Case Study: Florida Permaculture Design

The plan above is for a site of approximately 3 acres in Baker, Florida. The site is in USDA planting zone 8, and experiences mean annual air temperature of 55-70 degrees F, and mean annual rainfall of 40-69 inches. Average summer highs are around 91.4 degrees, and average winter lows are around 39.2 degrees F. The predominant soil type on the site is Troup sand, sandy to sandy loam type soil, typically very free-draining.. The site slopes very slightly, broadly speaking, from south to north, with an elevation of between 80 and 60ft.

Currently, the northern and north eastern portion of the property is native woodland – important riparian habitat on the fringes of the Yellow River system that will be retained roughly to the current treeline, though this part of the property can be foraged for wild yields and potentially improved with the addition of more native under-storey plants.

The central portion of the site is largely bahia grass. And to the south and around the other fringes of the property, a range of other native trees will be retained, while a large number of pine trees will be thinned over time to increase the potential for further yields. More diverse native planting should be established around the southern portion of the property, while maintaining open central areas for food production.

Goals:

  •  Primarily food production – to create a thriving food forest and polyculture system that can feed the occupant year-round and allow for a sustainable way of life.
  •  To enrich the environment for human use and recreation – creating a sanctuary to escape from the stresses and strains of the modern world.
  •  To obtain a range of other yields – including a wide range of medicinal plants.
  •  To enhance the local environment and create a thriving, biodiverse ecosystem.

A large portion of the design accords with the principles of forest gardening. This low maintenance system allows for a diverse and abundant ecosystem that will continue to grow and evolve over time.

I have also recommended creating annual polyculture beds radiating out in a circle around a central fire pit and outdoors kitchen and seating area that would be the hub of the site and a focal point.

(The client was provided with more information for these and other elements, in addition to the image above.)

If you are interested in working out a similar design for your own property, to meet the specific requirements of you and your site, please get in touch.

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