Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Permaculture and your Bioregion part 2

"We will not have any more crashes in our time"
~John Maynard Keynes 1927

There are so many interesting financial forecasts and prophecies from the Wall Street Crash era and the Great Depression era.  They serve as a reminder to me that those people who are looked to as expert sources of information and leadership can often lead us up the garden path.  Our own judgement and discernment are just as likely to be useful in helping us plan our way forward as those of our experts and leaders. Probably more so. 

It is often repeated that those people who managed best during the Great Depression were people who had their own basic resources; shelter, food gardens, orchards, water, chickens etc, and managed these resources well. 

Because Permaculture is  a design process based whole systems thinking, I find it a very useful approach in developing an "insourcing" lifestyle. A lifestyle where we increasingly become the producers of our material needs rather than being merely consumers.

In part 2 of Permaculture and your Bioregion I would encourage you to take some time to consider the hours of sunlight in your area at various times of the year, as well the wind patterns that predominate in your area at different times of the year and extremes in weather that you experience.

Knowing the hours of sunlight at various times of the year is information that is important to gather for the design planning process., whether that is designing for growing conditions of for a house building project.   If you live in Australia, you can find information here

Here is what my average hours of daily sunlight are for each of the months.

Jan   7
Feb   7
Mar  7
Apr   7
May  6
June 7
Jul    7
Aug  8
Sep   8
Oct   8
Nov  8
Dec   8

Now some people may think that the highest hours of sunlight per day would be November, December and January as that are our summer months. However I am guessing that the difference is due to our rainy season usually sets in after Christmas. So we probably have lots of overcast days that affect the hours of sun recorded by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Which directions do your cold winds come from? From which direction do your cooling summer breezes arrive? Are there times of the year that strong winds affect the health and growth of your plants. Do you need a buffer from hot summer winds? Of course you can discover this information where you live through observations made through a period of 12 months, and it is probably best to keep some notes. The Bureau of Meteorology can help you to find out this information for your local area. 

When working on this subject I found researching the local topography most interesting.  Some of the information I discovered included.

The majority of our bioregion has a low profile - less than 20 metres in elevation, and is divided my many rivers and creeks which form a system of interconnected estuaries. Habitats within the estuaries include; seagrass beds, low mangrove forests, salt marches, salt flats, closed heath communities and beach ridges. Tidal energy moves sediment around within the Estuary which is an important catalyst of habitat within the Estuary.

Surface soil is sandy and poor with low nutrient content. Underneath the surface soil along the coastal strip runs Cainozoic sedimentary rock. The rock provides recharge for aquifers, streams and rivers.  In some areas the soil has a high magnesium content which leads to the soil hard setting, which causes water run off instead of allowing penetration and this can lead to erosion.

There are remnant turpentine/bloodwood woodlands in the area.

I have learned so much about our bio-region that gave me many 'aha' moments when preparing the permaculture design for our property.  Because I can now  look around when I am travelling around our local area and identify topography, flora, fauna, dominant weather conditions etc, I can identify the interconnectedness of things and feel myself connected to my environment in a much deeper and more fundamental way.


  1. Goodness me Sheri, you have learned so much from your course. Things are so very different for us up here on the crest of the Great Dividing Range from where you live. Talking about hours of sunlight...where is the sun today? :-) It is freezing here. Brrr!

    1. I used to travel up the range for work from time to time. I used to delay getting out of the car because the wind used to go straight through me. So cold. I hope you are managing to stay out of the cold for the most part. Good days for knitting and reading.

  2. Hours of sunlight is such an interesting topic. I moved my self-watering veggie boxes to a 'shadier' part of the garden because despite the 2 hours of tree shade from 12 - 2pm they actually get better sun coverage either side of those 2 hours.

    1. That makes sense because veggies grow better with good morning sun. I have been enjoying reading about your self-watering veggie planters. Its funny how non-gardeners think gardening is just about plants, but gardeners become absorbed in topics like hours of sun, soil, and garden critters.

  3. Came in from Down to Earth. Like your blog and I keep a small weather journal.
    Coffee is on

    1. Thank you for your comment. A weather journal can be a very useful tool.