Hello Sarah Gowland

Permaculture Extension Services permaext at magna.com.au
Mon Aug 26 20:48:20 EDT 1996

S.J.Gowland wrote:
> Hi Russ,
>         At the moment I'm doing an MSc. in Environmental Forestry at
> Bangor University, North Wales (UK).  I'm doing my dissertation on
> homegardens of tropical areas and forest gardens of temperate regions.

Wow! What a resource this will be. 

> explain briefly:  Tropical homegardens are an agroforestry practice
> whereby an area (of around 0.5 ha) around the house is planted up with
> useful (usually multi-purpose) trees, shrubs, herbs and climbers and are
> arranged in 3-5 vertical strata in a way that makes optimal use of light
> and space.  It's a sustainable, ecologically sound system that provides
> fruit, vegetables, medicines, spices, fuel wood, timber and virtually every
> thing that subsistence requires.  Staple foods are grown in fields around
> the homestead.  Animals are usually part of the system, there are nearly
> always poultry of some sort and often goats/cattle etc penned near the
> house. 

This is an image of traditional Javanese homegardens. They 
incorporate, in addition, aquaculture. Fish are fed on household waste 
and eventually become food for the household.

Somewhere I have an article or two on this and, if you would like a 
copy, I could sent it by post. You probably already have heaps of 
information on them.

 Sounds like permaculture doesn't it? although these have been used
> for hundreds if not thousands of years - long before the word permaculture
> was created by Bill Mollison! 

Permaculture acknowledges an information debt to traditional 
agriculture. It has drawn heavily upon traditional systems and I 
believe that there is much more to learn. 

This is where your research becomes so valuable. Do you plan to make 
it available for distribution?

 It's thought that it evolved as a practice
> when population pressure got too high to allow a sufficiently long fallow
> period in shifting agriculture/bush fallow systems to maintain soil
> fertility. 

This process continues today.

The organisation I work for, APACE - Appropriate Technology for 
Community and Environment - as a project manager is presently involved 
in the implementation of training for village health and nutrition 
through the development of home gardens and small scale market gardens 
in the Solomon Islands (NE of Papua New Guinea).

Using permaculture as a design and planning tool, our field officer, 
Tony Jansen, is training villagers in settled agriculture because 
their swidden (slash and burn) agriculture has hit the wall of 
increasing population and fallow periods too short to allow sufficient 
fertility recivery. It's just as you say.

 As far as temperate forest gardening goes it's a relatively
> new concept, pioneered in Britain by Robert Hart.  Interest is mainly from
> the permaculture movement

Agroforestry is of great interest to permaculture designers in 
Australia too. 

Fortunately, governments are interested in agroforestry and in the 
growing of commercial timbers on private farm land - farm forestry -  
and make grants to farmers planting tree crops on degraded farm land 
as an income earner and as a means of reversing land degradation. This 
is the Farm Forestry scheme.

In northern NSW the Subtropical Farm Forestry Association was formed 
over a year ago to further the adoption of farm forestry and, more 
recently, the Australian Rainforest Bushfoods Association was formed 
to further the emerging industry in indigenous food crops and the use 
of indigenous species for industrial products such as the extraction 
of aromatic oils. Both these tree cropping systems fit the 
agroforestry model.

>         What is the focus of your interest in permaculture?  

My interest in permaculture is as a co-teacher of permaculture design 
courses, short courses in permaculture and as a teacher of 
permaculture in the TAFE (technical and further education) in the 
horticulture certificate.

I also write about permaculture and publish permaculture related 
material, work with a design team implementing permaculture in schools 
and as NSW co-ordinator of the Australian City Farms, Community 
Gardens and Enterprise Centres Network. Then htere's my work in 
development assistance in the Pacific with APACE...

>         Best wishes - Sarah (Gowland).

Thanks for the communication Sarah. Let's know if there's anything I 
can help with.

Oh, you're temperate forest garden - sounds interesting. Seen the work 
of Robert Hart on video (Global Gardener) and have a couple of his 
books - not his latest which is not yet available in Australia. Would 
love to see your design.

...Russ Grayson

Russ Grayson and Fiona Campbell
PO Box 446, Kogarah NSW 2217 AUSTRALIA

Phone	02-9588 6931	(IDD-61+2+9588 6931)
Fax 	02 330 2611 (Mark fax: ATTN: RUSS GRAYSON - APACE) 
	(IDD-61+2+330 2611)
Email: permaext at magna.com.au

Permaculture education, publishing, design. 
NSW co-ordinator, Australian City Farms and Gardens Network.

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