Defining our goals and principles
Our primary objective is to restore a sustainable ecosystem that will include:
- An ecological vegetable garden based on permaculture principles that will provide all the food that we need to sustain our family, visitors and guests on a daily basis.
- A culinary herbs garden
- A medicinal herbs garden
We also want to:
- Produce all the vegetable and fruits that we need to prepare our products.
- Build an efficient composting system to recycle all of our leftovers.
- Create an area for group gathering with a large outdoor fireplace.
- Develop an efficient water management system with rain collection and natural treatment of grey waters.
- Establish a seeds bank and develop a seeds exchange program with other ecological gardens in the area.
- Create a botanical garden with native plants and flowers of the area.
- Establish an educational center for local schools, gardeners and farmers.
See our implementation of this project in section of Current Activities.
Note: Since we do not have an official certification in Permaculture, we prefer to use the term “ecological garden” as defined by Tody Hemenway in Gaia’s Garden.
We also honor and adhere to the four principles of growing of Masanobu Fukuaka:
- No cultivation – do not turn the soil over, and so cause injuries which attempt to heal themselves.
- No chemical fertilizer or prepared compost – let the plants and animals that make the soil go to work on the soil.
- No weeding by tillage or herbicide – use the weeds; control them-by natural means, or occasional cutting.
- No dependence on chemicals; insects and disease, weeds and pests have their own controls; let these operate, and assist them.
Bill Mollison, one of the founders of Permaculture, reminds us that the main reasons for designing a plant system are:
- to save our energies in the system;
- to cope with energies entering the system from outside (sun, wind, fire);
- to arrange plants so that they assist the health and survival of other plants;
- to place all units (plants, earthworks and artifacts such as houses) in the best possible arrangement in landscape;
- to suit climate and site (specific design);
- to integrate with man and society, and save heating fuel and cooking energy; and
- to provide a wide range of necessities for man, in a way every man can achieve.
A few inspirational thoughts:
“I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw.” – Masanobu Fukuaka – The One Straw Revolution.
“In ecological gardening at its best, the only necessary work is putting things in the right relationship. Nature will do the rest.” – Toby Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden – A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
“The characteristic that typifies all permanent agricultures is that the needs of the system for energy, are provided by that system.” Bill Mollison – Introduction to Permaculture.
“It is no longer any good blaming ‘the farmer’, ‘the Water Board’, ‘the government’ or any other remote blamable agent. Although any or all of these may have degrees of responsibility for the degradation of our environment, it is only you and I that can put things right again. A century’s worth of bleating that we have the ‘wrong government’ will not patch holes in the ozone layer. No amount of protest at the doorstep of petro-chemical companies will reduce the amount of poison that has already been poured on to our agricultural land. Only we have the power to affect the future, by acting creatively for the good of ourselves and others.” Tody Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden.
“Our creative potential is only limited by our own expectations. So expect the best! (…) ‘Think globally, act locally’ means that the best place to start any sustainable approach to life is at home.” Tody Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden. Tody Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden.
“The reason that man’s improved techniques seem to be necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those same techniques that the land has become dependent on them. (…) The irony is that science has served only to show how small human knowledge is.” Masanobu Fukuaka – The One Straw Revolution.
“An ecological garden both looks and works the way nature does. It does this by building strong connections among the plants, soil life, beneficial insects and other animals, and the gardener, to weave a resilient, natural web. Each organism is tied to many others. It’s this interconnectedness that gives nature strength.” Tody Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden. Tody Hemenway – Gaia’s Garden.
Have you heard of the story of the humming bird? (video clip, extract from “Dirt” – 2009.)
“I will do the best I can”, said the Humming Bird!