Design from Patterns to Details

posted Sep 9, 2015, 6:56 PM by Family Organics   [ updated Sep 9, 2015, 7:24 PM ]
Not being a natural designer, I find this principle particularly challenging. But lets hear a bit from David Holmgren...
Pattern the necessary precursor to the process of design.

A pattern which seems to be increasing in popularity is that of the forest, being used as the basis for establishing a food forest. In other words, by taking the forest as our pattern, we can observe the different layers and niches and then move to filling those niches with particular plants, (the detail). There are a number of approaches to creating a food forest. I tend towards muddling through!

In the Winter of 2014 I decided on the basic layout and where the paths would go, to define the separate guilds
. The pattern of the paths is two opposing sine waves...approximately. We also planted most of the main fruit trees, comfrey around each one and an area of mixed grain and legumes as soil building green manure. As mulch becomes available I'm mulching more and more of the area.

This past Winter we transplanted some more fruit trees in, and a number of support species. I'm sowing seed of a range of legumes, herbs and fruiting shrubs to fill in the layers. The process will continue for years as it gradually changes from a bunch of individual plants to become a functioning