Garden farming describes food-growing in domestic gardens for the people living in the household. On our small block we do this by a mix of food forest farming, where layers of perennial plants are grown in a small space, and bio-intensive gardening, where annual vegetables are rotated in beds.
In Permaculture design, the house and garden are zoned according to how the areas are used. The house is classified as Zone 0, the centre of all the human activities on the land. The other zones are numbered according to how often the areas are visited.
Our farm has zone 1 which is visited every day and zone 2 which is visited every few days. The gardens to the east and north of the house are zone 1 and the south and west gardens are zone 2.
The east garden is sheltered from prevailing winds in summer and winter. It is planted with warm climate plants that grow in part shade. It is a good area for raising seedlings and cuttings.
The north garden is terraced into 2 tiers and fenced to protect plants from prevailing winds. The upper terrace has 4 vegetable beds and gardens containing sub-tropical trees. The lower tier has 4 vegetable beds and gardens of temperate trees and herbs. The area will also have a chook shed in the future.
The west garden, our main orchard, has several deciduous and citrus trees which we are under-planting with beneficial plants. It also has a winter pond to collect winter run off.
The south garden has fruit trees under-planted with beneficial plants. In the shaded area near the house we have pots of ferns and mints which help cool the house on hot days.
During our first year here we have harvested many winter/spring vegetables and are starting to harvest summer veggies. We are enjoying eating apricots, plumcots, peaches and nectarines this summer.