Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature. ― Bill Mollison
Our garden is the mirror of the values and principles we want to embody. It is part of the simple, resilient and happy life that we want to live. Therefore we follow a permaculture design process. This means that we aim to create a beautiful cultivated ecosystem that provides food all year round, medicine and other useful materials such as tinder, building and crafting materials, toilet “paper”, etc., from a combination of annual and perennial plants, guilds and niches. This process is supported by the ethics of People Care, Earth Care and Fair Share, the principles of Mollison and Holmgren and the imitation of natural systems.
We aim to become more self-sufficient and base an extended part of our sustenance on the food we grow, not only to be more resilient as a community but also to eat, live and work in a way that fits our values and worldviews. We also strive to be self-reliant in terms of food to our food: biomass and nutrients that will feed the soil that will feed our plants that will feed us. This self-reliance ideal implies as well that we are in the process of saving more and more of our own seeds for the seasons to come. We make these choices ourselves, but also considering the bigger picture. Our garden is not an isolated bubble, it is a “garden without borders” (Will Bonsall). The choices we make have consequences on the whole world, around us and far away. We teach and explain our values, our ways, our mistakes and our experiences to our visitors and volunteers, which makes our garden a platform for activism and outreach by ‘’walking the talk’’.
We do veganic agriculture (vegan + organic) which means that we do not use (farm) animal manure and products from dead (farm) animals, in order to not support animal exploitation and to minimize the environmental footprint of the garden. We choose to work with hand tools and equipment powered with renewable energy and human power. Except for exceptional exceptions, we don’t use oil powered machinery. We don’t respect the soil only because of the practicalities but also because we see gardening as an occasion to observe and reconnect to the Nature we are part of.
The garden work is very much bound to the seasons of nature. Each season has main themes around which most of the work occurs. Wintertime is mainly about reflecting and planning the upcoming growing season. In spring we focus on preparing the beds and sowing. In summer we take care of the plants and the harvest season begins. In autumn we keep on harvesting, we preserve for winter and step by step put the garden to a wintersleep.
In order to keep track of the work and processes, we meet once every week with the domain to check-in and plan the upcoming week by going through the current list of tasks and their priorities.