Permaculture Applied at Abby Farms

Regardless of age, income, or industry – many people across many platforms these days are using terms like: “sustainable” “renewable” and “green.”  While I am pretty sure that the intention behind the use of these words are basically the same – a world and its people that are friendlier to the environment, wiser in their use of natural resources and each ultimately being healthier – how do so many different types of business reach this same goal, how do they become sustainable, renewable and green?

Permaculture provides a design model for individuals regardless of age, income and industry that can help them attain this objective.  If you are not familiar, Permaculture – so named due to the blending of the root words permanent and agriculture – is a “science” that looks to the earth in designing and implementing practices for food/crop production, community design, people and animals, basically all aspects of life on earth, in a way that they can be utilized perpetually.  It’s twelve guiding principles can be adapted and applied to most any person, group or organization.

Like the rest of the environmentally conscious world, Abby Farms is working to decrease its “footprint” and increase its renewability.  Two permaculture design principles come to mind in our pursuit of this:  #6 Produce No Waste and #12 Creatively Use and Respond to Change.  In an effort to Produce No Waste, we take in wood chips waste from local haulers and store it on our nursery to allow it to decompose for about 1 year.  After it has sufficiently broken down, we spread it in our mulch beds to provide a stabilizing and protective medium for our B & B plants.  After about a year in those beds, these wood chips have now decomposed even further.  At this point they are removed from the B & B beds and applied in the growing beds as organic matter to feed the in-ground trees.  To Creatively Use and Respond to Change occurs daily at Abby Farms during the growing season.  We conduct a variety of leaf and soil test to determine the health of the plants and soil.  This allows us to address any issues through natural means with naturally occurring nutrients – rather than synthetic.

With so many of us seeking the same end result across so many industries and with the increasing relevance and easy-to-implement practice of Permaculture, our end goal is much closer to being realized.