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  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default permaculture yields

    Good luck with the research. This kind of information is desperately needed if we are going to convince corporate interests to make large scale investments in permaculture and food forests. References to pieces of string are not going to cut it with accountants and executives who want to know exactly what their ROI will be. I therefore hope that you will share your research here, so that the rest of us can persuade big investors to sponsor our ongoing efforts.
    I too am doing similar research, and so here are a few links that you might also find useful

    I hope that this little bit helps.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Tropical food forest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Townsville, North Queensland


    To get a better ideaof permaculture impacts youd have to research multiple things, none of which will have permaculture in the name

    youd have to assess Zone 0 based on architecture and energy efficiency

    for zone 1 youll have to research the social and economic value of
    home gardens, Homestead gardens, pekarangan, Gewatta, Chagga home gardens , allotments, etc

    dont just look at food
    follow the environmnetal services track

    permaculture forest gardens like most forests tend not to create a lot of carbs or protein
    but they do make lots of goods of higher economic value , medicines, vitamin rich foods etc
    they also recycle a lot of waste and waste water

    they arent going to supply all needs. no human society occupies only 1 habitat
    but on the home front they are doing a great job

    key authors inlcude Christanty, abdoellah, Soemarwoto and others
    follow the citations

  3. #13
    Senior Member sweetpea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Coastal California, (Mediterranean climate)


    Len, you mean I'm busting my ass to plant according to Permaculture principles, and mix up my biodiversity a la Sepp Holzer, moving hundreds of perennials all over the place, and it's as vague as how long is a piece of string? Hang around the Organic Gardening magazine forums, and you'll cry about how they define ":organic" It's so very sad. It's become what is convenient, or what is in a package at the nursery, as long as 90% of the other things are "organic" which they want to include Starbucks coffee grounds, which come from Central America and are grown with chemicals they don't even allow in the US! Okay, I know I'm ranting.

    Permaculture is the foundation to the house, and organic gardening is the green siding, in MHO *s*
    "Life flows on within you and without you"...George Harrison
    Coastal California, USA, Mediterranean climate - no summer rain, a little frost mid-winter

  4. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Brisbane, Australia


    Just an idea.. we have a nice little spiral bound book, in which we keep a little diary.
    Every time produce makes it into the house, we weigh it and note it down, also planting times and inputs like dolomite.
    If we all did this then in only a couple of years, we could have a great record of productivity. I think it takes some courage to admit if we fall short of all the things we'd like to grow, but of course, we don't all have unlimited time etc etc but I think measuring it would help us all to identify the things we can do better!
    I plan to post mine on this forum when I get the time to tabulate it.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Perth, Innaloo


    Not a particularly helpful point but permaculture is a system a diverse replication of nature, and ecosystem, we do not endevour generally to utilise the soil to maximise the output of any one crop, we are producing enough, not more and more, and if we have enough time or space striving for more diversity and ecosystem improvement often at the cost of overall food output.
    In my mind there is no question, short term yeild based production organic is going to will, but is it a self reliant ecosystem based food production method no..... organic farming aims to produce crops and food in a earth friendly manner rather than synthetic destructive way. Feeding and improving the soil etc to maximise its nutrient and productive capabilities, good gardening practices like crop rotation and green manure are used to reduce issue with pest/bugs/plant stress etc, but its not about the same aim as permaculture.

    Just my opinion, sorry if I appear to be poo pooing your area of research. I guess to simplify I see your question, similar to "what makes a heavier/larger bread loaf, wheat flour or a gluten free bread mix" (including buckwheat, quinoa, arraroot, chai seed, flax seed, and 10 other ingredients so the loaf is edible). Might not make sense to others but that's the only analogy that sprang to mind.
    Last edited by charlesinnaloo; 01-07-2010 at 11:10 PM.

  6. #16


    Go to the Australian Diggers resources on 'mini-plots'.

  7. #17


    Quote Originally Posted by Grahame View Post
    I would have to weigh my wife and daughter every time they left the house and then again upon returning from the garden. The chances of a strawberry or a raspberry making it to a set of scales are almost non-existent.
    The hilarious thing about this method is that it would actually work! ha!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Michaelangelica's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    N.Sydney 'burbs Zone 9-10


    Quote Originally Posted by craigembleton View Post
    Hi All
    I'm currently researching and essay (for a Masters Degree) about the environmental gains from transforming UK suburban gardens into permaculture systems. I'm trying to quantify the produce yield (actual weight of crop) per unit area and wondered if anyone out there knew of any permaculture studies. It's not that difficult to get hold of data related to the weight of vegetables that can be grown on an alloment for example, or the weight of sweet chestnuts (or other forest crops) that can be produced per unit area. However, one of the great advantages of permaculture, as you all know, is the production of crops on different layers. Has anyone out there measured their yields over a season and would be prepared to share their information with me? Temperate climate data would be ideal, but any would be helpful.
    Many thanks
    Yield of permaculture systems compared to organic gardens
    Difficult question.
    define "yield" for example.
    have a look at a couple of the threads here on forest gardening the three sisters gardening ( Which "yields" all the amino acids we need for life.) and other traditional ways of producing useful stuff, like food and medicine.

    Some great tragedies have happened in the pursuit of bigger numbers (one way of looking at 'yield"). For example the UN/USAs misguided attempt to abolish traditional terraced gardens in S. America and replace them with broad acre tractor-tilled farms.
    Above all else sustainability and long term protection of the environment and soil should be a part of the equation that defines "yield".

    As a PG student i am surprised that your institutional library does not have a service where they can get/borrow the articles you want from other universities who do subscribe to the journals you want. this is what happens in Australia, where costs preclude libraries subscribing to all known journals.

    Let us know how you fare.
    Last edited by Michaelangelica; 08-07-2010 at 10:20 AM.
    "You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that"
    Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
    "Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001

  9. #19
    New Member eco4560's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia


    define "yield" for example.
    Good point. Is it only what most people would define as edibles that would count in the yield? Or the green manure and mulch-ables that you grow that mean you don't need to replace them with bought in stuff. Is it the edible weeds? And the edible but not usually considered as edible parts of plants (like pumpkin or sweet potato leaves). Is it the eggs from your chooks? And the chook poo that means you don't need to buy Dynamic Lifter?

  10. #20
    Senior Member ecodharmamark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bendigo, Victoria, Australia


    Currently reading:

    Mullins, P. & Kynaston, C. (2000) 'The Household Production of Subsistence Goods: The Urban Peasant Thesis Reassessed', in Troy, P. (ed) A History of European Housing in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 142-63.

    In the above, Mullins & Kynaston compare 'household production' (code name for permaculture yields) from Australian and NZ households across the later half of the C20.

    Google Books have pp. 144-6 available here.

    I can't find a full (free) copy online, but maybe your local library can help you? Either way, it (the entire book) is an informative and enjoyable read.
    MRC Planning Research and Development ~ truly sustainable urban, rural and environmental planning outcomes

    The History of Regional Planning in Australia ~ a research project

    Currently reading: Ballinger (2012) An Inch of Rain: A Water History of Northern Victoria

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