Polyculture Garden Design

Polyculture Garden Design

I found an amazing post as part of the farming research for this week’s Woman Not Waiting theme which served as an inspiration for the fun fictional post trilogy Polyculture Paradise.

What I like about this bubble chart is the visual representation the author devised in order to summarize the massive amounts of information you can currently find on the internet about the ins and outs of polyculture— the sustainable way of future farming, in my opinion.

The planting table in the originating article is Denver-specific but what I found most powerful when it comes to starting to conceptualize what a Polyculture Paradise would look like is the excellent graphical representation of the companion plant relationship between crops. In case you are cringing, it involves absolutely no math…well, until you go to implement a plan and must strike the right balance within your own limited garden space.

Still it’s not egghead math so a few fingers and toes should do the trick. If you need more, then yeeehaaa! You get to go on a quest to find someone to play footsies with.

Here is the article from WildGreenYonder. Feel free to peruse the website as well. Perhaps their principles would apply to your community or even get those heels hitting the farm roads with ideas of a sustainable consulting services of your own.

Of course, the flowchart approach to planning a garden appeals to my inner Duckineer. For me it provided an almost instant imprint on my visual cortex (that of course is the Psi-fi Duck speaking).

What about you? What kind of visual tool or non-visual tool would take all the guesswork and inertia out of you starting your own mini urban farm?

Would you be interested in hiring someone to do the work for you with part of the harvest as payment? You could be your own Lady of the land.

What about all you condo owners out there? Does your building have communal patio space that could be turned into a polyculture garden or even a polyculture greenhouse?

What about creating a Meetup.com group for local polyculture enthusiasts? Or if you just want to take one step at a time, you can find and join a group.

As a Woman Not Waiting you already have staked your claim to the heels that are made for walking which means you are full of creative ideas just waiting to burst out with a little coaxing…your ideas are AWESOME!  I would love to hear them.

I think it’s time for us to take back our food supply yet most of us are not equipped to do so in isolation effectively…including myself.

But together we can share the time commitment and save on our grocery bills, and most importantly take care of our health by eating REAL food and releasing the Steward within to take care of the Earth through a reduced dependence on direct uses of fossil fuels such as transportation, harvesting and processing and indirect uses such as fertilizers and plastic packaging of produce.

Every little thing we do has an impact, so if it’s tomatoes you love, use that as your crop-de-resistance and invite all her companions into the garden as well. Let nature and composting habits take care of the rest.

What are YOU not waiting for?

(Kaz) Karen

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About (Kaz) Karen Lefave

Kaz Lefave (Karen Lefave) is an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, designer, and science fiction author who stirs things up and questions the status quo. You can find her on WomanNotWaiting.com, where she connects the dots, empowers, offers solutions, and inspires you to take active steps which together positively impact our planet.


  1. That is so exciting Mark. For all those who don’t believe in the existence of UFOs, you are proof they are poised to take over the world. muahahahaha. :-)

  2. I for one is not willing to wait to put in my permaculture and polyculture garden.
    The last 3 days have been spent busting sod to create garden beds on contour and trapping all the rain water the garden can take advantage of. I have the sod busted in an area 50 x 80 feet and have one raised bed sculpted nearly ready for a green manure crop for over wintering.
    On the permaculture side the perimeter will be planted with perennials interspersed with veggies that make mutually beneficial companions.
    I’m pretty excited by the progress made and find myself wanting to work in the dark to get the basic structure in place.
    Additionally I planted some mustard greens in the 2 fully formed beds behind the UFO. I have been told that I can expect a crop of green before the winter cold sets in. Perhaps I will find the means to install a plastic tunnel to extend the season. Like my excitement the possibilities are endless.

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