This is our patch of ground dedicated to all things feathered and hooved. The blue line shows the boundary of what is currently known as ‘down by the pond’. Imaginative huh?
The building on the left is where the chickens live, the feed is stored and the eggs are laid. The run of trees on the right are our boundary with the neighbouring farm and they also hide a stream. The pond (kinda Africa shaped thing in lower centre, is the lower, deeper pond with an island where the ducks live. There is also a smaller bog/wildlife pond top right, which isn’t very clear on this image.
The top left corner is a pretty steep hill (the field to the north is known as the sledging field for somewhat obvious reasons) and the area around the pond and south of it is a frost pocket.
The rest of our farm is let out as grass keep, but due to the open pond this area has always been fenced off. This has resulted in swathes of stinging nettles, thistles and couch grass. The fencing is good all the way round apart from the horizontal line at the bottom of the image, this is open and runs down along the stream where we coppice alder & willow.
I have been running poultry and pigs on the land for the past 5 years or so and the soil is loamy and fertile.
To give some idea of where all this is in the bigger picture, our little house is top left of this pic…
There is much talk in permaculture books of putting livestock that need daily visits close to the house, but this gentle walk twice a day, through our new orchard is a blessing. Even if it’s raining. I have become so much more aware of the seasons and the climate by spending time every single day walking through this area and as a bonus, it must do something for my fitness levels!
So, there we have it. A blank canvas to paint with the varied colours of a permaulcture based system. A plot that will be planted up primarily to feed our stock and secondarily to feed wildlife. If, after all that, there’s a stray raspberry or two left over for me, I certainly won’t be complaining!