My trip to Hood River, near Portland was a great success. Besides coming back with enough money to pay my rent for the month, I had the great experience of being part of a very quick permaculture design. Which is normally speaking, not supposed to be quick. You're supposed to take your time observing the property, thinking about your needs, the lands needs, and so on, similarly taking your time with the design, waiting to implement it only when the design seems solid. At least that's how I used to think about it. I also thought that every Permaculture Design had to have maps, maos, and more maps, otherwise it wasn't a Permaculture design at all. Lately though, I have begun to learn that the real map you make is the one in your head. The owners of the property in Hood River, have one of those head maps. They've been living there for two years, seen the sun rise and fall, noting where it's sunny and where it's shady, where the wind blows etc. It is also helpful that there property is quite small, about a quarter of an acre. While I was up there I planted about 30 fruit and nut trees and bushes. They may look small now but in ten years they're tiny gardens will be Eden!
Now those fruit and nut trees are only one layer of Permaculture gardening, Forest Gardens. Let me show you.
Here in Talent, the house we're renting is on about an acre of land. Now I don't plan on investing too much time and energy into developing this property, seeing as how I'll only be here for a year, but I have a few ideas. Let's take a look at the hazelnut orchard.
That's all it is, hazelnuts. But not for long. Existing orchards are perfect candidates for becoming food forests. They just need more diversity and layering. I spoke to the owner, and she said that some of those hazelnuts can come out and be replaced with other fruit or nut trees. I am also coming up with a plan to sheet mulch the orchard,inoculate the mulch with a few different mushrooms, and plant tons of stuff underneath the trees. I'm not sure what yet, but they'll be coming off of my plant list, a list of plants that i want to grow this year.
Queens annes lace
San Pedro cactus
st johns wort
Good King Henry
New Zealand Spinach(P)
Now you're getting the idea. Polyculture, diversity.