- what happens when you thread permaculture zones and systems through one another?
by Lumbuck Thornton
This idea has evolved into what might be the next unit of civilisation - a shelter for computing with the smallest amount of materials, energy consumption and cost because we return to jungles of our making,
Permaculture Henge.jpgHave a look at this image and see the rest in my album at....
I hate being away from the garden and gardens have now been shown to have many new health and medical benefits only just discovered that have changed the way new hospitals are designed. Gardens benefit from more presence and attention also.
Every bloke needs a shed but computers are not the most comfortable place to use a computer and they are very removed from the images, light and sound of a garden.
What I wanted was a shelter and garden design that enables me to relax or work with my computer sometimes in my garden at a comfortable temperature almost all year round when it is not raining. Fixing a building in one place seemed full of compromises. Even rotating a building to utilise the sun still made positioning vegetation difficult. I realised the shelter had to move but I did not know what to call it. Maybe the device, which is really a piece of passive solar outdoor furnature, could be called an "App Shelter" or "Micro Climate Chaser". The the whole layout of the back garden would change with access to light around the eastern half of the circuit being most important and shelter from the heat being the western half of the circuit. It is all still permaculture really but the plants, shelter and fixed building start to take on additional purposes. An above ground wormfarm system running to arching trench in mounds either side of the tracks to supply cooked vegetables on vines or other food plants via very woody stems.
All the white space in the garden circle and around it would be planted out with ground covers right up to high fruit trees however their position would mainly be determined by solar impact at critical times of the day and year when I would be trying to collect the sun. They are not shown on the diagram yet so you can clearly see this new foundation structure for a garden.
The first prototype I build will be a deck chair suspended in a frame where a wheelbarrow tray used to be. It will have to be moved manually in and out of the sun and vents and screens added or subtracted from the wooden framed box as required. Imagine being able to commute and work inside your garden and get out when ever you like. The window I propose to use will be a polycarbonate sheet and I am not sure whether to double layer it or use the greenhouse sheeting. This wall all lift up and hinge over out onto the ground behind me over the wheel in this first version. Later on when I know enough about shell design and access then we might put a recliner chair on wooden or recycled plastic rails.
This raises the point that having the computer there might be a really useful resource that could track the management of the personal space and all of the garden around it. Planting times, pest control, and all the garden activities needed could be run on models in the winter days in the shed. I hope this idea might win over a few more people to back over to permaculture before it is too late for them and too late for the planet. This changes almost everything in building design to drastically reduce heating, cooling and construction costs of a shelter with the smallest footprint humans could comfortably retreat to.
Here are some of the steps and possible chapters for a book....
1. Take an old lounge room or office chair out in your garden.
2. Build a wooden frame around your chair to hang fly screens in the summer and layers of cardboard insulation in the winter.
3. Install one insulated window to follow or avoid the sun.
4. Put the frame on a wheel and chase the micro climates around your garden.
5. Redesign the garden to create more desirable microclimates and food.
6. Build a shed large enough to store your chair and go upstairs to rooms that drain down through an above ground wormfarm and out into arching trenches running either side of the shade tunnel.
7. Install a rocket heater in the shed, micro solar and wind generator for life support and comfort systems.
Maybe I will need to set up threads dedicated to each chapter and build these up as we learn more along the way. Just like the way we all collaborate to provide content for a website - how about we try to compile a structured book to flesh out these new ideas....
It is time we renovated ourselves back into our gardens in ways in new indigenous and ingenious ways that literally revolutionise the next units of human shelter and civilisation. Every school should have one out in the yard and then we can try and work out what to call it....
"Permaculture Henge" relates to its circular structure, gardening rituals based around the movement of the sun and the seasons.
"Permaculture Deckchair" because most people associate this with relaxation and many associate self sufficiency and environmentally friendliness with hard work and expense when it should not be.
"Permaculturetron" might appeal the the younger generation. It moves in a circle and it could look quite spaceage with the use of reflectors and small but smart design and function.
What do you think I should call the book?