Paul Wheaton is a permaculture guru and with the benefits from it that we have seen on our little farm we have been super excited to go spend time with him this week.
Permaculture is an agricultural method that involved wood, mulch, perennial plants, water catchment, and microclimates in a way that over time allows for food production without a lot of human intervention. In different climates these principles are tweaked to remain helpful and there are a lot of experts in the field. For cold northern climates Sepp Holzer and Paul Wheaton are leading sources. For warm climates names like Bill Mollison and Jeff Lawton are the experts to refer to.
Here is an interview I did with Paul about some of the programs that he offers.
Our version of permaculture has involved cutting weeds down and laying them down to shade the soil, grazing ducks and goats on sterile soil to increase fertility, and mulching heavily wherever we can afford to. Five years into this process we now have lush pastures and fruit trees that are maturing and providing fruit with little care. The goal over the next three years is to advance beyond this into a system that requires no watering except one good drink a month in the hot season, weekly scything to keep the ground cool and shaded, and fertilizing with an occasional pass of a duck family. With the generous snow and rain we had this winter we are excited to see how well the mulch is working to hold water. My intentions were to set up the watering system as soon as we came home but it is almost June and I haven’t needed to yet.
With the collaborations we are running around filming and work on the videos themselves it feels like we have become a traveling caravan instead of farmers. It will be really nice when the cabin is finished and I can pretty things up for daily use. The plan is to settle back into the farming schedule of daily milking and egg collection with some scything and watering thrown in for variety very shortly.