In May, The Mulrooney family together with the Transition Bay st Margarets not for profit approached me to do a permaculture design, two hour presentation and to lead teams of volunteers. I wrote a 10 year plan and 40 year forecast in ten pages auditing sun, wind, nutrient, animal and other resource energies entering and leaving the site, together with detailed planting and maintenance instructions.

The homeowners wanted the most food autonomy possible for a family of six, focusing on root crops, berries, fruit, nuts, and tea plants. They also want drinking water autonomy by capturing rainwater. They want the whole space transformed, but with some room for grass.

They want to establish outdoor living space, and education for home schooled kids, and to improve their woodlot, providing habitat for woodland medicinal plants and opportunities for possible maple sugaring. The design was to reduce “weed” niches.

The homeowners hope to move from their starter home and begin farming more seriously in another location in five to ten years. They want to add value to their property for future owners to benefit from, while inspiring neighbors, furthering the goals of Transition Bay, teaching themselves and their children to grow food and adding resilience to the community.

Together we built raised beds, sheet-mulched areas, seed-bombed, planted fruiting trees and shrubs in a new orchard, hedgerow and established beds, creating pathing, planted an area of raspberries, made a trail through the woodlot and removed two spruces. We engaged local neigbours, old and new friends and instructed both the children of the household and other members of the local homeschooling network.

A woman in black gestures toward a slide show before an audience
The permaculture talk at Tantallon Public Library

ShovelsChildren load a wheelbarrow with bark mulch

An apple sapling
Apple tree

Apple blossoms