Letters to the editor –
I am new to gardening and a young mother, I like the idea of permaculture but how do I get started ?
Response from our secretary– by Irma Lachmund
For all people who have a block of land, how small it may be and who are thinking about starting a garden, to start producing food and veggies, the actual start might be a bit daunting. Making the most out of your space with the right motivation is a big goal, but making a small start is easy. Here are my suggestions based on my own journey.
1. Permaculture is a system about designing your garden that works and meets your needs as well as the needs of this earth. On the Permaculture WA website you find very useful info sheets on how permaculture works. I suggest you start by reading this one https://permaculturewest.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/pw-principles-of-permaculture.pdf which gives you a good overview of the design principles and how it all comes together; or watch the video https://permaculturewest.org.au/about/what-is-permaculture/. To get more detailed knowledge you might want to sign up to a relevant course about permaculture https://permaculturewest.org.au/education/ and then get the right system in place that match your location and your personal needs.
2. Focusing on the bigger picture but starting with small steps is the best way to go in my own experience. I started with a similar venture some years ago working on my own backyard and documented it here www.urbanveggies.blogspot.com. The journey is still going. Feel free to have a look and get some ideas about how I tackled it. Also documenting your journey helps you learn from the successes and mistakes you make on the way
3. Improving the soil is imperative if you are on a sandy patch like most locations in Perth. Our suggestions are available here https://permaculturewest.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/pw-soil-building.pdf
4. For getting good seeds you might want to contact Environment House in Bayswater http://www.envirohouse.org.au/, also check out businesses and organisations linked to Permaculture West https://permaculturewest.org.au/resources/wa-directory/, try your local organic food store or check out the GreenLife Soil Company http://www.greenlifesoil.com.au/, a good address for your gardening needs. We have seedsaver groups which you might want to join. More info here: https://permaculturewest.org.au/community/seed-saving-wa/
5. The Perth Gardening Show is coming up shortly. Attend it and have a look at the opportunities available, from 3-6 April, more info here: http://perthgardenfestival.com.au/
6. Finally talk to your gardening friends and invite them to come to your house for a chat and a site inspection. Rather focus on a few little projects now and get their help in putting them into reality. Also get yourself a few good gardening books. My top of the pick are:
– Lolo Houbein – One Magic Square
– Readers Digest – Grow your own Fruit and Vegetable the easy way for Australia and New Zealand
Or simply start with the gardening books you already have at your home.
If you are interested in joining one of our local groups, just select the one that you feel closest to from the choice here: https://permaculturewest.org.au/community/local-groups/.
Best of luck and let us know how you went.