Horta Pioneira – Chacará Marabú, Rolândia, Paraná – Brazil
Laboratory of Permaculture
The garden is doing great! It’s very exciting. After 6 weeks left abandoned, at the entrance of the rainy season, the garden has grown and is now fully covered with all sorts of vegetables. Viva permaculture!
I started in May 2011, although the first two months were only spending time observing, dreaming, building all kinds of models and scenarios in my mind and paper, drafting, drawing, finding lines and levels. I was really busy on other projects since my arrival at the Pousada and I only could first sit on my favorite spot at the end the day and gaze at the garden.
Although a garden such as this should be built in zone 0, close to the main house, I decided to open it next to the Chalet Pioneiro as a symbol, to create a “spiritual” link with the spirit of the pioneiros who first came here and built their first veggie garden at this same place.
In July 2011, I started the hard work. I first cleaned the initial area, about 400 m2. With the help of a wwoofer and one of the workers of the chacará. Soon after, I cleaned the bottom level too. We sorted, grouped, and stored properly all the material that we found on site and that could be reused. Pieces of bricks and tiles were removed and used for the dirt road.
We used all the boards stored under the chalet to rebuild the ceiling of the barn and expand our storage. And we created a retention wall with bamboo and larges branches to retain the soil and control the invasion of our new planting zone.
Bamboo is really tough to take out, but with persistence, one can live with it and survive.
Then we built a large retention wall to level the soil and control soil erosion, using the material on site and all the material organic that we needed from various areas of the property.
Using very rudimentary tools, we create a large flat area that we covered using the Sheet Mulch technique. We brought tons of branches, leaves, left over from the kitchen (lots of it) and we spread all over the home compost of the past 2 months made of many layers of vegetable peels, seeds, etc… all over the soil on the main platform.
We also incorporated some manure from the field of the neighbor next door. We finished with a thick layer of leaves brought from our forest zone and many edges along the property.
On the lower section, I planted a lot of corn, but a group of local ants ate all the baby leaves one night. My first grand tragedy! I then made two large platforms for all sort of roots veggies such as radishes, beetroot, carrots and herbs. I also open below 8 rows to plants peanuts and beans. These resisted the ants and are doing brilliantly.
I planted a lot of things, but a lot of tomatoes, pumpkins, squashes and others came out alone from the kitchen’s trash. It is all coming out everywhere, naturally! Tomatoes came out into the Herb Spiral unexpectedly and since nobody moved them earlier, they are now reaching the sky making the spiral look like a natural volcano in the middle of a green sea.
This shows how well a permaculture garden grows magically when the gardener must take a leave.
All at work!
The first stage of this garden seemed to have been reached. We are well advanced in the rebuilding our soil and producing food. We must now incorporate a lot of more food varieties and keep a greenhouse active in order to produce all the plantings we need to keep the garden alive and full of food.
List of duties to the Garden Pioneiro:
- Each wwoofer must plant at least 10 veggies/flowers into the garden within the first 3 days of his/her stay.
- Take, plant again, eat: always plant.
- Just take your food. What you don’t eat, the garden eats. Leave there.
- Nourish the soil always:
- The undesirable weeds are natural compost.
- With more multi-diversity, less undesirables and more self-sustainability.
- Compost on Site: Throw kitchen left over’s directly in the garden, with all the peels and seeds. Throw leaves and material organic of various sorts.
- Always plant. Multidiversity.
- Promote self-sustainability with permanent plants and veggies.
- Create a beautiful and pleasant place
- Plant, plant and eat every day.
In this section, we present the implementation of the project at the Chácara Marabú, Rolândia – Brazil. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.