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Permaculture Students Present Design To City Farmer

Leaf inspired moveable shelter.

New ideas for implementation included; solar energy, water catchment, earthquake preparedness, soil building and climate change.

By Carla Hick, Kazusa Nakajo, Raul Hollmayer, Sarah Leigh
Permaculture Design Certificate
UBC class of 2017, Instructor James Richardson

A small group of students from the Permaculture Design Certificate class of 2017 was assigned to create a permaculture design for City Farmer. They observed, interacted, assessed the influencing forces and suggested a plan. The attached document reveals the hard work and innovative designs for City Farmer. The permaculture principles that guide this type of design are:

1. Consider relative location
2. Each element performs many functions
3. Each element is supported by another
4. Efficient energy planning
5. Use biological resources
6. Cycle energy, nutrients and resources

7. Use small scale intensive systems
8. Accelerate succession and evolution
9. Use and value diversity
10. Utilize edge effects
11. Observe and replicate natural patterns
12. Adopt a permaculture attitude

The ideas presented to City Farmer were warmly welcomed and sparked some really interesting conversation surrounding educating the city folk of Vancouver on pertinent issues and solutions. While City Farmer applauded and appreciated many of the proposed designs it is not entirely realistic to implement them all and change takes time. However, some changes are small and can be easily incorporated. For example;

Capturing solar energy is expensive to install but the City of Vancouver may be on board soon.

Extending the City Farmer limits into a neighbouring empty lot to create a nature reserve and nature walkway will be fantastic and achievable so long as the City approves the change.

Extending a bee corridor with pollinating plants through the property is already underway.

Improving the new entrance way and access to City Farmer is underway – some design ideas are more achievable than others. A bike rack, water bottle filling station and cross-walk across the greenway are actionable in the near future. Building garden beds and planting trees may take more time to receive approval and be implemented.

Extending the education services is always evolving at City Farmer. New ideas for implementation included; solar energy, water catchment, earthquake preparedness, soil building and climate change. Building a sheltered classroom will require some more time and funding but can be achieved in the future.

Permaculture offers many solutions for sustainable design that include people care, Earth care and fair share. Adopting a permaculture attitude and gradually implementing small and large changes will make for a better now and future.

See large Powerpoint file here (25 MB).