Case Study: Ecuador Permaculture Plan

This plan is for a (largely) self-sufficient farm in the Carchi Province in the north of Ecuador. The site is around 13.3 acres (53879.50 m2), and is situated in the Mira Canton at an elevation of between 2200 and 2215m. The site is currently used to grow corn, and large greenhouses are used to grow tomatoes.

The primary goal is to create a sustainable food producing system to allow for a high level of self- sufficiency for a family of five, and farmers who will live on and manage the site as the family learn and build their skills.

The Mira Canton in Carchi is in the western foothills of the Andes, on the upper tributaries of the Mira River. It is a largely agricultural region, where native woodland has long been cleared over large areas for the cultivation of crops. As you can see from the plan, by suggestion is to substantially replace tree cover on the site, while maximising potential for food production. I suggest placing areas of native trees and shrubs, along with taking an agroforestry approach across the site.

Planting trees will not only provide yields, but will also help in anchoring and improving the soil, and managing water effectively on the site. Increased vegetative cover and plenty of trees, shrubs and perennial plants will also increase biodiversity and create a balanced ecosystem, so populations of rats and biting flies mentioned as problems on the site should be kept in check through predation.

As you can see from the plan, buildings on the site include a barn/workshop, a chalet (where the family will stay before moving permanently to the site), a house for the farmers, and a permanent home. There will also be a chicken coop, stables and a livestock barn. I have also suggested a large greenhouse structure to the north east of the site, and also that further earth-sheltered greenhouses should be created to the south side of the small hill on the property.

If you are interested in this plan and would like to know more, or are interested in a similar design for your own property, please get in touch.

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