The cows are in Zone 2. Pasture close to the house. It’s fun having them so close, it gives us more time to observe them and less work too! I love catching them grooming one another. It’s very sweet. When we see them playing and grooming one another, we know they are satisfied, fulfilled, and happy which is what we strive for. It’s a hoot when the neighbors cows come to the adjoining fence line, they act like teenagers running off to see who’s there, calling out along the way. They nearly stampeded their way to them. They can be so curious.
In permaculture design there are zones. The house is Zone 0 closest to the house is zone 1, zone 2 next and so forth, extending to zone 5. Our garden is in zone 1. In Permaculture you focus on energy input and output and stacking functions. When you have smart design, you can conserve energy and certainly resources. That’s why a kitchen garden is in Zone 1, close enough to the house to harvest food exactly when you need it for a meal. If you put the garden far from the house, at the end of the day while making dinner no one cares to trek out to the garden to harvest anything. You just want to eat!
But if you can see the garden outside your kitchen window, ah, that is perfect. At our previous homestead we could see the ducks, hens, and turkeys from the kitchen window and the garden. This is much simpler to create on smaller acreage. And the flock were great entertainment! I got familiar with the pecking order because I could watch them so frequently.
In Zone 2 you would have your greenhouse, barn, tool shed, shop, and wood storage. In addition, a compost pile stacks functions. It disposes of waste, creates fertile humus, boosts soil life, and offers the gardener a little exercise through turning and spreading. Basically the idea is that each plant or structure should do more than one job. A grape vine serves as an example. It shades the deck while letting in light in winter, cools the house, provides food, mulch, and propagation stock, and adds an aesthetic quality. I refer to Toby Hemingway’s book, “Gaia’s Garden,” for details on permaculture design. It’s a good read for anyone interesting in design that makes sense. Permaculture is fascinating.
Buxton is a very large farm and during the season we spread out over many many acres. When the cows are down the road we have to drive a few miles to harvest eggs. It’s our intention this year to be “in sync” and organized on these days so that we don’t spread ourselves too thin, or take on too many side projects. We appreciate stress free days!
We’re also preparing now for next week’s first broiler harvest.Sometimes it feels to me that preparation is everything in life. We have old friends and new friends joining us. We’re so fortunate to have people willing to come to Buxton to learn this skill. We couldn’t do it without them, that’s a fact!