Friday, April 30, 2010

More on Levels

A little more detail to the level system I was talking about yesterday.
We can also organize these thoughts not just from the center of your home to your yard and region and beyond. But we must also go vertically. 
Layer 1 is Deep Underground where utilities and wells are and this can also include other underground mineral resources and tectonic plates.
Layer 2 is the Root Layer, we'd mostly be concerned about root and rhizomal crops but you can't forget about root systems in general.
Layer 3 is the Soil Surface, this would be ground cover and mulch layer. The first few inches of the surface. A lot of the action happens here, this is where all the plants get their water and their nutrients.
Layer 4 is the Low Shrub level where short shrubs and plants live, like strawberry plants. 
Layer 5 is the High Shrub level where the big shrubs and plants live, like blueberries.
Layer 6 is the Low Tree level where dwarf and other small sized trees live, like dwarf apple trees.
Layer 7 is the HIgh Tree or Canopy level, like oak trees.
Layer 8 is the Sky level where we watch the wind and rain.
Layer 9 is the Space level where we watch the Sun (light and heat) and Moon (tides).
I am not going to show layers from the core of the planet to the edge of the known universe. There are far more detail to many of these layers but these are the ones we can work with easily. And that is what matters. 

If you remember Level E your yard, that can be broken into zones to make things easier. Permaculture has a set of useful principles to organize your yard.
Zone 0 is the house, make it a good place to live.
Zone 1 is nearest the house and near the entrances, where you can plant things that you use often or need lots of attention. Often this is called the kitchen garden area.
Zone 2 is a little further out and is where you put the perennials plants that need some attention but less then the kitchen garden.
Zone 3 is for the main crops that only need attention once a week or so. 
Zone 4 is a semi-wild area. In a suburban area this would be a small corner that is left wild, in an rural area this would be a manage woodland area.
Zone 5 is an actual wild area. Humans don't do things there except the occasional mushroom hunt or something. This is natures classroom. That is where we can go to see how nature is doing things around us that we can adapt to our systems.