Well the last two days Matthew English and I have been designing techniques and strategies for starting a small edible forest garden nursery at our site on Spiral Ridge. After having a couple of design sessions we came up with the patterns needed to start such an endeavor. The key to a Permaculture nursery is to have it close to Zone 1 in the heart of the design. Our nursery will be right out our back door. Elements include a hoophouse with heated propagation beds, scion beds, potting tables, compost area, and seed beds/trays. Outside of the hoophouse are groundcover beds, stooling beds, division beds, liner beds, berry propagation beds, shrub liner beds, and specialty herbaceous beds for seeds and divisions all watered with a gravity fed rainwater drip irrigation system. Interplanted in these beds are a good nitrogen fixing tree that provides some shade for the nursery stock. We chose the Mimosa tree ( Albizia Julibriscens), and Siberian Pea Shrub ( Caragana Arborescens) . We will also have an area along the walkway to store our bamboos and large trees. Chickens are also an important element in this design. We can use the chickens to tractor the beds and provide fertilizer for the young nursery. While these elements get established we will start our business selling heirloom veggie and herb starts for the local farmers market. This is a way that we can get ourselves out there and also promote permaculture and our business. Over time we will be offering more perennials and other useful plants. As we design and build this nursery over the years we will be writing articles on the importance of local permaculture nurseries and the ins and outs of doing so. So please stay tuned to our blog.
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