In the past years I have grown vegetables on different scales -from 3 sqm to 600 sqm- on different spots in the garden and in 2 polytunnels. I co-operated with sheep, pigs, chickens and had borrowed a beehive from a local beekeeper. I have tested different kinds of plant rotation schedules. I have ’struggled’ with rain water harvesting, the fact that the pigs compacted the soil, the sheep ate the new planted trees and lack of time and energy to run the garden, to harvest or store the harvest, besides running my bed&breakfast and eatery.
That is why I summer 2020 started redesigning my 17.000 sqm garden, a garden without pigs and sheep. Edible forest gardening, alley cropping, chickens in silvopasture, carbon farming, calorie farming, soil building, flower meadows and riparian buffer zones are all integrated in the new design. Functions are placed in a new area and areas have got new functions. A lot of functions, even if it is on a very small scale.
My biggest challenge -that is more important to me than producing food- is to produce my own fertilizer, to limit my water use in the garden to rainwater and the improvement of the water holding capacity of the soil and last but not least become less depening on the soil bags I buy. The harvest must be in balance with the time , energy, money and conditions in the garden.
In the permaculture introduction course I will tell you about permaculture and use examples from this garden, in day 2 the ’permaculture in practice’ day I will tell and show you all about the design and you can help me where needed.
As the projekt is too big for one person I decided to establish what I can in the limited time available 2022 and with the help of volonteers and course participants.
Permaculture is not only for people that want to be 100% selfsuficient and are living on a farm in the the countryside. In the contrary. In Mariannelund I am designing a 2000 sqm, plot in a residential area. How to create a sustainable garden in an area where wild gardens, pig and sheep and large vegetable gardens may not be socially sustainable, appropriate or possible.
Here I also ask myself the question 'what is the meaning of being selfsustainable actually’. Do I really want to grow all my vegetables? Besides, I am wondering why almost all the gardens in Mariannelund (and lots of villages in the world) are surrounded by a short cut lawn. What would be a more sustainable norm for nowadays gardens?
My principles for this garden do not really differ from the ones in Lidhem. My challenge even here -that is more important to me than producing food- is to produce my own fertilizer, to limit my water use in the garden to rainwater and the improvement of the water holding capacity of the soil and last but not least become less depening on the soil bags I buy. Besides that, the importance of a local network is bigger, as I can or will not be 100% selfsufficient.
In the introduction course I will use examples based on this garden, in the ’permaculture in practice’ day I will tell and show you all about the designideas and you can help me with the observation, analysis and establishment.
Permaculture is a term that cannot be easily summarized in a short definition. Bill Mollison, who first coined the term 1978, used "permaculture" as a contraction of PERMAnent agriCULTURE. He defined permaculture as:
“The conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of the landscape with people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.”
Over the years, permaculture has begun to be used in many countries and in various sectors of society, not only in agriculture or gardening. Nowadays it is more a contraction of Permanent Culture and there are probably as many definitions of it as there are practicing permaculture designers.
[Read more about permaculture in Lidhem]
For me permaculture is a design system, it helps me to redesign my lifestyle, my livelihood and the landscape around me. I feel the urge to live and work in a more meaningful way, to understand and respect that I am a part of the ecosystem and that I share the earth with other people, who all should have the opportunity to live a good life. For me it is important to use earth limited resources wisely and fairly and that the waste and surplus is reinvested in the care of land and people. On a local level I see permaculture as an excellent tool for working in a structured and long-term way with sustainable rural development.
Permaculture is a design system, not a goal. So I designed and started creating a place to reconnect. Only if we are willing to change the system can change.
[Read more about staying in Lidhem]
The path from IT auditor in Holland to certified permaculture designer in Sweden was a long one.
What started with a vegetable garden and some sheep for fun became a way of living, wanting to take create a a sustainable society, with meaningful work, a better environment, health, solidarity and security.
I am a self learned gardener. Read lots of books, visited other gardens, listened to lectures and like to experiment. The (relevant) educations I have:
Odlingsakademien Vimmerby 2019
Odling som livsstil II 2020-2022
Active Hope Workshop 2019
PDC course (permaculture design certificate) Skåne Maria Svenbeck 2021
My journey started in 2005 when my family decided to move to Sweden and started a new life. Changing of my lifestyle is an ongoing journey. The keyword for my desicion making is KRAM -the swedish word for a hug - in which each letter stands for a decision making criteria:
Kul (fun), Respektfull (respectful), Ansvarsfull (responsible) and Meningsfull (meaningful). Try it!
Transforming my business from a B&B to a place to reconnect, where both you and I have a possibility to learn, create and demonstrate permaculture design and solutions.
I want to thank Astrid Lindgrens Hembygd for supporting my PDC course with a Leader-cheque. The support made it possible for me to do the PDC in Skåne, visit a lot of new places and to create an outdoor meeting room in the garden for courses and activities related to permaculture.
Redesigning my 17.000 sqm garden inLidhem in order to make high and divers yields at low cost with ecological health in mind, striving for a 50% wildzone. Edible forest gardening, alley cropping, silvopasture, carbon farming, calorie farming, soil building, flower meadows and riparian buffer zones are all integrated in my design. Even if it is on a very small scale. My challenge is to produce/ collect enough fertilizer, water and planting soil to be able to produce my own food and fodder.
In Mariannelund the design focus is on a smaller, 2000 sqm, plot in a residential area. How to create a sustainable garden in an area where wild gardens may not be socially sustainable or appropriate and what is the meaning of being selfsustainable actually.