Permaculture is above all a design system that aims to see the big picture and in the best possible way organize everything we need in our lives, such as accomodation, energy, water, food etc. to make our lives more environmentally friendly
From Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield (translated from Swedish)
After the surveying and research phase we invited Barbara Brodegger from Austria. Barbara is an international permaculture designer. She was my best teacher during a course. The project’s objective was to design the whole farm based on the principles of permaculture. It also included advice on berry bushes, composting, nutritional supplements through medicinal plants and (utility) insects. The project, which took place on the farm, lasted three weeks. The finished permaculture design was presented on our introduction day in August 2009 to 20 participants who had come from places like Lund and Falun. Do visit Barbara’s website.
In the spring of 2010 we started with moving colourful and fragrant flowers to the cultivation plots in order to lure insects there instead of to the cabbages. We left plenty of space between the plants to be able to continuously move flowers there that self-seed in odd places. In this way, over time, there will be a mix of all the farm’s products in one place. One Sunday while out walking we met our neighbor Brother Ingmar from the monastery. We asked him what he was going to do with the big pile of rocks by the road that had been left over from when the monastery was built. He replied that he is “stone rich and therefore can easily share”. So we thanked him and accepted the gift that weighs tonnes. From these rocks, together with our own, we have created a spiralled herb garden and the terracing with stairs have taken its shape. The rocks were too heavy to lift so we had to have the help of a loader…although it was against the golden rule of permaculture of avoiding using machinery. We put up a greenhouse tunnel as protection against the wind and the road to be able to grow tomatoes, peppers, chili, physalis etc. To the east we established a breakfast spot for our meetings with the morning sun. We planted a noble chestnut tree, a walnut tree and fruit-trees. Since the hare minimized the fruit-trees during a white and very cold winter we looked for a more suitable place for fruit-trees in the autumn of 2011. The pond was built and rocks from the farm used to create a gully for the inflow. The bank was sown with ecological seeds. Furthermore, we furnished a pantry. But most of our time went to the building of the meeting place and the future work-shop based on our vision and it’s purpose to present sustainable solutions in a natural surrounding. By sustainable solutions we mean eco-cabins, eco-cycle grey water sewage system, wood-fired oven, combined heating system (combi boiler and solar panels), sun energy, ecological paints, noise protection etc. If you are interested in ecological building you can read more under “Sustainable solutions” on this website.
From Design to Reality
Organic grassland farming
The new forest garden (from September to November) 2014
Stone compounds made with stones from our land
Straw bale-built stable and photovoltaic unit
Forming and drying clay bricks
Straw bale building workshops 2012 and 2013
Permaculture Design Course – building a clay furnace
Organic sewage works 2012 / 2013
German rustic breed Sperber (= sparrow hawk)
Exhibition “Self-sufficiency at Ecotopia 2014”