For a typical food producing garden, creating the growing area or areas will be top of the agenda. But this month, as you are planning your new food producing garden, it could be helpful to think about other elements you should include.
In addition to creating an area in your garden where you can grow your edible crops, either in raised beds or containers, or on the ground, you should also think about planning for and setting up additional elements that will help you to make a success of your efforts.
Here are some additional elements that you should include (or think about including) in your garden design along with the actual growing area(s):
- A composting system.
- Rainwater harvesting and perhaps also irrigation systems.
- Sturdy and eco-friendly paths to make it easier to navigate the space.
- A shed, or other place to store tools, pots etc..
- An undercover growing area for seed starting/ year round growing.
- An outside sink or washing station to wash produce before you take it indoors.
- Or even an outdoors kitchen so you can cook and dine outdoors and make the most of what you grow.
- A (perhaps sunken) root cellar to store produce that you grow (if you do not have a suitable space inside your home.
- A wind-break hedgerow or shelter belt planting to improve environmental conditions for the main growing area(s).
- Fencing or walls (made from natural or reclaimed materials) to protect or enclose the space.
- Wildlife habitats, such as garden ponds, to attract more beneficial wildlife and increase biodiversity in your garden.
- Somewhere to sit and relax. As well as working in your garden, it is important to make sure you make time to simply enjoy it.
Working out exactly what to include in a garden can be a complex business. But it is a good idea to think beyond the main food growing areas themselves so you create a fully functional space that is as productive as possible. If you would like some help to integrate the various ideas above and find the perfect plan for your particular site, please do reach out to discuss a permaculture design.