on
bugs to hide in
for greedy beaks to eat
and turn to eggs
to be eaten by humans
the shells by worms
their compost fed to the garden plants and trees
seeping slowly southward into the clover carpet
where bugs hide from greedy beaks.

In summer
orchard grasses grow high
to be cut for mulch
first the seed heads fed to ducks
the rest to tuck the trees in for winter
and keep their beds moist in summer.

In summer the duckweed greens the pond
fed by duck and fish droppings
eaten by ducks and fish,
the solar powered cascade
mixing oxygen
cycling ammonia ridden water
through gravel edge
where nitrifying bacteria reside
and filtering plant roots
mini cattails, watercress, arrowhead
edibles for humans and ducks,
and beneath the surface
fish and their fry weave through the hornwort
between rocks and branches to hide in,
poking up through the edgespace where surface meets sky
growing nitrifying bacteria
giving frogs and dragonflies a place  to climb out on
while fish feed on weeds and water bugs
growing fat for the harvest.

In fall orchard fruits harvested
dried, frozen, canned, fermented
leftovers fed to poultry and worms
then leaves fall
bedding for poultry and worms
their compost fed back to the trees and plants.

Gray water from the house
filters through a gravel bed
and feeds bamboo growing there
harvested for poles, dried, sold and shared, leaves used for animal bedding
water flowing through their roots to the tree nursery below
where rooted cuttings from the greenhouse
are tended, replanted, sold or shared
fruits, nuts, woody shrubs, hardwoods,
and conifers for the Christmas tree patch
with pines shedding needles for acid loving plants.

Zone 3:
Bessie's pasture
like Trantham's Twelve Aprils
grazed one patch at a time
eaten halfway down
then she moves to the next
under dotted hardwood shades
that drop leaves for her bedding
in the barn
where she is milked
and a calf born every other spring
after an earlier tryst with a neighbor's bull
and her babe grows up beside her, then is sold or shared
when the maternal bond lets it go.

The barn roof slanted to collect rain in many barrels
supplying water for cow and calf.

Every spring a patch of pasture is sown with wheat
allowed to mature for a harvest
supplying a family with bread
and straw for animal bedding and mulch and compost for fertilizer, heat and methane harvest
then moved the next year to another patch
fertilized by Bessie and her babe.

At pasture's edge a few goats feed (not shown in picture, but a necessary component)
supplying dairy during Bessie's dry season of rest
kids sold or shared
when the maternal bond lets them go
feeding to keep woodlands at bay
as they are moved from patch to patch
two years go by before returning to the same place
enough time for wild blackberries to fruit
in the fertile droppings they leave behind
picked every summer by purple mouthed children
for jams, frozen treats, pies, pancake toppings and wine.

At night
the barn is warm and alive
with creature breath and dreams of green pastures beside still waters.

Zone 4:
A hardwood forest
self mulching, keeps itself
supplying nuts and winter fuel
bedding and compost reserves if needed
and logs for growing edible mushrooms in the cool, wet spring
occasionally thinned for lumber harvest
a buck or two hunted by neighbors in the fall
a creek near the pasture and woodland edgeland
supplying water for grazers
occasional sand and clay taken
for pottery, cob building, soil drainage management

Zone 5:
a sacred temple to explore
to enjoy just for being there
a place to learn Wisdom
and instruction from the Creator
for managing inhabited spaces
for the wellbeing of all living things
to listen to the groaning, the waiting
for the new world to be born
for the nations to beat their swords into plowshares
spears to pruning hooks
to be used for one day to plant permanant and selfseeding polycultures
then passed along, with wisdom gathered, produce shared, to a neighbor
until, neighbor by neighbor, crop mobbing together
the world becomes known
as one connected, permanently cultured neighborhood.
Wisdom covering lands
as waters cover seas.


Anonymous said...

Wow Sara! This is great! You have managed to put so much into such a little space. I could just picture all the things you mentioned. What a great way to really be good stewards of the earth and to enjoy the handiwork of our Creator! I love it!

Sara said...

Thank you! Both you and my course instructor, Dr. Alan Enzo, who is a Christian as well, have been so encouraging! Your encouragement has received the wider of the two wide, unabashed grins, my very first teacher :) :) :) :)