Profitable Gardening Part 3: Intro to Permaculture

What is Permaculture?

All living things form relationships with other lifeforms. Even our bodies are filled with microorganisms that help to break down our foods into more simple carbohydrates, amino acids, and vitamins. We feed them, and they feed us. Nature does the same thing on a grand scale. Trees and other plants hold the soil against erosion as the soil feeds them. Their leaves become compost to feed the earthworms and other animals that break it down and make the nutrients available to the plants again.

Permaculture is the study of relationships in nature, and how we can recreate these kinds of relationships on the farm or in the garden. It is the practice of using different plants and animals to mutually benefit one another while increasing productivity and reducing the amount of work we must do to get it. Grazing animals can be used to clear land, hogs can turn the soil, chickens can consume slaughter waste, and manure can be composted to feed the garden patch. The imaginary spider web of potential relationships on a farm can be incredibly complex but allows ease of choice to decide what works for you in your context. Permaculture can be as simple as having one goose with your flock of chickens to scare away small pests and predators, or as complex as a multi-species grazing rotation.

Permaculture can be a way of life. For us, it is a tool of convenience. Using ducks to clear out slugs and snails while keeping the garden free of pesticides, using chickens to till the top layer of soil and clear crop residue, while adding nitrogen, having guinea hens clear the ticks and make the chickens aware of overhead killers, and having a good dog chase off predators, are all examples of permaculture in a way that small farmers and homesteaders like us can use to make our lives better and more productive.

Thank you for reading, and please stay tuned for my next topic: Building and Maintaining Healthy Soil.

May your days be filled with things that nurture your soul and fill your cup.
Sincerely,
Mat & Ann

 

Here is the full list of our Profitable Gardening Series:

Part 1: Intro to Market Gardening
Part 2: Intro to Homesteading
Part 3: Intro to Permaculture
Part 4: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Soil
Part 5: Useful Farm Tools
Part 6: Farming Mistakes I’ve Made and How to Avoid Them
Part 7: How to Get Started & Resources

Profitable Gardening (Part 2): Intro to Homesteading

Us humans have some very basic needs that we must tend to every day. We have to take care of our bodies, or our bodies will punish us with extreme and unrelenting pain. Air, water, food, rest, and exercise are the most basic of our needs. We are blessed to have lives in which most of us have easy access to these necessities at all times. Our society has developed to a point where a handful of farmers produce all of the foods for the rest of us. Farming technology has made mass production a way of life.

Farming technology has made mass production a way of life.

For all of our collective success, there have been casualties. Fruits and vegetables grown on large scale farms are selected from varieties that hold up well during transport instead of flavorful or healthy varieties. They are sprayed with synthetic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers that may be even worse for our bodies than they are for the environment. Animals raised for meat, eggs, milk or other products are bred, fed, housed and slaughtered in horrendous conditions where they only survive because of the antibiotic injections which eventually lead to more powerful and resilient pathogens. Many organic alternatives at the store are still questionable and priced above what many of us can comfortably afford. How can we source healthful, flavorful, humane, and affordable foods?

Our answer is to produce as much of our own foods as possible. An organic vegetable garden fertilized with compost and manure produces vegetables with more nutrients from flavorful varieties that you harvest when they are mature, and last longer in the refrigerator without poisoning yourself and your family with chemicals. A small flock of hens can provide better eggs and entertainment at very little cost. Goats can easily provide your family with clean, fresh milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products for a small investment. If you find it to be more sensible to have your own source of meat for low cost than it is to pay and close a blind eye to the moral implications of industrial meat, rabbits are an easy way to satisfy your meat tooth.

This is providing your family with the best. This is life the way we were built to live it, and it’s all possible at any scale to fit your space and time constraints. If you are tired of filling your spare time with meaningless games and hobbies, tired of filling your body with empty calories that don’t give you satisfaction, and tired of feeling so detached from the earth, it is time to make a change. It is time to take control of your health. This is homesteading.

This is providing your family with the best.

Thank you for reading Part Two of our Profitable Garden Series. If you missed Part One, CLICK HERE.

May your days be filled with things that nurture your soul and fill your cup.
Sincerely,
Mat & Ann

 

 

 

 

Here is the full list of our Profitable Gardening Series:

Part 1: Intro to Market Gardening
Part 2: Intro to Homesteading
Part 3: Intro to Permaculture
Part 4: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Soil
Part 5: Useful Farm Tools
Part 6: Farming Mistakes I’ve Made and How to Avoid Them
Part 7: How to Get Started & Resources

Profitable Gardening (Part 1): Intro to Market Gardening

What is Market Gardening?

Picture this…

William and Margaret Gardener are planning to expand their garden this year. After two successful seasons, they’ve learned how to get more out of their tomatoes and cucumber plants. Margaret wants to invest in some gardening infrastructure, but William thinks it’s going to be too expensive. After doing some research, they decide that by growing extra this year, they can sell some of their crops to cover the cost of their investment. Sure, they shared their surplus with neighbors and family but never before had they pictured themselves selling at a farmer’s market.

Growing extra and selling at the Farmers’ Market allows Margaret to have her big garden and William to have money in his pocket.

By expanding their garden to include all of their favorite vegetables and investing in season extending infrastructure, the Gardeners are able to break their dependence on the grocery store, remove chemicals from their diet, and improve their quality of life. Growing extra and selling at the Farmers’ Market allows Margaret to have her big garden and William to have money in his pocket. Now, William and Margaret are Market Gardeners.

Whether you are on 20 acres, one acre, or have a backyard in a suburban community, you can become a Market Gardener and we want to show you how. This is a seven part series that will explore Market Gardening, Homesteading, and how to make the two work hand in hand.

 

 

Here’s a quick look at our full Profitable Gardening series:

Part 1: Intro to Market Gardening
Part 2: Intro to Homesteading
Part 3: Intro to Permaculture
Part 4: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Soil
Part 5: Useful Farm Tools
Part 6: Farming Mistakes I’ve Made and How to Avoid Them
Part 7: How to Get Started & Resources

 

 

We hope you enjoyed part one of our Profitable Gardening series and come back next Tuesday for Part Two where we will discuss an Intro to Homesteading.
Also, if you like what you’ve read, please Subscribe below!

May your days be filled with things that nurture your soul and fill your cup.
Sincerely,
Mat & Ann