Permaculture at Newhouse Farm
Permaculture means different things to different people but at its very heart is the idea of producing a natural, sustainable ecosystem within your buildings, gardens and land.
The idea is to produce a web of beneficial relationships such that everything you plant is highly productive without needing the level of input associated with conventional agriculture.
For example a wood containing trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and climbers needs no tending and only relies upon sunshine and rain, yet it produces more biomass than an equivalent area of wheat that actually needs to be ploughed, harrowed, sowed, fertilised, weeded, and, all to often, chemically treated.
The big trick is to produce a sustainable ecosystem that maximises the relationship between plants, landscape features and that meets your needs.
We have planted lots of trees including a willow and dogwood coppice, Cornish apple trees (we made our own cider this year - scary but drinkable), cobnuts, walnut, quince, and medlar.
2008 saw the Newhouse Farm Vineyard being planted complete with mulberry bushes, which apparently have a fungicidal property - sadly, year one saw only enough grapes for two bottles!