Permaculture

Feeding the orphan lamb, Esmerelda

Feeding the orphan lamb, Esmerelda

Permaculture is a design philosophy based on observing and replicating patterns in nature, to enable us to live sustainably, with abundance, beauty, ease and simplicity. By this approach we intend to care for the land, the landscape and ourselves, fostering the kind of diversity, long-term stability and resilience found in natural ecosystems. Permaculture provides principles for creating a lifestyle that cooperates with mother nature on all levels. We apply these principles to intensive food production and low-energy building, and also to health, education, ethics and every other aspect of life.

We began planting our food forest last winter. There are already several orchards producing fruit.

Food Forest

In 2013, after the roads were finished in the village area, we began intensively planning and planting around the village area. The house lots we are leaving free for the owners to make their own plans with, and we have three large areas being readied for vegetables gardens. Chicory and plantain are presently flowering all over them.

First, we planted a series of shelterbelts, and there is now the beginnings of a food forest developing around the lots. We also planted an area with subtropical fruit trees.

We did a water plan, and cut several swales across the hillsides, and a couple of pools, to retain water in the land. The last few summers have brought us drought, as climate change begins to show itself, so water management may be an important part of our planning.

There are already several orchards producing fruit, and several areas of nut trees on the way.

Animals

Our East Friesian ram

Our East Friesian ram

We run sheep and cattle on the farm – for milk, meat, wool and stud. We’re on the way to milking both sheep and cows. We also keep bees, geese and, of course, chickens.

We have a detailed animal welfare document that provides minimum standards and information for best practice, to help us care for our animals in a respectful and thorough way.

 

Food production

Eleanor with turnip

Eleanor with turnip

Turanga Farm aims to supply its residents’ dietary needs primarily from the farm itself, thus breaking our dependency on foods of distant and dubious origin.

We have omnivores, vegetarians and vegans and we share the food in a culture of mutual respect for each other’s diverse dietary preferences.

To maintain a cohesive community, we take great care over the sensitivities of all.

Following permaculture principles, soil, plants and animals are designed into a single integrated system for sustainable, efficient and easy production.

We will continue to explore what we can grow for an interesting and varied diet for the future. In our food forest, we intend to grow fruit, vegetables, nuts and herbs.

We keep diverse animals for honey, eggs, dairy and meat. We strive for the most ethical treatment of creatures and the land.

Our chooks are stars

Our chooks are stars