Podoli Land Trust
10 km away from PermaLot's property in Bouzov Svojanov is where you’ll find Bouzov Podoli land trust, where PermaLot adminstrates another 7 hectares of agriculture, managed by 4 different bio-dynamic and organic farmers…and 6 sheep! [See below].
This (private) property includes the new ‘PermaLot Centre of Natural Building, featuring ‘The Natural House’, a demonstration family house for natural building and renewable energy, along with educational facilities. During September 2008, we opened a small commercially certified kitchen incubator and a mobile juice press to increase profit and local consumption of final production of local products. Through hosting the 2nd European Natural Building Colloquium we constructed part of a shelter for a new forest kindergarten, operated with Waldorf principles. ....but more about this under 'Projects', this is more to give you an overview of the land here:
2 Hectare Arable land N. of Podoli
Rented to neighbouring organic farmer Petr Vanek for 10 years (www.biodynamika.cz). The main focus of the field is to grow bio-dynamic vegetables. The field has a line of 10 mixed old variety apple trees planted on the Northern border. During this first season (2008) the field has been ploughed tilled and a cover-crop of white clover has been planted.
¼ Hectare Orchard N. of Podoli
This small piece of land at the Western edge of the village is basically held in reserve for someone to use it for intensive vegetable gardening. The allotment is flanked by 2 small creeks and South faced, with tall poplars to the North. 8 different of fruit trees have been planted, and the area is undergoing certification as extensive orchard.
Zones connected to above mentioned Homestead and located South of Podoli
The garden and home is situated at the bottom of a Northen faced slope leading to the 5 hectares described below. The garden features about 20 old fruit and nut trees, shading for wind but also sun. As we settled here in 2004, we made a series of 8 raised gardenbeds for vegetables and perennials, formed as swales down the hill, following the Hazelip’s appraoach of synergistic gardening. As shown on photo, the swales work great in spring to trap the run-off water from the hills above.
During Spring 2009 a large shelter made of large straw bales will be finalized. It’s for a forest kindergarten on the furthest corner of the garden, adjacent to the sheep paddock, fireplace, and composting area. A woven willow fence borders this area with the pasture which may become a large pond once funds are found for the work.
Once completed our garden area will include 3 ponds as well as a primary reed growing area as part of a water catchment and reedbed cleaning system.
This borderline zone consists of our public parking and manipulation area situated on 2 terraces dug into the slope on top of our garden. The surface consists of hemp straw mulch, which also seconds as a slug deterrent. The garden is fenced off with a fence made of vertical and horizontal willow sticks, all supported by growing willows. The manipulation area is permanently shielded from onlookers by 10 m3 firewood and is the parking area for attachments to our small tractor and our mobile cider press trailer, along with various storage of sand, lumber, straw etc.
This area is also where a shed for animals, machinery and hay is under construction.
Extensive orchard, sheep pasture and intensive vegetable/fruit field.
This area is undergoing certification as extensive orchard. It starts with a small triangular horse pasture on top of the slope, which is bordered by 4 rows of about 100 old variety fruit and nut trees planted so they parallel the Western slope of the hill. 2 of the rows were planted on small swales, and eventually a series of key-line water holes will connect the run-off from the top of the hill to the bottom, allowing for intentional drainage, water catchments, micro-biotope. Between the first 2 rows is a deer-proofed area (1,8m metal fencing) for intensive growing of large-scale crop; ¼ is currently planted with strawberry and onion, the other area will have sunflowers and herbs. The fences will function as trellis for tomatoes and peas in the years to come.
The areas further downhill are sectioned into 3 different large pastures for sheep, surrounded by 1.2 m. fencing. At the bottom of the hill is the creek, which drains the whole watershed. The bottom area is also where we have our Willow cant, and a smaller pasture, which we hope to develop into a lake.
The sheep are summer guests and owned by organic farmer Petr David, who also manage our large old orchard in Bouzov Svojanov. In future it is possible our 'meat sheep' will be replaced with a 'milk sheep' species, managed to make dairy products in our new kitchen facilities.
Beyond the sheep pastures the hill gets steeper (functions as the village sleighing hill during snow) and will be electrically fenced off (Solar powered). We’ll make a couple of serious swales on the hill during 2009, flanked by sugar maple and Chinese tallow trees+ smalle shrubs. Between the swales will be pasture for ponies. Right beyond the ridge of the hill is a tree line of pears, apples, plums and cherries continuing from our house, creating a public path to our zone 4 properties and the Bouzov village/castle. (The castle is visited by 150.000 tourists a year).
The top corner of this property could contain a lake fed by the natural drainage from the adjacent grassy fields and our zone 4 properties.
Upper orchard camp;
Beyond the horizon of our homestead is 3 of our properties, all planted with a total of 120 old variety fruit and nut trees. The piece closest to the narrow road is intended to house an un-staffed primitive caravan camp, with BBQ and water as only facilities, beyond the road and parking areas made with hemp straw mulch../ Part of this orchard may become horse pasture for a local horse stable with focus on touristic horse riding.
The adjacent second extensive orchard is managed by organic farmer Karel Stastny (www.trompetol.com), with primary focus on production of hempseeds and other oil plants. During the 3 year periods of non-hemp production the area will be planted with an integrated crop system in accordance with the Marc Bonfils approach.
Lastly a narrow 200 meter property intercept the neighboring large grass fields with a tree line, which will be interplanted with various bushes, creating a wildlife corridor and inviting to be a public path connecting and continuing the path in Zone 3 and the ‘lost’ path which intercepts the two previous mentioned properties.
….The adjacent forests are not our property, and hence not part of the Land Trust. The wild animals forage on our Zone 3 and 4 properties.
Our agriculture approach successfully attempts to demonstrate how it’s possible to integrate permaculture/Bonfils elements within the EU agri- grant schemes.