Design day!

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days I am at Verde Gardens working on the farm. Thursdays I will be found at the central location in South Miami, FL doing my PDC. Today was a Tuesday, so, you guessed it, I was at the farm!

If you have ever worked on a farm, then you understand that everyday can be something completely different than the day before, or the exact same. This simple factor is what I enjoy most about doing farm work. If you want to do something different you can or if you want to stick to the same project you have been doing, then have at it! It’s freedom. Sometimes, like today, you have a project’s time line coming to an end so you have to focus strongly on it. The food forest design needs to be complete because we the wet season is coming to an end. The benefit to planting during the wet season means that excess irrigation is not needed for the plants as they are becoming established.

Taking advantage of the wet season by building a banana circle next to an established coconut palm on a "free" day at home.

In permaculture, the design phase is extremely important. This process can not be rushed or else we run into “type one” errors (specifically type one error # 7 as Bill Mollison speaks about in his 15 PDC pamphlets. These pamphlets are loaded with TONS of epic information, including type 1 errors on page 64/155). Every observation counts!

orange black true bug

Spartocera fusca

As designers, we need to avoid falling into these serious errors. Farmer apprentice David did a great job at reminding the rest of us today of a very important factor, “When designing this food forest we need to remember that this area will function for hundreds, if not thousands, of years after we (apprentices) have passed by. We must design with care”

After being reminded to slow down and proceed with care, we decide to compile the lists we made last week into a new graph format. In the graph, the plants names were listed in rows and the produces/needs of the plants were listed as columns. If a plant fell into a certain category of produces/needs we simply checked the columns. Since our focus was on the graph, we were not able to map out any plants, but now we able to come up with more accurate plant guilds.Once the graph is turned into a spreadsheet I will upload it onto this blog post so our work can benefit a lot more people,

In this video below, Bill Mollison shows some really great examples of proper design in a tropical climate.

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