PermaLot NGO owns a 10 hectare organic certified land trust in Bouzov Svojanov, predominantly consisting of a 5 hectare large old apple and rowan berry orchard.
The orchard also features camp infrastructure and many pc elements. As we didn’t manage to gain building persmission and don’t have full year accommodation available in Svojanov, this part is mainly managed by an external organic farmer. Should the right people, money and time come around, the development of the old orchard is intended along these lines illustrated here.
The detailed plan can be downloaded from our resource page, or read here: http://zelenycarodej.cz/permalot.php
In addition to this, in 2008 we established a new 2 hectare mixed extensive orchard on the other side of the village, with Marc Bonfils style intercropping between the tree lines. These 2 hectares a managed by another certified organic farmer, specializing in technical hemp and other oil products.
We need to make a new update soon; here's one which is 7 years old (!), just to give you an idea of the Svojanov properties:
Overview of the present idea of the use of the land managed by PermaLot.
PermaLot owns 22 pieces of land in and around Bouzov Svojanov, all together 10,5 hectares. Many of the parcels are very small and insignificant, the main emphasis of this overview is to specify the expected use of the large areas, especially those considered of public interest:
A)136, 137/1, 137/7, 140: The Orchard
C)6/4: The games court
D)43 and 44/1: The birches and garden.
E)58/2 and 58/3: The cow field
F)59/7: The field
G)242: The Marsh
H)139, 147, 146/1, 146/2, 232: North forest plots and valley log site.
I)217, 218, 220, 227: Forest
Most of the properties are organic certified and accredited as a national landtrust.
A) The Orchard:
We currently operate with 4 different zones of this allotment, as shown on the map. This outlines a 10 year perspective:
A1) Currently we are in the process of changing the previous monoculture to organic polyculture managed according to permaculture principles. This includes extensive signing and trails, explaining about the principles, plant guilds and varieties. The initial process of changing the orchard will last 3 years. After this period large areas will be used to grow grains or fiborous plants for paper/textile/oil production. Possibly also bulb flowers. The main entrance to the allotment will be moved 60 meter North of the village sign. Part of the permaculture approach is to minimize the compaction of the earth, which means we’ll harvest and maintain the area with a minimum of machinery, and when needed we’ll use a very light tractor.
A2) This area is set aside for retreat uses, including facilities for a summer camp (See appendix). The camp facilities will demonstrate a series of natural building and gardening techniques. The camp area is as far from the village as possible and the activities will strive to disturb the village least possible will The area will also function as a place for small scale seed saving, preserving the old Czech varieties.
A3) We are currently working on changing the zoning of this area to be a field of cabins, and we hope gradually to build between 4-6 cabins here. The cabins will be build of natural materials, and the design will respect the surroundings. Maximum size of the cabins will be between 25- 35 m2 ground surface and 4,5 m high. The cabins will not be connected to the public services. The cabin area is situated on the least obstructive area for the village.
A4) This North slope will gradually be converted into a natural sewage system, supplying nutrients to an energy forest, which again will supply wood for heating of the cabins.
We have contacts to a graduate student from the faculty of ecology in Olomouc, Martin Paclik, who will instigate a bird and insect count in the orchard, enabling us to gradually follow the effect of the organic approach in a scientific manner. It is very likely that the property will be used for field studies by the same faculty.
B) The Ubytovna
We believe we will be able to reach an agreement with the owner of the Ubytovna to buy it, and we are preparing an application for support form the Sapard program to renovate the buildings and create a combined food processing facility, apple storage, nature school and eco-tourism facility. This development is currently depending on the application and subsequent approval of the Sapard support.
C) The Games Court
As all the other PermaLot property the games court will become a national land trust, open for everyone, with the hope that it will be maintained by all the users. We are currently applying for support from Nadace VIA for renovation of the facilities, new net and hockey goals, benches etc. and it's very regrettable to notice the complete lack of support from Obecni Urad, Bouzov.
D) The birches and garden.
This part of the property has partly already been illegally taken as a private garden by one of the villagers. We are currently in process of selling it to the villager without profit.
E) The Cow Field
As the field road cuts across this area and makes fencing difficult, as well as the fact that the water for the cows are on our property, we have currently decided not to make use of this allotment, in order to maintain good relations with our neighbor. However the field can not be sprayed.
F) The Field.
This field will rest for the next couple of years in order to build up the micro climate and avoid further compression. It will be cut 2-3 times a year, and we plan to plant a natural hedge around it to serve as a wildlife corridor. In due time this will be used for changing crops, likely for grains, fiber or oil (to run our tractor).
G) The Marsh
We will apply to have it certified as organic, and hopefully we are able to use some of the current herbs there for tea production for export. As this area is a sensitive wetland we will focus on a gentle approach of hand harvesting the herbs and maintain the area as a wetland. We are also interested in planting some willows there for cobbicing
H) Small forest areas.
We are awaiting a new bill to be passed in the parliament, which should allow us to trade the small pieces for one larger piece of forest surrounded by our orchard (A1, A2 and A3)
I) The forest.
The forest will gradually be changed to an example of natural Czech forest with old varieties and we will follow the Pro Silva guidelines for sustainable forest practices. We expect to use the area for activities related to eco tourism. If /when we thin the forest we focus on removing the invasive non-czech species, and focus as well on creating shelter for the animals in the forest. We will not use mechanised tools or herbicides in the forest. We hope the faculty of ecology will use the forest for research, and possibly make a management plan.
Please note that the above is an outline of how we at present believe we will use the property. As times change and more people with different interest come, some uses may change, for instance if someone with goats or horses wants to live here, someone who wants a pottery etc.