Eat the Suburbs! A 1/3 Acre Permaculture Case Study

I recently attended the 8th Annual Northeast Permaculture Convergence at the Soule Homestead in Middleboro Massachusetts.  Beyond being a great gathering of permaculturists old and new from around our bioregion, the event afforded our community an opportunity to share approaches and ideas for how permaculture can be employed across our region.  A huge thanks to the organizing team who made this great event happen.

For my part, I contributed a session on how the implementation of permaculture has been playing out on our 1/3 acre home site about three miles from downtown Portland, Maine.  About fifty people jammed into the barn at Soule and heard the story of what we’re doing here (punctuated with a bit of commentary from the sheep stalls!).

I look forward to writing this up as a full slide deck, perhaps with narration (since much of the presentation was my talk accompanying the images), but for the time being, here are the two slide sets per request of the audience at the Convergence:  one with the background talking points and the other is just the straight-up images.  (These are kinda large .pdf files so be patient.)

My husband and I recently figured out that we’re doing somewhere between 150 – 200 hours per year of unplanned tours for folks who drop by.  We love doing it and sharing what’s happening here, but we’re also thinking about scheduling some standing “open days” to try to funnel some visitors into a bit fewer slots if possible.  Then we might be able to finish implementing our design a little faster:)

2 thoughts on “Eat the Suburbs! A 1/3 Acre Permaculture Case Study

  1. This is super inspirational! I really enjoyed the slide packet with the talking points. Great work! I look forward to learning more as it evolves. I would love more information on the greenhouse structure you have built, the size and shape/set up (internally) and how it was built and at what cost for the materials. Thanks so much for sharing your slides and experience!

  2. Hi Diana, the greenhouse is one 24′ end of a 100′ greenhouse that a nursery was getting rid of. A friend took the other end and another friend took the middle:) Our piece, for which we paid something like $250, ends up being 17′ wide by 24′ long (6 x 4′ sections). It is 10′ tall at the attachment point on the back of the garage and 13′ tall at the end you see in the photo – slight slope to the southeast. We plant in late summer/early fall for winter harvest of cold-hardy salad greens and then convert in April to sprint/summer crops that fare well under cover (tomatoes, cukes, peppers, melons).

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