What We Can Help With
Permaculture design is our core focus and we can help in every stage of permaculture system setup, from an initial consultancy through comprehensive site analysis, system design and implementation. Surburban sites and rural properties up to 300 acres are our specialty.
Here are some system components that we can help set up in an integrated way (note that it is not possible to prescribe in advance of site assessment what components and solutions will be relevant to specific situations):
Depnding on your requirements, what we deliver usually includes a detailed colour A2 or A3 computer-rendered design diagram, close-up diagrams of specific systems, and a comprehensive 30-40 page design report detailing the site analysis, all system recommendations, plant lists, time-stepped implementation guides, and so on. Our usual turn around from consultancy commencement to design completion is 6-8 weeks.
- Herb gardens supplying food, flavour, tea and medicine
- Diverse and productive organic vegetable and fruit gardens
- Compost bays and worm farms
- Poultry (including chicken tractors)
- Orchards and food forests
- Maximum efficiency watering systems
- Fertility-enhancing tree, plant and animal systems
- No-dig and raised garden beds using natural contours to full advantage
- Beautiful and functional mandala and keyhole gardens
- Water harvesting earthworks for drought and flood proofing (integrated swale and dam systems)
- Wastewater treatement and utalisation systems (e.g., Greywater reedbeds where biologically filtered greywater irrigates fruit tree crops)
- Native bird habitat
- Rehabilitated wetlands
- Wildlife corridors
Click here for a sample table of contents from one of our design reports (.pdf).
We are additionally able to advise on:
- Catching and storing water as high as possible in the system for gravity-fed irrigation to points of use
- Functional zoning to decrease labour inputs
- Retrofitting existing gardens and orchards for increased productivity and energy efficiency
- Whole-site food, energy and water security issues (including audits and whole-site management plans)
- Peak-oil and climate-change related disaster planning
Pre-Purchase Property Assessment
Permaculture Solutions can visit a property you are considering purchasing and give you a site report detailing the site's potential for permaculture development, taking into account factors including water, slope, aspect, soil, existing structures/vegetation and access.
Soil Food Web Consultancy (Analysis and Remediation)
With our team including two graduates of Dr Elaine Ingham's Soil Food Web institute, we offer full soil food web consultancy services. Proper soil food web analysis and intervention can make a huge difference to the success of any agricultural system and we encourage all our clients to learn more about the extraordinary results this approach can achieve. Our consultants can:
- Assess your starting soil chemistry and biology
- Determine any gap between your soil ecosystem and the soil ecosystem appropriate to the plants you wish to grow
- Provide or help you create quality compost inoculated with any missing microbes
- Provide or help you create aerobic compost extracts and teas to successfully introduce the necessary microbes and foods to your soil
- Trouble-shoot any pest or disease problems and help develop biological controls
We are finding that over time demand for our educational services is increasing and we are open to all opportunities to empower others with permaculture design. Alongside the classic 72-hour Permaculture Design Certificate course, we offer one, two or three day introductions to permaculture and customised workshops on topics including:
- The Soil Food Web
- Letting food be your medicine! Medicinal plants in the permaculture garden
- Composting: Hot and cold, fast and slow, big and small
- How to have a million hard working employees - making worms work for you
- Growing using grafting and cuttings
- How to bottle, dry and preserve your excess produce
- Seed saving
- Cheese and kefir making
- Sourdough and Essene Bread making
- Sprouting and baby greens: Super-nutritious micro-gardening possible no matter where you live!
- Cooking up a storm with just a garden and spice rack: Eating from your garden in season
- Making your own herbal preparations
- Organic poultry care
Eniquire about our latest series of workshops here.
Permaculture Solutions has extensive experience in systems known as chook tractors. In essence, the chook tractor concept is very simple: build a bottomless chicken run, let the chickens scratch and fertilise the soil, then move the run on and plant vegetables where they've been. Chook tractors are a brilliant way of establishing a new garden and a fantastic addition to an existing garden. With a little careful planning, you can sit back while the chickens de-weed, de-seed, de-bug, fertilise, prepare compost, feed themselves, and provide you with a steady supply of delicious yellow-yolked organic eggs! While in the past we have offered chook tractors and related products, in coming to focus more on our whole-system design work, we now encourage people to build and try out chook tractors themselves, though we can offer advice and guidance as well as recomend particular suppliers. Linda Woodrow's The Permaculture Home Garden
is a must read if you're interested in learning more. You should also check out Very Edible Garden's Chicken Tractors
for some examples of systems you can purchase ready-made and that we distribute in Melbourne.
Seeds and Plants
Through our close partnership with a range of suppliers we are able to supply a diverse range of plant seeds and seedlings. We specialise in plants appropriate to permaculture gardens including small fruit trees and vines, vegetables, herbs, ground covers/green manures, medicinal plants, and appropriate natives. We also manage a series of 'plant banks' focused on a variety of excellent low maintenance and high-yielding survival foods (such as flour gourd, climbing yam, rice bean, pepino and chia). Obtaining your plant stock through us not only saves you the large costs and hassles of sourcing locally-adapting plants yourself, but means your garden can evolve/emerge faster than you would have thought possible!