Permaculture is a set of design methods for the creation of human systems, which should be resilient, efficient, sustainable and permanent. Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies, imitating closed-cycle, waste-free systems of the natural ecosystems. Permaculture puts holistic solutions into practice that are applicable both in rural and urban contexts, in every dimensional scale. It is a toolbox that include, among others, agriculture, hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technologies, economy and community development. Here at "Trebiolche" we practice permaculture, always trying to apply its teachings and methodologies. We designed, created and implemented the project as an ecosystem. Our "one hectare" is conceived as a single organism. Consult our data sheets and look at our methods, our application of the principles, techniques and strategies we adopt.
Multifunctionality of each element
We always try to respect the important principle of multi-functionality (multiple relationship between element and function). Here, for example, the pond acts as a water basin, as a heating element for specific crops and as a refuge for useful animals; a gazebo is also a cultivation facility, a shelter for animals; a compost bin is also an area of microclimate and an ecological margin for plant growth.
Food, water and energy resilience
Self-sufficiency in such a small system is a process that can be achieved with great difficulty and in a long time. Despite this, after only 3 years we are able to produce a considerable amount of food that we allocate to our families and in part we will be able to serve in the farm, we store over 150,000 liters of water and produce almost 10 cubic meters of organic biomass. A 17 kW photovoltaic system will also guarantee great energy resilience.
We observe natural patterns and apply them to the elements of our system. Waves, spirals, sinusoids, octagons are just some of the forms that inspire us in design.
Use of locally available renewable resources
We have created a local network that supplies us with free organic biomass of excellent quality, to increase the fertility of our system at least until the self produced is sufficient. In this way we intercept leaves, grass clippings, twigs that would be destined for landfill treatment, and most of the time they would be mixed with many non-biodegradable waste.
Enhancement and increase in biodiversity
We understand that the key to the stability of a natural system is biodiversity. In 3 and a half years of activity we have gone from just over a dozen lawn grasses to several hundred plant species and varieties, herbs and shrubs. Many species of animals now inhabit the place permanently. In periods of greater abundance of food and energy all around life pulsates and develops at an increasing rate.
Zones and sectors design
We have designed to make our work more efficient. The required maintenance decreases as the distance from the center of the activities, constituted by the building, increases. We leave room for natural evolution, with several small dynamic areas of "zone 5". We work in accordance with the energies that cross and interact with the place. We work "with and not against".
Use of natural succession
We make good use of the time available and work in a perennially evolutionary context. From annual vegetables to berry bushes to fruit trees, our approach is an ecological continuum that maximizes the accumulation of organic material and intercropping, accelerating growth processes, and using time efficiently.
Water collection and storage - Water resilience
We have created several water basins to collect rainwater and water from the irrigation canal on the west side of the property. This allows us to carry out emergency irrigations using very fertile pond water, rich in biological life. The basins then create beneficial microclimates and allow the reproduction of different animals, increasing biodiversity. We have over 100,000 liters of water reserves.
We work and cultivate on multiple levels in a multi-dimensional ecological context, moving away as much as possible from the mono-cultural and one-dimensional paradigm to which we have unfortunately become accustomed to. We design the place and optimize the occupation of vertical space as well as the horizontal one. We try to enhance the use of every small space or ecological niche available.
Creation and use of microclimates
We value every small space where it is possible to identify or create microclimates to improve the growth of more sensitive varieties, or create opportunities to grow difficult varieties in standard terms, thus increasing biodiversity and production.
Mutualistic integration of plants and animals
In our orchard we leave free to run around some small animals: currently a small group of hens and another of Romagna geese. They effectively help us fight off insects and unwanted herbs, control herbaceous growth and fertilize the soil naturally, also eliminating the surplus of fruit that naturally falls from the over 100 fruit trees in the area dedicated to animals.
Creation and enhancement of ecologial margins
The project starts from a simple flat forage meadow without any attraction. By designing, creating and enhancing as many margins as possible we are able to exponentially increase the possibilities to insert plants that otherwise would not have been possible to grow. If the individual productivity of a single species is lower, the general productivity of the system increases as well as the seasonality of the products, in an ever richer ecological context.