Permaculture Principle 3 – Obtain A Yield

A key goal of any Permaculture system is to design for abundance. It is about seeing results for the fruits of your labour. A well-designed Permaculture system will obtain a maximum yield in the smallest amount of space for the least amount of effort, always ensuring that there is an adherence to the ethics of earth care, people care and fair share. Some of the methods used to obtain an abundant yield are selecting elements that perform more than one function, companion planting, composting, natural pest control and eco-villages to mention but a few.

An example of using elements that perform more than one function is to plant comfrey with your fruit trees. Comfrey is a bio-accumulator that has a deep taproot that brings up minerals in the soil for other plants to use. Comfrey can also be used to activate your compost, feed animals and an indicator that your fruit trees might need water when the comfrey leaves droop. Composting instead of chemical fertiliser is a way to deal with food waste, it builds healthy soil teaming with microbes and healthy soil holds water and carbon. Companion planting ensures that plants’ requirements are met by other plants. The 3 sister garden is where corn, beans, and squash are planted together. The beans fix nitrogen in the soil to feed both the corn and the squash. The beans also get to use the corn stalk to climb up on. Natural pest control would be to mix up seedlings of different vegetables so that if insects find one of your plants they cannot find the other as they are mixed in with flowers and other vegetables. Planting flowers in between your vegetables attract beneficial insects that predate on the insects that damage your vegetables. Flowers also attract pollinators which are much needed in any garden. If you use strong smelling flowers they can mask the smell of the bugs favourite vegetables. Chickens in a system provide food, manure, cleaning up of unwanted of insects, eating of scraps and the turning of compost piles. Moving on to the community side of Permaculture. Permaculture eco-villages are springing up all over the world. These villages share spaces, food, knowledge, and resources ensuring that each resident gets maximum value for their investment.

These are just a few methods that help create abundance and maximum yields in a Permaculture designed system. To learn more about Permaculture book into the ‘Introduction To Permaculture’ workshop to be held at Gympie Landcare on 20 & 21 July 2019

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