The definition of permaculture is pretty simple: an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems. Lawns are extremely unproductive and high maintenance, using up time, energy, and natural resources. They can easily be replaced with productive gardens that are beautiful, low maintenance sources of healthy food.
TrustNature, an Australian company focused on natural systems technology and promoting the idea of sustainable agriculture, transformed this lawn into a virtual front yard supermarket using the principles of permaculture. Their goal with this project was to show how a high maintenance front yard with a large lawn and ornamental landscaping could be turned into a very productive permaculture food system over a period of 90 days. This yard will now produce tons of food annually and will be lower maintenance than the lawn and nonproductive landscaping combination it was previously.
This property is a few acres in size, but the focus of this project was the large front lawn and the surrounding landscaped beds.
The first phase of the project was to build several raised beds. The beds are about 8 inches deep, filled with local soil and 20% compost, then covered in mulch. The beds are then planted with a variety of vegetables.