Native Plants

How Permaculture Can Help Your Land Cope With Climate Change

One way of improving the fertility of your land is through permaculture. Permaculture is an agricultural system centered on utilizing the land based on its natural characteristics.

Reasons for doing permaculture vary. Some landowners use permaculture for them to help revitalize or find use for barren land. Some adopt permaculture for ethical reasons. But regardless of the reasons, people are mainly attracted to permaculture because of its core values.

  • Cares for the environment – Permaculture recognizes that the environment provides for everything we need. So in order to get the most from the environment, it has to be nurtured and protected by using earth-friendly farming practices.

  • Caring for the people– Every property has its own unique resources to boost. And the goal of permaculture is to maximize and highlight natural resources. The concept behind this is what’s naturally available in the environment is more sustainable to raise and maintain than bringing in crops that are not naturally suited for the environment. This practice encourages sustainability and self-reliance.

  • Utilizing surpluses – Permaculture is, in a way, a form of recycling. It uses and re-utilizes whatever is available in the property. This makes permaculture healthier for the environment and an efficient farming system.

On the outset, permaculture has its similarities with other forms of land development. But what makes permaculture different is it goes beyond land development. It’s about working with your property and giving back in order to get the most returns.

It’s in the adoption of permaculture and its core values that can help your land fight climate change.

Why Go for Permaculture

In addition to being environment friendly, there are many benefits to adopting permaculture.

1.        It’s cost efficient. Permaculture encourages waste reduction. It also encourages the organic fertilizers and pest control, which is cheaper than commercially available products. This helps farmers cut costs.

2.       It adopts and works with the land. – In permaculture, the type of crops planted are chosen based on what’s naturally available, working with the property’s soil characteristics, topography, and climate. This increases the chances of crop survival and makes maintenance easier for farmers.

3.       It encourages renewable systems and produces no waste– Adopting renewable systems, like renewable energy and fuel for farms, makes them self-sufficient.

4.      It is self-supporting and efficient– Since nothing in permaculture is wasted, everything within it also serves a purpose. Crops are planted not just for profit, but to also help the soil and the local system. The insects that enter the farm help with pollination. Any other plants within the farm helps support the crops and provides additional revenue.

5.       It provides attainable solutions – Because of its values of utilizing what is readily available and working with the environment, permaculture helps provide farms with feasible plans to increase productivity.

Permaculture and Climate Change

Climate change will undoubtedly affect the global food supply. Permaculture is currently being viewed as a practical way of combating both these problems.

One permaculture practice that can help fight climate change while ensuring food supply is agroforestry, which integrates agricultural and forestry techniques. The use of native trees and plants helps fight carbon emissions. It also encourages the use and protection of a wide variety of native plants that have current and potential commercial value.

Another scheme in mitigating climate change through permaculture is through sheet mulching. Mulching is perfect for the reduction of carbon emission. Reducing evaporation, increasing the presence of organic matter, absorbing rainfall. This helps with farm irrigation without having to alter major water systems, makes use of waste, and helps preserve soil fertility.

Rainwater harvesting is another permaculture practice that can have a positive environmental impact. Flooding and drought is a big problem for farms. By harvesting rainwater, the water volume that can contribute to flooding is reduced. It also provides farms with an alternative water source for irrigation.

How to Effectively Use Permaculture

Adopting permaculture requires planning. And to figure out the best permaculture plan for your property, you’ll need the help of an expert.

This is where we Rural Design can help. Each farm is unique and not everybody can adopt permaculture in the same way. We create permaculture plans with real life scenarios, which gives you clear results.

Our experience and expertise in doing farm forestry and permaculture has exposed us to a wide variety of scenarios. Adopting permaculture would require government consents, especially if the property requires major development. Our tie-ups with local and regional units allows you to implement your permaculture plan with ease. We also do assessments to determine the best way to proceed in order to provide you with support and guidance. We will help you with maintenance and implementation with our experienced work force.

Permaculture, simply put, is a holistic approach to agriculture. It takes into consideration all the environmental elements at play in order to make farming more efficient. And because of this, if you want to adopt permaculture in your farm, it has to be done right.

Best Native Plants To Use To Reduce Carbon Emissions In Your Farmland

Historically, the agricultural sector has done little to mitigate carbon emissions. This is true to some extent with more farms abandoning traditional methods and adapting more technology-based processes.

Demands in farm production increase every year. And most farmers are forced to keep up with it. In the process this also increases the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. But with climate change becoming a serious global issue, it’s becoming impossible to ignore the contribution of the industry to the problem, and the effects of carbon emissions on agriculture. If we want farms to continue to be viable in the future, they have to do their part in combating climate change.

One way of reducing the risk of carbon emission is with native plants. Native plants are very effective in reducing carbon emissions in addition to being commercially viable. They have certain characteristics that make them ideal for helping farms combat the effects of climate change.

  • They are adaptable – Native plants such as the Kanuka are resilient and can easily adapt to a rural environment.
  • They are self-sustaining – Native plants grow in varying forms and degrees. Most blossom with divaricating growth forms, helping them spread out faster and withstand extreme environmental changes better.
  • They help maintain biodiversity – Native plants can increase species activity within the area like native bird activity.
  • They are economically important – Many native plants have medicinal value while some can be used for food, cosmetics, and construction.

What are the Type of Native Plants to Use Along with its Benefits

  • Flax – Flax is one of the oldest native plants in the country. It’s a source of food for many animals and is prized for its medicinal value.
  • Kauri – Kauris are large native trees. Though considered endangered, but kauris are perfect when it comes to reducing carbon emission. Considered as one of New Zealand's mightiest trees, kauris provides shelter for endemic animals. 
  • Cabbage tree – If you have wetlands in your property, then this is the native plant for you. Cabbage trees have strong root system, which helps reduce erosion. It’s one of the native trees that continues to thrive despite environmental changes and threats. And like flax, cabbage trees have medicinal value.
  • Kōwhai – Though listed as endangered, Kōwhais are durable. With its small leaflets and juvenile branches, it is home to many animal species.

Where Can You Get Native Plants

Above are just some of the native plants that can be used to combat climate change. There are thousands of species that can be used, depending on the area. But the question is; where can you get these native plants? 

This is where Rural Design comes in. We have an extensive native plant nursery and can offer competitive pricing on a variety of native plants for your restoration project. Aside from that, we also do eco-sourcing of these native plants to ensure genetic variability and maximum adaptability.

We understand that choosing the right type of native plants vary.  So we will help you plan your restoration project conscious of your land's need. We even aid in the selection of your native plants, all the way to its maintenance.

Climate change is quite a dilemma and mitigation can come down to the choices that you make. The choice of using native plants for your property is the right decision. The only thing to do now is to implement it with a professional like Rural Design. And that is giving your property enough protection from the threats of climate change.  

Different types and benefits of permaculture

Benefits of Permaculture

Permaculture is an attractive option for landowners because of its numerous benefits. Just some of the benefits include:

● Less waste - Everything within the permaculture system is utilized; like using garden waste as fertilizer. The use of waste and by-products is one of the reasons why permaculture is sustainable.
● Saves on water - Permaculture also involves utilizing rainwater and wastewater, making it more efficient and cost effective than most farms.
● Economically feasible - It is cost efficient since you don’t need to use pesticides, and most permaculture systems require less maintenance. All you need to do is water the crops and do mulching from time to time.

Permaculture helps your property withstand the effects of climate change and continue to be productive. It’s also an agricultural practice that’s healthier to the environment, allowing for sustainable production for longer periods of time. And permaculture, done well, can be more efficient than a regular farm, allowing you to produce more crop with fewer resources and less maintenance.

The Permaculture Processes

There are a host of permaculture practices used for land developers, depending on the need of the land. Below are just some of the practices utilized by most landowners.

Natural building - Natural building is a permaculture practice that deals with building systems (materials included) directed towards the improving the land’s sustainability. It focuses on creating a durable living environment that can continue to produce crops despite natural weather or landscape changes. 

Sheet mulching - It is a gardening technique that recreates natural processes within a property or a forest. One of the unique qualities of sheet mulching, for instance, is that it can mimic leaf cover found usually on forest floors. 

Agroforestry -  A practice combining trees, shrubs with crops and livestock, using agricultural and forestry techniques to recreate the natural ecosystem of the land.  

Hügelkultur - Is a permaculture practice that involves using large volumes of wood for soil water retention. This is used in order to sustain the crops during dry season as the wood acts as a massive sponge that holds water. 

Since it is a process, seeking the help of a professional should be part of the plan. At Rural Design, our years of experience in doing permaculture will bring about certain improvements and development in your property. From restoration projects to orchard design to rural landscaping to farm forestry, we cover everything so you can make the most out of underutilized land. 

Our close business relations with local and regional units will ensure a suitable farm plan for your property, in line with the requirements attached to it, so you will have a smoother implementation of your permaculture project.