Permaculture is not always about starting from scratch. This case study reflects this. As usual, I won’t share all the details of my work. But do just want to share this brief overview.
The property is an old fruit orchard in Catalonia that had fallen into a wild and largely disused state. It is soon to be brought lovingly back to life by the clients (who are currently working on their home on the site). The above is an initial concept for the site, which involves giving this old and under-utilised site a permaculture overhaul.
Often, forest gardening involves starting from scratch. But as I have done on my own property over the past five years or so, it is also possible to increase the yield (and biodiversity) of an existing orchard. Some of the methods I have used here at home (on a smaller scale) will also be used on this site.
The position of many of the trees and other features on this site are already fixed. But that does not mean that there is not still work to be done.
Underplanting beneath the existing orchard trees with a rich and diverse mix of layered perennial plants will provide additional yields in addition to primary commercial ones. And of course the agroforestry approach will also help with organic pest control.
The integration of chickens and ducks into the system will also help with pest control, in addition to providing further yields.
The existing cistern on the site will, in this plan, feed into a fish pond and a large duck pond that will also serve to provide additional irrigation for an area of alley cropping for domestic food production.
If you are considering improvements to your existing property, rather than starting more or less from scratch, please do contact me if you would like any help or advice. I can help you turn your orchard into a forest garden, or a traditional farm into an agro-ecology haven.
If you would like to design an overhaul for an existing system, please do get in touch. You don’t need to be starting from scratch.