An example of all 12 Permaculture Principles in action
2020 Grape Trellis Harvest
|Richard standing in front of the grape trellis covering the northern deck. Back of rocket oven on left. Photo: Sen Yoshimoto.
NB. This post was mostly written in Feb 2020.
The 2019/2020 summer was the most unusual that I can remember. Starting off with snow in the mountains, followed by heatwaves and an unprecedented fire season that incinerated 1.2 million hectares in eastern Victoria in a week. Then we got huge hailstorms in SE Australia that destroyed the CSIRO research centre greenhouses in Canberra. Next we got the flooding rains on the east coast.
We've been fortunate in Seymour, avoiding the fires, hail and flooding rains. We've measured 110mm so far for the first 43 days of 2020. As a comparison we got 21mm over the same period in 2019, with 344.5mm for the year. But, this unseasonal weather of welcomed rain comes with it's downsides, with grapes splitting and mouldy.
As an home education exercise for Sen (main photographer, aged 9), we decided to look at how our grape harvest illustrates all 12 design principles.
Principle 1 - Observe and interact
Principle 2 - Catch and store energy
Principle 3 - Obtain a yield
Principle 4 - Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
Principle 5 - Use and value renewable resources and services
One of the things that I love most about the grape vines is that they provide shade just when we need it. They start to produce leave at the beginning of summer, and loose them in Autumn. Autumn can still be quite hot in Seymour, so I refrain from pruning until we want to let more direct sunlight into the house, later in the season.
Principle 6 - Produce no waste
Principle 7 - Design from patterns to details
Principle 8 - Integrate rather than segregate
The design of the trellis for the grapes is very simple. 3 holes were drilled for each of the 3 section. The mesh then slotted right in to the laminated beam at the top and into the earth below with a fixing to the deck. Making use of the existing structure reduced the amount of building materials required and allow for the vines to provide shade right up to the house.
Principle 9 - Use small and slow solutions
Principle 10 - Use and value diversity
Principle 11 - Use edges and value the marginal
Principle 12 - Creatively use and respond to changehot bath method.
Crushing them to make iceypoles