The following article was developed while preparing to host a forthcoming farm tour for the Southern Fleurieu Permaculture Group on applying permaculture principles in property planning. You can view a printable version, including an updated One-Page Place Assessment here.
After several years working in and advocating for sustainable food systems, in November 2012, we purchased 19 hectares of grazing land near Second Valley, 80 kilometres south of Adelaide. Our vision for the property is to cultivate a diverse, small farm that meets a large proportion of household food and energy needs as well as an income through direct marketing. With integrated forestry, grazing, revegetation and horticulture, we hope to develop Yarnauwi as an experiment in viable, sustainable small farming for the Fleurieu Peninsula. Farm enterprises and elements will be stacked to perform multiple functions and increase profitability, and will be developed at an economically and personally appropriate pace.
For our first couple of years, we’ve spent a great deal of our time trying to engage in thoughtful observation, learning the rhythms and patterns of the landscape. As we’ve tried to reconcile our own impatience to get things done with the pace of the climate and the land, we’ve adopted Wes Jackson’s assertion that “if your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.” It’s a reminder to be patient, to acknowledge that ecological systems have their own sense of time, and that many of the intentions of our planning may only be experienced by our grandchildren. Continue reading