I want to be a farmer. I want to grow my own food, raise chickens, and bees, and pigs, and have a root cellar full of stored fruit and canned goods. The problem is that I don’t really know much about any of it. But I’m learning. One of the things I’ve learned a lot about recently is Permaculture Design. It’s about growing food in harmony with nature, and in a way that is self-sustaining and maximizes food production. Sounds like just what a tiny farm needs.
The great thing about taking the Permaculture Design Course is that everything I learned was immediately applied and evaluated. By the end of the course, I had a beautiful design for Tanglefoot Farm that was informed by months of observation, testing, and expert advice. In three years, Tanglefoot Farm will be completely transformed from a barren, depleted acreage to a fertile, productive, and sustainable farm. So I want to show you what it’s going to look like. Some day.
If I tried to explain the design all at once, it’d make for a really long read. So today, I want to show off the Front Garden and the Pond.
The Front Garden
This is an accurate rendering of our barndo and the front yard. The front garden is full of plants for pollinators, vegetables like peppers, cannas, and onions, berry bushes, and a border of chives and Lambs Ear. The border along the fence is medicinal herbs and kale. Everything here has a purpose, and works in synergy with the plants around it.
The large-ish front yard is a nod to the “traditional” yard, but also supports wildlife. It will be unmown Buffalo Grass, which provides habitat for a wide variety of small critters, is drought tolerant, and very low maintenance. We also planned for native trees in the front for additional habitat and shade.
Two Permaculture principles are to “plan for water” and to “appreciate the marginal (edges).” The pond allows for water storage, and creates edge where water-loving plants can be grown, and amphibians can find a home. Diversifying the plant and animal variety on the property helps build resilience in our system; if one doesn’t do so well, others will make up for it so we still have a harvest.
The Pond area is also a place to relax and enjoy the property. A place to hang out and enjoy the wildlife, watch the fish, and do a little puttering around the garden. Come back again, and check out the Orchard and my Herbal Meditation Labyrinth garden.