The Permaculture Systems, Design, and Demonstration Centers of Seeds for a Future
A key component of the Seeds Program is teaching rural Guatemalans how to produce thriving gardens and efficient animal enclosures using permaculture systems and regenerative farming methods.
The resources and needs of every family in the Seed for a Future Program differ, creating unique opportunities for the team to best align needs and resources with each family.
During the planning visit to a participating family’s home, our team and family members assess available space and decide what to include, such as a nutrition garden and animal protein sources such as poultry.
They also review the feasibility of planting longer-term producers such as fruit trees or bamboo, which produces edible shoots and excellent building material.
The team spends at least 12 months with the family, coaching and mentoring them during weekly in-home visits. The Program supplies initial seeds or seedlings and starter animals, and training includes the skills to grow their own “replacement” plants and animals. Thus, the family’s permaculture activities become self-sustaining.
This PDF analyzes the permaculture systems and designs used by the Seeds for a Future demonstration centers and program participants.
This illustrated PDF offers a qualitative and quantitative description of the mandala, vertical, and raised bed garden systems commonly found in permaculture practices in Guatemala.
Outlining the Permaculture Systems and Design used by the Seeds Program
Permaculture gardens promote efficiency of space and resources while creating sustainable systems and practices for generations to come.
The flexibility of permaculture means families which may not have space for a garden can use their patios, walls or fences, and even indoor spaces as growing areas.
Seeds for a Future’s permaculture principles and regenerative agricultural practices include:
- Nutrition gardens contain a diversity of plants that flourish locally and are culturally accepted.
- The family’s available space is carefully planned and designed to ensure efficient yields and sustainability.
- Organic practices are emphasized.
- Families grow their own seedlings and manage poultry and animals to ensure their own renewable supply.
- Recycling, reusing, and repurposing materials and the use of composting are prioritized.
- Environmental stewardship is valued and reinforced.
As families succeed in raising plants and animals according to the plan created when they joined the Program, they begin to see their space and resources differently and think about how they can increase or diversify the food they produce.
For demonstrating the methods and practices commonly used by the Program's participants, we have nine Demonstration Centers dispersed throughout participating communities and neighborhoods.
Each Demonstration Center showcases permaculture principles and regenerative farming possibilities that families can adapt to fit their own space and resources.
Our main Demonstration Center is in a neighborhood house in Chocolá – our team headquarters.
Chickens and other birds are housed where they contribute to the composting process, a typical permaculture practice. Families can see examples of animal housing suitable for production at the “family food” level, or for a micro-business. We research new plants to see if they will thrive and offer success and variety in family gardens.
In addition to our HQ Center, neighborhood Demonstration Centers blossom when a participant family has special success. At these close-by centers, local families can see innovative practices, new ideas, or ancient techniques remembered from ancestors, all proudly shared by the resident family.
Sharing, inventing, researching, and learning – even from failure – are vital to the success families achieve, and to our program’s sustainability and its expansion throughout a community.
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