onsdag den 26. maj 2010

Dragehoved, sommersar og frø i jorden

Sown seeds of Tagetes, sunflowers, fennel, hyssop and nasturtium.

På dansk:
Dragehoved stak kimbladene frem for en 4-5 dage siden og nu er sommersar også kommet op. Det er så efter knap 1 uge og 1½ uge i jorden.

Jeg har sået frø af appelsintagetes, (flere) solsikker, fennikel, anis, anisisop og (flere) sommerfuglekarse.

søndag den 23. maj 2010


This permacultuture-thing is beginning to get under my skin. I can't believe that I haven't taken this view on gardening and sustainability before.

The idea which is at the basis of permaculture: Making things natural (or "natural", as it would be if it was wild nature). Suddenly a whole new way of thinking about garden design, plant choice and companion plants. In stead of shooting in the dark as to what is good for the plants, I just have to think about how and where this plant grows in nature or how plants grow together.
- Of course the strawberries prefer a very light shade, to full sun...they grow in the open forrests, like beech forrests.
- Of course there should be no bare ground in the garden, where do you ever see that in nature except after land slides, fires, earth quakes? Bare soil is unnatural. Even i organic gardening you can see bare soil, but not only is it unnatural, using the bare-soil approach when growing organic also means that you will be toiling and breaking your back to pieces removing weeds.
- And where do you ever, in nature, see a monocrop of grass? There is always lots of other plants amongst the grass.

Amongst organic growers extensive rather than intensive growing/farming is hailed. But permaculture says:
If productivity is raised using permaculture (which makes bigger amounts of food
avalible from the same amount of land - in opposition to monoculture that is
more inefficient), not as much land needs to be cultivated and more of it can be
allowed to be wild nature. We make space for greater biodiversity.
(My parafrasing from 'Permaculture in a nutshell').

That turns things upside down for me and opens up for at whole new way of thinking.

Or what about:
Environmental problems cannot be solves through consuming more (even
environmentally friendly) or by recycling - it is only treating the symptoms.You have to go deeper and treat the disease: Consume less. Especially of unrenewable ressources of overused renewable ressources.
(My parafrasing from 'Permaculture in a nutshell').

Of course! I did think a lot about consuming less goods before (and does consume very little), mostly out of financial reasons, but this quote really put it into context for me. And made me also think about my consumption of heat, water, electricity.

And I could keep going on and on.... ;).
I really appreciate this new approach that has revealed itself to me. Organic seemt a bit stuck in "like conventional growing, just without pesticides". Sustainability just kept focusing on the latest fad, and I lacked a holistic approach. And selv-sufficiency was so focused on production, that nature's ways seem to loose ground.
In permaculture everything knits together to form a unity. It has refreshed my enthusiasm and creativity and given me so many new ideas. Looking very much forward to see where I'll end up....

lørdag den 22. maj 2010

Planteliste/Plants list

Thought I'd make a plant list of what I have now:

In containers:
- Thymus vulgaris
- Coriander, Coriandrum sativum
- Melissa officinalis
- Tanacetum vulgare
- Artemisia abrotanum
- Artemisia absinthium
- Satureja hortensis
- Some type of rocket salad
- A salad mix
- Broad leaf parsley
- Strawberries (Senga Sengana, the one and only!)
- Humulus lupulus
(Edible flowers:)
- Lathyrus
- Dracocephalum moldavica
- Calendula arvensis L.
- Sunflowers, Helianthus annuus. Low bushy looking variety.
- Tropaeolum peregrinum.

Not planted in containers yet:
- Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare
- Hyssopus officinalis)
- Agastache foeniculum)
- Tagetes tenuifolia, smells likes oranges.
- The rest of the Calendula arvensis L.

In the ground:
- Rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum
- Rhubarb, (a variety known a wine rubarb, no idea about name, got it from my mother)
- Blackberries, a thornless variety.
- Humulus lupulus
- Echinacea purpurea
- Hyacints that were already here
- Green/orange tulips
- And of course the willow hut

In Danish:
Tænkte at jeg lige ville lave en planteliste over hvad jeg har lige nu, mest for mit eget overbliks skyld.

I krukker:
  • Krydderurter:
    - Almindelig havetimian (Thymus vulgaris)
    - Koriander (Coriandrum sativum)
    - Citronmelisse (Melissa officinalis)
    - Rejnfan (Tanacetum vulgare)
    - Ambra (Artemisia abrotanum)
    - Malurt (Artemisia absinthium)
    - Sommersar (Satureja hortensis)
    - Humle (Humulus lupulus)
  • "Køkkenhaven":
    - Rucola
    - Diverse salater
    - Jordbær (Senga Sengana)
  • Spiselige blomster:
    - Ærteblomst (Lathyrus)
    - Dragehoved (dracocephalum moldavica)
    - Agermorgenfrue (Calendula arvensis L.)
    - Solsikker, lav busket sort (Helianthus annuus)
    - Sommerfuglekarse, en type af tallerkensmækker (Tropaeolum peregrinum)
Andre der skal plantes:
- Fennikel (Foeniculum vulgare)
- Isop (Hyssopus officinalis)
- Anisisop (Agastache foeniculum)
- En masse appelsintagetes (Tagetes tenuifolia)
- Resten af solsikkerne
- Resten af morgenfruerne
I jorden:
  • Spiselige:
    - Rabarber Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum)
    - Vinrabarber
    - Brombær
    - Humle (Humulus lupulus)
  • Andet:
    - Purpursolhat (Echinacea purpurea)
    - Hyacint
    - Orange tulipaner
    - Og selvfølgelig pilehytten

mandag den 17. maj 2010

A definition of permaculture/Hvad er permakultur?

Might be good if I defined and explained exactly what I have going on here ;). Both so that you can se what my overall idea is, and so I myslef get a clearer picture of what direction I should go.
So here is a little resumé of what I have read and learned until now about permaculture, then we'll also se if I actually have understood it correctly.

You can define permaculture differently, the broadest is probably:
  • A desgin method where things are connected to the mutual denefit of all the parts, and that the whole system functions harmonically.
    So it is about more that simply growing plants - it is a method that can be used on all areas of life.
In principle you could avoid being environmentally friendly using this definition, but at the core of permacultures background is the concept that it is "green" idea that you connect to a whole. It is about replacing the physical labour, fossile fuel and pollution with well thought through design.
  • You can also view permaculture from the angle that it is about sustainable lifestyle and sustainable housing.
    Then fokus will e.g. be little use of energy in production, avoiding lon transports of goods and environmentally friendly disposal of waste.
    It is also about taking responsibility and changing lifestyle without expecting that other will make things easier for you ("someone should so something....")
  • Are we taking growing plants, either in your own garden or in production, then it is amongst others about promoting great biodiversity and mimicking nature's ecosystems.
In Danish:
Ja det ville måske være godt om jeg definerede hvad det egentlig er jeg har gang i ;). Både for at I kan se hvad min overordnede idé er, og så jeg selv får et klarere billede af hvilken retning jeg skal i.
Så et lille resumé af hvad jeg har læst og lært indtil nu, så får vi også at se om jeg i det hele taget selv har forstået permakultur rigtigt.

Man kan definere permakultur på forskellige måde, men den mest overordnede er nok:
  • En designmetode, hvor tingene i designet forbindes til gensidig nytte, og at hele systemet fungerer harmonisk. Det handler altså om meget mere end bare havebrug/dyrkning - det er en metode, som kan bruges på alle områder af livet.
Man kunne i princippet undgå at være miljøvenlig med denne definition, men det ligger i permakulturens baggrund, at det handler om at forbinde "grønne" idéer til et samlet hele. Man kan sige at det handler om at erstatte indsatsen af fysisk arbejde, fossile brændstoffer og forurening med velgennemtænkt design.
  • Man kan også tage den vinkel at det handler om bæredygtig livsstil og bæredygtige bosættelser.
    Så er fokus f.eks. på lille forbrug af energi i produktion, undgå lang transport og miljøvenlig og bæredygtigt bortskaffelse af ting.
    Det handler også om selv at tage ansvar og ændre livsstil uden at forvente, at nogen lægger tingene til rette for én ("Nogen burde gøre noget....." ikk').
  • Taler vi om dyrkning, enten i ens egen have eller i produktion, så handler det bl.a. om at arbejde mod stor biodiversitet og tilnærmelse til naturens økosystemer.

Man kan og

søndag den 16. maj 2010

Fordele og ulemper/Advantages and Limitations

Hm....feel like doing permaculture with the house and the rest of our daily life, but I'm not sure where to start. I need a really good book.....

Oh well, on to the garden, where I am on home ground. I thought I would list some of the possibilities and limitations that I have on this plot.

- 200 sqm of great soil (under the grass)
- A patio, about 30 sqm. Brick walls to the north, east and south, so very sheltered and usually quite warm.
- Tall hedges to the west and north and big trees in the garden to the left (south of my garden).
- Allowed do pretty much anything with the garden as long as it is not illegal...
- Front garden to the east. Gets sun all morning. Sheltered.
- Back garden to the west. Gets sun from late morning until sun goes down.

Limitations:- Boyfriend wants a lawn for our son to play on (I'm more along the lines of making shelters, planting edibles and creating things to climb on and crawl under for him to play with/in)
- Front and back garden are to the east and west. Front garden only gets sun from daybreak to about mid day and back garden gradually gets more sun from 8 to 11 o'clock. Parts of lawn and patio gets hardly any sun.
- Not sure what the (elderly) neighbours will think about my way of gardening, which might seem "disorderly" to them. I could just choose not to care, but I do have to live next to them and don't really want to alienate myself. But I think it will be as simple as to tell that what I'm doing is intentional.
- My son has to be able to get everywhere without getting hurt and the garden has to be interesting and fun for him.
- No money. I actually think that this limitation is something of an advantage. It really sparks my creativity and leads to more interesting and out-of-the-box solutions than would be if I could just buy whatever I wanted. At first having very little money was annoying, but now I intentionally try to find the cheapest solutions, reuse and recycle. And that saves energy and materials - all in all a win-win situation.
- Building regulations, fire regulations, the "Hedge Laws" (regulations on how close to your neighbours's plots you can do this and that) a.s.o.

In Danish:
Gider ikke lige nu.............

Klima, jord, sol/Climate, soil, sun

The garden is to the vest of the house, and the right side of the garden gets a lot more sun than the left. Sun reaches the patio about 11 o'clock at this time of the year.
The garden lies shelted by the tall hedges and the neighbours trees and the terraced houses also shelter a lot.

No plant beds yet, but a lot of containers that we take care of. The patio is about 30 sqm and is sheltered on three sides by brick walls - warm and protected.

Climate Zone: Denmark is 7-8. Where I live mostly 8.
Climate information: Temperate, humid and overcast, mild, windy winters and cool summers.
(A lot like the east coast of England (which is why it isn't surprising, that it was there, the Danish vikings settled, when they had conquered England)).
Sun and rain information: On average 1500 hours of sun a year and on average 745 mm of precipitation - evenly spaced out over the year (though slightly more precipitaion from late summer to early winther, than during the rest of the year).
Within Denmark we operate with sub-zones 1-4 (4 being the mildest). I live on, Fyn (english: Funen), the roundish island in the middle, and about on the border between sub-zone 3-4.
In Danish:
Højre side af haven får meget mere sol end den venstre. Solen når terrassen ca. kl. 11 på dette tidspunkt af året.
Ingen bede endnu men masser af krukker, som vi hygger om. Terrassen på 30 kvm ligger varmt og beskyttet, perfekt til sarte planter.
Glimrende muldjord, dog let sandet, men vi er også kun 1 km fra vandet. Der er ret meget flint i jorden, det er almindeligt heromkring.

Både klima og mikroklimamæssigt bor jeg ret beskyttet. Fyn er klimazone 8 og ligger trygt og varmt i midten af Danmark. Rækkehusområdet, som jeg bor i, og med de høje tilgroede hække og haver giver også meget bekyttelse fra vejret.

lørdag den 15. maj 2010

Udgangspunkt/Starting Point

I have:
- A tiny one story, 2 bedroom terraced house in the city, 84 sqm (900 sq feet).
- 50 sqm front garden. Front garden i ½ paved, ½ lawn.
- App. 200 sqm back garden.
Back garden is about 175 sqm lawn + a paved 30 sqm patio. Aside from the lawn, there is a garden shed, a big bush of unknown spieces, a rhubarb plant and a narrow(bed?) around the shed, appearantly filled with flower bulbs. I have planted an Echinea and two hop plants in the narrow bed, they have followed me from the allotment.
- On the patio around 25 pots and containers with various herbs, edible flowers and salads – I couldn’t stand not having any plants to care for at all.

I have decided to watch the garden for a year, find out how the microclimate of it was, where there was most un a.s.o. before I started doing anything drastic.
It also provides me with good of time to think about what plants to plant and how to plant them (as I start out).
Then in late summer I will make plant beds, fertilise with the kompost that the public (recycling stations?) offer every autumn for free, and let the soil develop during the autumn and winter.
Then in spring next year, I will start putting all my quirky ideas into practise.

På dansk:
Mit udgangspunkt:
- Et lillebitte rækkehus på 84 kvm
- En forhave, ½ græs, ½ fliser på ca. 50 kvm
- En baghave på ca. 200 kvm, 175 med jord og 30 kvm terrasse.
Bortset fra den rædselsfulde græsplæne er der et haveskur, en stor busk af ukendt oprindelse, en rabarber og et smalt bed omkring skuret (fyldt med løgplanter). Og jeg har plantet en Purpursolhat (echinea) og to humleplanter i det smalle bed.
- På terrassen har jeg omkring 25 krukker med diverse krydderurter, spiselige blomster, salat og persille – jeg kunne slet ikke have slet ikke at have nogen have.

Jeg besluttede mig til at vente og lære haven at kende, før jeg startede med de helt store planer, finde ud af hvordan mikroklimaet var, hvor der var mest sol osv.
Så har jeg også god tid til at tænke over hvilke planter, kombinationer, plantesteder osv. jeg vil have (til at begynde med).
Hen på sommeren vil jeg starte på at lave bede, gøde med det kompost man kan få fra genbrugsstationerne gratis om efteråret(og foråret), og lade jorden udvikle sig efterår og vinter.
Så til næste forår er jeg klar til at gøre alle mine skøre idéer til virkelighed.

Så springer jeg ud i det/A leap into a new kind of gardening

½ a year ago we moved to a house with a garden (chose "big" garden over sqm in the house).

Starting Project Garden.
I am into organic gardening. And I HATE lawns, and had minimised the use of such in my allotment that I have had for some years. I have read tons of books about organic gardening. Still I missed something: The seeing the garden (and the house) as a whole, the interaction between the individual elements. It just didn’t have the natural ecosystem-feel to it that I wanted.
I my new garden I would try achieve that.

Then I stumbled upon the word permaculture when I browsed amazon.co.uk for good gardening books. The book was The Earth Care Manual, but it was expensive and out of stock, so I went to the local library that had ”Permaculture in a nutshell”…..and I was sold. Completely in love with the idea! That was what I had wanted, without being able to put a name on it.

As all Danes, I am mad about home design; about getting the elements to work together, creating light and space and making things look natural where they are, making indoors and outdoors feel connected, making things practical, useful and beautiful – and here I had found som of that same approach (and beyond!) in gardening.

My knowledge about gardening mainly stems from my mother. She absolutely loves gardening. Her garden could be described as a conventional garden, but it is rather a traditional garden. I have always thought that there was way to much ”black earth approach” (you know, individual plants with carefully cultivated ’clean’ soil around them), but as a whole have learned a LOT from her about what plants need, how to care for them, tricks and good ideas, and not least the love of gardening.
And she is into organic gardening - or as she says herself (something along the lines of): I just garden, there is no need for artificial stuff, plants taste best and is most healthy when growing as they find best.

I will document my coming journey into permaculture. It will be a compromise, I can say already now, because we live where we do, because time and energy is limited, and because of my artritis. But I look forward to see how far towards permaculture I can get.
Maybe it will also be interesting for others to follow. Living in the city and other with other things requireing my time and energy constantly (like for so many others), it is still a possibility to work towards permaculture.

På dansk
For ½ år siden flyttede vi ind i et lille rækkehus med en have. Eller rettere: Med en græsplæne. Jeg HADER græsplæner, sådan en ørken af monokultur!
Jeg ville gerne gøre noget ved min ny have, og læste en masse bøger om økologi, og der masser masser af gode ting, men der manglede noget. Der var ligesom ikke det, der bandt det hele samme og fik det til at føles som et sammenhængende økosystem.
Modsat min kolonihave, som jeg havde forladt, ville jeg prøve at opnå det i min nye have.

Så skvattede jeg over et nyt ord ”permakultur”…hm…mig ned på biblioteket og låne et eksemplar af hæftet ”Permakultur i en Nøddeskal”.
Og så var jeg solgt! Totalt forelsket i en idé. Dette er haveverdenens ekvivalent til totaldesign i huset, hvor alt hænger sammen, tingene føles (og er) naturlige, der hvor de er, og det er praktisk, brugbart og smukt (og ikke særlig arbejdskrævende :D).

Min viden om havebrug stammer hovedsagligt fra min mor. Hun ELSKER haver, sin egen allerhøjest. Hun har selv lært om haver på den gammeldags måde, voksede op på en gård. Jeg har altid synes at der var for meget ”mørk muld” i hendes havetilgang (individuelle planter med fintrevet ”ren” jord omkring ikk), men ikke desto mindre har jeg lært masser af hende, ikke mindst kærligheden til haven og til at dyrke selv. Hun er også til økologisk havebrug – eller som hun selv siger ca. ”Jeg dyrker jo bare min have, alt det der kunstige noget er helt overflødigt, og planterne smager alligevel bedst når de får lov til selv at gro, som de synes er bedst.

Jeg vil dokumentere min rejse ind i denne nye verden. Jeg ved, at der vil blive kompromiser, det kan jeg allerede sige nu, både fordi vi bor, hvor vi bor og ikke på en nedlangt gård på landet. Også fordi tid og energi er begrænset, min søn kræver sit, og ikke mindst sætter mine led- og rygsmerter (u)naturlige grænser for, hvad jeg kan. Men jeg ser frem til at se hvor meget jeg kan gennemføre den permakulturelle idé.
Måske vil det også være interessant for at se hvordan man i forstadsland og med et almindeligt liv og mange andre ting, udover haven, der kræver ens opmærksomhed - kan arbejde imod permakultur.