Hi, I’m Stan. This is my Permaculture design blog. Here I’ll post plant guilds (combinations of plant species) that I design using a patch generation database I’ve been intermittently assembling in Microsoft Excel over the past couple of years, as I’ve been building my own forest garden on a fifth of an acre in Southern middle Tennessee (zone 6b/7a). I’ll also discuss useful software, the design process, specific plants, and construction and installation issues.

My goal is to use writing to make my own design process more fun, and to share what I learn.  I hope to connect with other gardeners (or, gasp, non-gardeners) around the world, to field test and present ideas for people to try, and to reflect on the general relevance of the Permaculture project as I learn and evolve. Also I just like writing! (I’ve found that “I just like it” is, 99% of the time, the most honest answer for why you’re doing something)

About Permaculture

If you don’t know much about Permaculture, there are many books on the subject, most of which are in this list, though I don’t endorse all of these. My first three were Toby Hemenway, Mollison, and Jacke/Toensmeier’s two volume textbook Edible Forest Gardens.  You can also youtube it, read the wiki, or check out this excellent short intro from the essential blog Temperate Climate Permaculture. The most relevant quote I can find right now comes from David Holmgren via that article. David Holmgren is a co-founder and eloquent theorist of the movement:

“The word Permaculture was coined by Bill Mollison and myself in the mid-1970’s to describe an integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.

A more current definition of Permaculture […] is ‘Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.’ People, their buildings and the ways in which they organise themselves are central to Permaculture. Thus the Permaculture vision of permanent or sustainable agriculture has evolved to one of permanent or sustainable culture.”

So yeah, for me Permaculture is a starting-off point for discovering a side of myself that has been repressed from my consciousness until only a few years ago. “Nature” (read: reality) is baked deeply into all of us, and for me, like so many, gardening has been a doorway into a much larger spiritual and intellectual awakening, where the practice of care for the earth and for people is in many ways more mysterious, beautiful, and self-revealing than anything I’ve known, and the foundation for a higher quality of life. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to share that sensibility with my Dear Readers, as a single tear rolls down my cheek!

I’ll probably do an article on my database soon, and post that here for people interested in that specifically. Until then, Ciao!


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