Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Introducing permaculture design on MbPT terrace garden

For many years we were growing vegetables and fruits in containers and raised beds of Amrut Mitti on the MbPT terrace garden. But the heart is greedy and wants more and more. While we applied natueco techniques, we felt there was still further scope to increase the green cover. We wanted to use every space available and convert our terrace into a food forest!

Lo ! Came Clea Chandmal a practicing permaculture teacher from Goa and helped us achieve what we wanted to.

A few guided sessions with her on basic points to be considered in a permaculture design and our staff at MbPT were all eager to try out new designs.

What we needed to consider was:

1. Instead of straight lines and rectangular beds , we went for curves and increase of edges so the beds took on all kinds of creative shapes...

2. There had to be simple pathways for enabling basic functions of walking /reaching up the beds, rest of the area was to be filled up with Amrut Mitti. Here we took care to see that we did not obstruct the drainage lines of water run off from terrace.

3. Beds needed to be accessed easily. we needed to ensure that as we walked the pathways we could access every corner of raised bed easily.

4. Drums were kept in clusters and space in between was filled up with Amrut Mitti.

5. We had to allow the so called " weeds" to grow along with our main plants.

After having done all that...... we've had some amazing results!

The health and productivity of plants has increased manifold!A few pictures will tell the story. We have 8 snake gourds off a single plant at a time! 

What more can anyone wish for!This snake gourd seed was simply sprinkled in one of the empty spaces where Amrut mitti has been added recently to fill in gaps created by cluster of drums kept together! No taking care and growing a seedling etc... :D

Spaces around base of drums ,otherwise lying underutilized due
 to canopy of tree above was used to grow a secondary crop !
All kinds of edible varieties of spinach , basil, and other greens were either 
grown on the edges or as cover crops along main crops!

Nitrogen fixing" beans" grown in underutilized spaces. 
Beans climbing up over main trees.

So these were the basics in adding touches of permaculture in our designs systems!

Will be back with more updates soon!

Happy designing and gardening!