Designing for Nutritional Resilience
Nutrition means how any living organism changes and uses food for life. As we are designing Brook End to maximise self-reliance it is vital that we design to most effectively meet our nutritional needs. While we are still likely to purchase many foods from outside our 'system' as convenience allows, we can still grow crops that are a mainstay of our diets, providing us with maximum nutrition.
To design for nutritional resilience I undertook the following research:
- Explored the foundations of a healthy diet
- Looked at the staples which are high in carbohydrate and a mainstay of the diet e.g. potatoes and their potential complimentary species
- Looked at crops we can not grow at Brook End due to scale or convenience, such as grains and identify our niche e.g. diverse leaf crops & fruits
- Looked at the nutritional value of wild plants and self-determining species and their potential role in our diet
- Researched maximum nutrition through the role of herbs in nourishing infusions e.g. Nettle
- Explored the role of leafy vegetables in nutrition and processing for nutrients e.g. Making leaf curd
- Researched the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals and the produce most rich in them that we can grow.
This above has influenced my planting decisions and strengthened my commitment to ensuring we have a diverse range of species to harvest beyond the traditional annual vegetables in our western diets. See a summary of this research here.
Permaculture Kitchen Gardens
Beyond the general promotion of multifunctional and edible species throughout permaculture systems, one main area of the garden is the kitchen garden. In an attempt to re-designing our energy consuming vegetable patch I looked at:
- Characteristics of permaculture-designed kitchen gardens
- Articles around zone 1 & 2 development in systems
- Design decisions used to help plan planting e.g. frequency of harvesting & use, growth habit, level of maintanence
- Tools & strategies already developed such as clipping beds, vertical growing and kitchen door beds.
Australian permaculture designer, David Holmgren, describes this level of cultivation as 'garden agriculture' and its role in self reliance for families and communities is clear. You can read my full exploration of permaculture kitchen gardens here.