Permaculture and market gardening

Vision

We know, we read, we hear that we are heading towards resource depletion, possible collapse, forest destruction. There is the climate change that is not taken into consideration enough and the need to deal with long-term population migration.
We need to rapidly increase our energy and food self-sufficiency. We need to work on resilience, to move from individualism to collective. We need others, to be inspired by nature and to pool our talents.

Permaculture is an essential source of inspiration for us. This is a permanent thread for us, both in the way the site is configured, how it functions and how it is thought out. The relief, the water, the trees, the surrounding nature, the residents, etc. are integrated and brought into resonance.

We want to Naturia

  • Ensure the concept of permaculture: " Taking care of myself, others and the world
  • Ensure that the ethics of permaculturethat is, finding a balance between
  • Taking care of naturewhich is a source of life & nourishment. We want to contribute to improve biodiversity, reuse a maximum of waste because the earth is not a dustbin. The principle is to integrate rather than separate.
    We are going to draw up a charter, proposing guidelines to be transmitted from the moment of reception and which will govern life on the site. We want to raise awareness about the use of dry toilets, waste sorting, composting, etc.

We are going to help save biodiversity by participating in the project of the Walloon region. The fences have already been removed for the most part and will be replaced by hedges. We have cut down some dead and diseased fir trees and will replace them with an orchard. We will apply for a grant for multifunctional hedges and an orchard. We want to integrate fruit trees and a food forest.

The AWAF association has developed a practical brochure that helps to know which hedges to install in our region, adapted to our objectives.
As planting trees and hedges is not our job, we want to get help from professionals! They will help us to think about our collective project, to fit it into more global plans and to benefit from the experience of a network... We will contact the partners recommended by the project Yes We plant (starting with the PCDN and the Local Action Group).

We plan to build a chicken coop. Chickens have several functions: recycling vegetable waste, fresh eggs, fertilizing the soil, eliminating certain pests on the land, turning and aerating the soil. We are thinking about a mobile hen house or a mobile pen so we can move them around. 

  • Taking care of people by improving humanity, living together, connections, mutual support, production by many. It is about taking care of all living things (oneself, others, animals) because everything is interconnected.
  • Promoting equitable sharingTo meet our real needs instead of over-consumption, to create abundance and redistribute it, to improve the exchange system. Share our talents, know-how and skills and put them to use in the service of others. Emphasize cooperation, co-creation and synergy (together we go further).

Nathalie Tverdya cooperator, attended a Long cycle in permaculture (PDC - Permaculture Design Course) at Terre et Conscience asbland is our permaculture manager. Bernard Gosseleta future cooperator, has extensive experience in permaculture.

To get more inspiration and to develop our knowledge, we plan to visit places that apply permaculture in their projects[1].

We want to make responsible market gardening with an external market gardener and make available 1 hectare of land for this purpose.

We are in contact with the association Crab because they train market gardeners. We will contact the University Faculty of Gembloux as well as Earth & Consciousness to offer students the opportunity to do their final year work at Naturia.

We want to surround ourselves with professionals to give our beautiful project the best chance to become reality. The organization Altera Projects can also bring us expertise in various fields, including short circuit production - market gardening. We are also thinking of contacting Energy & Local Development that support territories "to transform the (urgent) issue of energy into a driving force for social policies, the development of a local economy, energy autonomy, citizen cohesion...".

A vegetable garden-A 400 m² mound of sunshine is currently under construction. We are going to give new life to a clayey and very rocky land. The installation of a greenhouse and compost bins are part of the project.

The question of transmission is also important to us: organizing workshops on vegetable gardening, permaculture, jarring; offering guidance on the use of compost; learning to live with the seasons (displaying the fruit and vegetable calendar); encouraging responsible consumption (tips and tricks for using peelings, carrot tops, waste, etc.).

We would like to train, educate and inform the residents and users of the place about permaculture. It's about making people aware that everything we do has an impact!
Welcome to the countryside in Wallonia offers quality coaching to help develop
an activity of reception in the countryside! We contacted them as part of our conversion to an ecocamp.

Permaculture is also think outside the boxIt's a change of perspective. We are inspired by the Book "7 ways of thinking differently" of Loobna Mcnamara

  1. Thinking abundantlyWe are told about scarcity all the time, yet nature is in total abundance. All plants produce seeds. We want to promote quality, encourage recognition, gratitude and sharing.
  2. Thinking solutionsEvery problem is an opportunity to grow and develop! Be proactive rather than reactive and remember that our decisions will impact the future.
  3. Systems thinkingTo think in whole rather than in parts because everything interacts. At the center is "life" and not the human.
  4. Thinking like natureObserve and copy natural ecosystems, review the cycles, do not fight but collaborate with nature, especially in the vegetable garden: nasturtiums and thistles attract aphids, nettles distract slugs and snails, dandelions for caterpillars (protect salads). Everything evolves and grows at its own pace.
  5. Thinking about cooperationNot to put the "power OVER" but the "power WITH".
  6. Thinking for the futureThe sustainability/perpetuity dimension is essential. Our actions have an impact on the next 7 generations (170 years). We want to develop a generative culture: to move towards a positive impact. We invite the cooperators to ask themselves the question: "What purpose does the project serve in the ecosystem? What energy will my project inject into the ecosystem? ".
    Taking care of the ecosystem means, for example, creating corners for fauna, "insect hotels", making piles of branches, putting up nesting boxes... Small gestures can already have a big impact.

Waste treatment

Waste sorting

 

We decided to collaborate with Retrivalwhich is a company concerned with transition and which has an assumed social purpose. This reinforces the coherence of our project. We can no longer accept that all the waste (plastic, cardboard, leftovers, etc.) is found in a single container.

In practice, Retrival proposes :

  • Multi-stream collections with container take-back or exchange;
  • flexible frequency passages that adapt to our activity;
  • Differentiated weighing by product, which guarantees a fair price;
  • a detailed statement of our waste/resources with invoices;
  • the search for the best solutions.

The waste they evacuate is mainly cardboard, frigolite, PMC, plastic packaging films, bulky items, wood, metals, waste electrical and electronic equipment, frames, etc.

On our side we will organize a place where the sorting will be easy to understand and to do for our residents and the campers passing by. Explanatory and educational posters will be created for this purpose.

Composting

For composting, we encourage both individual and collective composting.

The individual using the BOKASHI technique to compost food scraps without worms, flies, gardens or bad smells. The acquisition of such a composter is at the expense of the resident. 

A collective compost is planned next to the vegetable garden. 2-3 compost bins made from pallets will be used to collect garden and household waste.

The initiative must necessarily be supported by the community (tenants, transients).

One or more people will monitor the waste process.

Our objectives for this collective composting are :

  • to reduce the amount of household waste of local residents,
  • manage waste in the continuity of selective sorting,
  • create a social link.

An inspiration booklet has been created to explain the whole process, the objectives, the benefits, how to do it, etc. This booklet is intended for current tenants and all cooperators. It is also available to our visitors. Our goal is to motivate everyone to contribute to a world where we all take care of nature together.

Dry toilets

20 to 30% of household water consumption goes down our toilets! And for most of us, it is drinking water that we use for this purpose. This is also the case in our home in 2021. This is absurd, when you think that in 2005, more than one billion people in the world did not have access to drinking water.

It is therefore urgent to propose and implement alternatives. Dry toilets, which do not use water (or very little), are one of them and, thanks to the practice of composting, allow us to give back to the earth what is produced.

We will build 2-3 dry toilets in Naturia to familiarize our visitors with this alternative that is much more in tune with nature.

We have developed an inspiration booklet on this theme, intended for current tenants and all cooperators. This booklet is also available to our visitors. Our goal is to motivate those who still have traditional toilets to switch to dry toilets in their homes in Naturia.

The advantages are numerous.

Everyone will be invited to empty their buckets into a dedicated compost bin, as dry toilets are not emptied into compost bins with garden and household waste!
It is only used after two years of composting and three or four turnings. The temperature increase after the composting process and the maturation period guarantee the absence of pathogenic germs.
We will rotate with 3 compost piles to make it more manageable and to respect the two year waiting period. One heap/bin of decomposition compost for the current year; a second heap/bin of maturation for the year before and a third of maturation for the year before so that it makes 2 full years.

[1] For example: Millefeuillean organization for the preservation of the environment in Cul des Sarts, Le Happy Earth Center in Zétrud-Lumay, ea

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