This video below, it's probably the most important thing you will ever encounter on my blog about my Permie adventures. It's "The Permaculture Song", totes official. It's pretty catchy man. I find myself singing it when I least expect it!
In week 3 we were learning about Zones and Microclimates. We also started out our "Client Questionnaire". It's all very exciting. I really loved learning about zones! Also, microclimates are pretty badass too. Who knew you can CREATE them!?!? I really didn't even understand what a microclimate was. I am learning so much cool stuff in this course!
So, Zones are pretty neat! In the most basic of terms, Zones identify which areas are most used to least used. There are 5 Zones, plus Zone 0! Though, remember that everything can be fluid with Permaculture. You can do what works for you! Nothing here is set in stone. They're just generalizations that work for the majority
Zone 0, the home zone! Inside the house. Where you spend most of your time.
Zone 1, this area is the outside most used area. In my map above, Zone 1 consists of
the driveway, around the home, a path to the horse corral, the chicken and goat
enclosures, and then right at the horse corral. Zone 1 represents the areas that
are frequented at least once a day, probably more. Things like the driveway (2x
visit), animals you need to take care of daily or more. Perhaps a garden that you
need to check on and see out the window.
Zone 2, still often visited, once a day to like, once every other day. This is where
you'd put things like, chickens, bees and other small livestock and even ponds.
You can also put here your garden that has annuals with a longer growing
season. It can be often heard of as "the home orchard". Some fruit trees, easily
accessed, perhaps dwarf fruit trees. Zone 2 for this map here is their walking
path that they use frequently. It is around their whole property edge. Where
they walk and ride their horses.
Zone 3, this zone is attended from weekly to monthly. It is usually the area where
the larger livestock graze. Once this area is establish it requires not as much
maintenance. This can have something like larger orchard trees, farming crops,
and dams for water storage. In my Zone 3 on the map above is the horse corral.
Inside the corral is attended weekly or so, in order to clean up the manure and
examine the area.
Zone 4, often called the "managed forest" area. It can have an area for things like
sheep to occasionally graze, timber trees, things that really don't need a whole
lot of maintenance. Attended very infrequently. Things that require little
maintenance can go here. For instance, in my map above, Zone 4 contains the
well and septic tanks. These things rarely need maintenance, but still need to be
Zone 5, this zone is the Wildlife zone. You don't really disturb this zone. You go
there for observation and reflection. Perhaps harvest super renewable resource
like some mushrooms, or some foliage that has landed on the ground, BUT
nothing super huge, and not a large amount. Just a little. This space is meant to
be left for the wild, for habitat, and safety. On my map above, it contains mostly
Zone 5! This is because this area hasn't really been changed by the clients.
My clients have only just begun to manage their land. There isn't a whole lot that has changed so far on their lot. This is great because that means that it will be somewhat easy to create "proper" zones instead of really having to work around and incorporate zones that are already there.
One thing I really like about zones is that you get a little bit better of an idea of where you "should" place things to make it easier and more efficient for yourself to take care of. This is important because you need to see things in order to properly take care of them. It just helps. Zones are great because without them, one might be standing there not knowing where to start! They give a really amazing starting point to being one's permaculture journey!
Microclimates are pretty hardcore. At this point in the course we were figuring out the microclimates that are already on the property. I was feeling a little confused on this, just because I felt that it was a pretty broad subject. It is definitely something that I feel I might have to do some more research on.
So, basically a Microclimate is defined as the climate of a small area, especially when it differs from the climate surrounding it. A tiny example would be that in the shadows, because it is a few degrees cooler than in the sun, it can be considered a microclimate.
Below is the key and explanations of the microclimates I've identified above. I really wasn't sure at the time, if I did it correctly or not. However, I got full credit! So I must've done something right! ha.
1: Junipers - I feel like the junipers have their own microclimate just because there
are so many of them! I am positive that things grow there (such as some lichens)
that don't grow elsewhere on the property.
2: Shadows - Because shadows can be a few degrees (or more) different than in
the sun, they are their own microclimate. Also, only things that can tolerate
growing in the shade, can be placed here. This is important to know if you are
wanting to grow certain things.
3: Bare land and dry grass - This is a huge microclimate on the map above! It is a
lot of the property. It is constantly getting sunshine, therefore, things have a
little bit harder time growing because it can get SO DRY. This is important to
realize because if you want to grow something here, you really have to take
irrigation into consideration.
A: Home Shadow - a cooler area behind the house where the sun does not hit.
Would be the place to hang out during the super hot days.
B: Hot front of the house. The house soon needs some of the cinderblock
foundation which will create a very warm climate due to the blocks accepting
the heat and reradiate it.
C: A warm area around the gravel driveway due to the rocks accepting the heat
and reradiating it.
D: Wetter area compared to rest of property. Grass a little greener. Mud can get
deep. Water seems to run down to here and possibly pool. Run off seems to go
down the South Eastern corner of the property into a gully.
E: Mud. Vegetation null. Horses have taken out all vegetation. Not many trees left
in the area, pretty warm and easily muddied up.
F: A greener more open area, tends to be warmer due to lack of tree cover, but
the grass is slightly greener than most areas of the property.
Preexisting microclimates are super important to take into consideration because if you want to plant something, it may not work in that area due to the conditions around it.
One of the coolest things I learned about microclimates is that you can create your own! There was one that we learned about, they created a microclimate in Western Oregon to grow peaches! They don't grow fabulously there because it's so wet. So, one way that is really memorable to me is that they put the peach tree close to the house, on the south side. The house had some type of stonework, and thus the stone soaks in the heat and reflects it back to the peach! The peach tree is also situated underneath the eve of the building so it doesn't get completely drenched. Another great thing to do would have been, I don't know if they did it or not, but place a nice pond in front of the peach tree in order for it to reflect even more light onto it! That had to be the coolest thing I learned in Week 3. You can MANIPULATE CLIMATES!! *eyes wide*
The final thing in week three was the Client Questionnaire. This is a tool to determine your client's needs, wants, and wishes. This is important to figure out what kinds of things that are attainable, affordable to the client, and realistic. You get to find out if the client will be participating in the work, or if they would like to hire help, or maybe they have friend volunteers! It's important to figure out what kinds of things they like! This is important because if they don't absolutely love it, it is likely they wont take the best possible care of it. And we want them to WANT to do these things, make it a happy thing, not a forced thing.
So we got the basic questionnaire which was originally compiled by Jude Hobbs and Max Lindeggar but our Online OSU PDC Class 2016, did some editing and adding you can check out the Quesitionnaire here. :D It's pretty neat.
So, because I think having paper is a little bit of a waste, I decided to create some Google Form questionnaires, which will allow the client to take their time answering, and no waste of paper! Win win! You can see the Client Profile, and the Client Needs. Please do not answer the questions or edit the above things I shared with you in any way. You can use them for your own questionnaire, however! Please give credit! :D I did come across a really amazing questionnaire, which I will use if I decide to go pro with Permaculture (I asked for permission!), which was made by The Resilience Hub. It's a really in-depth and amazing rendition of the Client Questionnaire!
I hope that at the end of my Permaculture course that I feel compelled enough to continue this adventure. I am pretty excited about it still!
I'm Adrienne! Stay tuned for my adventures in beginning homesteading.
Adrienne is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.