Grow Our Own Food

Introduction to Permaculture Design

  1. Permaculture :  History, Ethics and Principles overview
  2. Overview of GOOF series and how principles are applied to urban settings.
  3. Design Overview:  Zones, Elements, Functions, Patterns, Diversity, Effort, Modelling Nature.
  4. Site Analysis; Aspect, Water, Wind, Access, Neighbours, Slope, Soil, Climate.
  5. Record Keeping: Weather, planting, harvest yields & times, Before/After photos.


  1. Why save seeds?
  2. Types of seeds (open pollinated, hybrid, heritage heirloom, GMOs)
  3. Life cycle of Seeds
  4. Harvesting seeds (when to harvest, how to harvest, how to dry)
  5. Cleaning (pods, crowns, winnowing, soaking
  6. Storage (testing, labelling, storing)
  7. Sowing: (ground, trays, pots, green houses, capillary beds, medium, cuttings, runners, bulbs,



  1. Uses: food, medicine, cosmetics, cleansers, habitat, climate, security, soil, aesthetics .
  2. What plants need: air, water, sun, disturbance, minerals, friends.
  3. Parts:  Roots, Tubers, Rhizomes, Stems, Leaves, Flowers.
  4. Life Cycle: Pollinating, cross breeding, seeds, bulbs, cuttings, roots, layering, grafting.
  5. Classification:  Families, Perennials vs Annuals, ‘Structure’  (tree, bush, climbers.)
  6. Functions (jobs they do): companions, guild, layers, food forest.


  1. Essential Ingredients – Biota, Minerals, Water, Air, Disturbance.
  2. Physical (Texture (clay, silt, sand, (e.g. loam,) Structure (profile, crumbs, pods, columnar humus.  Permeability drainage air and water.
  3. Chemical:  PH,  minerals, salts.
  4. Biological:  humus, microbes, insects.
  5. Soil Testing: sampling, chemical, physical, biological.
  6. Improving Soil (mining vs re-generating)


» A. Composting,   B. Manures:  C. Inoculants.  D.  Plants: E.  Additives.

» Garden Management, hygiene, chop/drop, Mulch, rotation, guilds, companions, inter-planting.

Year Round Food Production

  1. What? Plant Selection (preference, diet, taste, cost, yield, effort)
  2. When? Seasonal Planting Schedule( when does each plant grow best for most yield)
  3. How Much? Quantity estimating ( How much do you plant each month for continuous yield)
  4. Best way to sow : plant bed, tray, ground, re-vitalising beds , crop rotation.
  5. Where? Bed Planning (planting map, spacing, companions, rotation,)
  6. Follow your plan and Record results. (What worked? Where? How Much? Rotation?)


Share your story.  Changes as a result of this series.

next,   Goof Part 2