Joseph Chauffrey did more than give his own definition of permaculture , he put it into practice. For him, permaculture is the creation of an autonomous, harmonious, resilient and sustainable garden . A garden that requires as little energy as possible to function. In 2012, he embarked on a permaculture project in his garden in Sotteville-lès-Rouen.
The principle seems simple: in an urban garden, grow enough fruits and vegetables to live independently . The garden, with an area of 150 m², is made up of a 10 m² orchard, a 25 m² vegetable garden, a pond and a greenhouse. The harvests would be enough to feed 2 people for a whole year. Yet, in reality, it is a real difficult challenge. Thanks to his determination, rigor and good organization, Joseph Chauffrey was able to move forward. The results are more than surprising, because in 2015 he was able to produce 300 kg of vegetables and fruits of different varieties ! This without using chemical fertilizers or pesticides !
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Since the harvest is sufficient, Joseph and his wife do not need to buy any vegetables. Considering the result, many might think that it requires many hours of work. However, the permaculture expert claims to spend less than 10 hours a week gardening! However, nothing is left to chance: vegetables, fruits, spaces, layouts, etc. Joseph not only wanted his garden to be productive, he also wanted it to look good and be able to naturally attract birds and insects. Hence the interest of the pond.
Joseph Chauffrey shares his secrets with you
Combining business with pleasure, that’s the advantage of such a project. For those who want to get started, Joseph Chauffrey gives you his tips and important advice.
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Space planning: a criterion for success
One of the first things to do is to design a layout plan for the garden space . This plan can evolve over time, but it is essential to base it on the existing situation in the field, the wishes as well as the place to be assigned to each element. Also, plants must be placed taking into account their specificities, light needs and also their interactions with other plants. The extent of the surface available is also an important factor to observe. In this sense, the space must be optimized to the maximum. The verticality should save the maximum amount of space.
Exchanges between plants are to be encouraged
By using the right methods and being observant , it is possible to produce more. The good trick is to mix the culture of the vegetables in such a way as to favor the interactions between the plants . Each element of the garden must have a precise function. As an example, the pond built by Joseph can accommodate insects, but can also serve as a drinking trough for birds. These repel harmful insects such as caterpillars. The abundance of biodiversity and the interactions between all the elements are favorable in the face of climatic hazards.
The interest of soil protection
The cultivated land must be favorable for a good harvest. Here too, it is important to know and apply the right tricks. The compaction of the earth is less favorable to the development of plants, because water and air have difficulty circulating and plants have difficulty accessing the nutrients in the soil. To avoid compaction, simply do not walk directly on the ground . To do this, it is possible to install a structure that avoids walking directly on any surface of land dedicated to cultivation. The use of fertilizer can be useful to improve soil quality in urban areas, but green manure should be chosen .
Very neat work on the whole garden
If you have a small garden, it will be easier for you to take care of every square inch. The larger your garden, the more time it will take to maintain it. It is always necessary to use the right tricks to achieve a satisfactory result. You must be attentive to everything that is happening in the surroundings so that you can be responsive and make the right decisions. Downy mildew and caterpillars are among the pests that absolutely must be monitored. In minimal time, the damage can be enormous if the right actions are not taken at the right time.
Good times and experimentation
In the event that you have decided to embark on permaculture , you will need to document yourself on the subject in order to build your skills. You will learn interesting techniques and you will be able to put them into practice. What is interesting is to be able to feel pleasure while taking care of your garden. You will be able to optimize the time spent gardening over time. The result will give you even more motivation.
Up to you
To start such a project, it is recommended that you document yourself as much as possible, watch several professional videos. Then you have to proceed step by step. In time, you will become a specialist yourself. At first, proceed by creating a small piece of vegetable garden and gradually transform your garden according to your objectives.