As a child I played chess. I went to tournaments and spent most of my spare time bend over the black and white, in intense concentration.
Chess would calm me down, it would challenge me and it would focus my constant, chronic attention(deficit)
Permaculture, to me, is like chess.
Permaculture is about analysing what is available and strategically putting what is available into play.
Use what you have. Do what you can.
To me permaculture is about thinking many steps forward.
It´s about pragmatism, logic and realizing how all is interconnected and interdependent.
When I played chess I did care to win, I did- but I cared even more about playing, absorbing myself into this special method of thinking in wholeness.
There was a love of the game.
This is old me playing chess.
Living in the north is wonderful but it also posses certain challenges.
The season of growth is short, the frost is hard, there are lots of stones and rocks and cliffs in the ground. And we live in the forest. This is a forest garden. The soil needs to be enriched, tended to and cared for.
The soil is the basis of our existence. We learned that, the hard way, wich is why the first thing we build this year was the super soil-o-lator.
ALSO I don´t like to buy potting soil. I feel stupid buying soil and besides it´s being industrially produced and transported here- it´s neither sustainable or very self sufficient to be dependent on buying potting soil for the fragile seedlings.
It works like this:
Two compost compartments at the back. One primary compost, one secondary.
The first one is for kitchen scraps and such, the other is for coarser compost.
The soil in the front is pure horse manure (our neighbour is a reliable horse manure pusher) placed on a layer of hugelkultur (a thick layer of branches, leaves, sticks and such from the forest floor)
1. The composting process in both the compost and the manure raises temperature in the bed.
2. This protects our early seedlings from the frost thus proving us with more time/longer season.
3. The earthworms feed on the compost thus enriching the soil
4. Come autumn we will use the front bed to create potting soil: a mixture of compost, manure and added seaweed, bone marrow and such.
5. It is built from the materials we had available (reusing, rethinking, using everything)
PLUS we now have easy acces to worms when going fishing.
It´s all coming together now….
The windows in our house are bought second hand. They cost us 50 kroner pr frame.
We had some spare frames. Our house is buildt from an old cabin and a barn located at this plot when we got here. We took the buildings down and reused most of the material- we still have lots of logs laying around though.
We also had some rockwool.
Yes. Rockwool is a natural material (stone, mineral) and you can safely use it in your garden.
No. It is not very eco-friendly since the process of making rockwool is complicated and requires big industry.
We originally insulated our house with sawdust. The roof was not finished. The sawdust got wet. The floor fell out from our house due the weight. It was autumn. We lived in trailers. We had to do something quick. My mother in law decided to sponsor the rockwool.
Yes. Pragmatism prevails.
Place the timber on stones, it will protect the wood from rotting (for a while)
Build a frame, make the joints real simple.
Use the rockwool to insulate the bed all the way around in the edges (I used a lot more than what is shown on this picture).
Within the frame build the two compost holders.
Be sure to make room underneath and between both the two composts and the raised bed. This way the worms can feed and move freely around.
A lid is nice on a compost. This is an old table from the trailor.
We had some leftover roofing sheets. We used these as sides – because they transport heat well and are black thus attracting the heat from the sun.
Gather forrestfloor material and building leftovers. Place them in the front bed.
Add the horse manure and go fetch your tomato plants.
Cover your sweet seedlings with the window frames. When night comes, cover the windows with blankets and whatever insulation you have.
I´m sure I forgot to tell you about some practical building details regarding this project. But it´s not really HOW you build it… it´s how you create many different opportunities and strengthen your position- from one single move.
So. I like it.