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I like turtles!

Organic Sanctuary Turtle Laying Eggs

Healthy turtles and other aquatic animals can be a sign of a healthy ecosystem and be studied as a bio-indicator for the environment. Having a diverse diet and lifestyle, turtles have mastered the art of survival throughout time. Just by analyzing a turtle, we can relate many attributes to that of a Permaculture lifestyle.

The turtle’s shell is like the thinking of a steadfast survivalist, strong and dependable. We may not always be in a safe comfortable area, although if our mindset is strong like a turtle’s shell, we will always be protected. We may not grow a rock-hard exoskeleton, although what is within us is that which will allow us to move forward and grow. Our “shell” is enhanced by developing Permaculture skills and techniques through practice and persistence, like any other study.

Turtles can also resemble the importance of biodiversity. For instance, the turtle’s diet ranges from vegetarian to scavenger! This can be reflected on the importance of bio-diverse farming. If a grower only plants a small number of different varieties, the chance of loss could increase. With a bio-diverse farming/gardening approach, we can provide an insurance during uncertain times of climate change or random events that may damage certain varieties. If a climatic event destroys a certain type of tree crop, perhaps in will enhance another type! Like the turtle, the grower can adapt to what food sources are available at the time.

Sometimes your wet, and sometimes your dry, just like the turtle. As long as we develop the flexibility to exist in both extremes, we can become master’s of our environment just like the turtle! And sometimes, just like the turtle, you just need to stretch out and soak up some sun.

The turtle in the picture found refuge for her eggs between a bio-diverse area. She built her egg nest in the middle of a citrus tree, guava shrub, and muscadine grape vine. Allowing wildlife to naturally exist in our environments can promote an overall healthier ecosystem. If an area shows signs of healthy aquatic animals, it can be a sign of unpolluted water sources, which is one of the most important resources for healthy life in general.

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Edible Food Jungle

Edible Food Jungle Permaculture Organic Sanctuary

Within the science of Permaculture, there exist a type of ecosystem described as Edible Food Forest. The Edible Food Jungle shares many of the same principles. Edible Food Jungles may provide a more energy-dense bank of biodiversity within tropical climates. The Edible Food Jungles can utilize many levels of vertical space, with multiple sub canopies. Similar to the Rainforest, growers can absorb more energy by utilizing the abundance of sunlight and water during moisture-rich seasons. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens can exist, as they are strategically planted in mutual locations. Chop and Drop fashion of management is aimed at building topsoil, reducing fuel load, and providing building resources. Chop and drop can be furthered in some cases to a drop, chop, and bury application to maximize decomposition rates.

The Edible Food Jungles serves a community in multiple ways. The most obvious service is the production of foods, medicines, and other goods for harvest. Large areas of live biomass rapidly filter our fixed resources, such as air, water, and compost. Approaching an EFJ project, mobility space and ornamental value may prove priority for environmental comfort. In a sense, the Edible Food Jungle is a hybrid design reflecting on the impressiveness of rainforest growth although regularly maintained in a solarium fashion.

The possibility of an EFJ exist at Organic Sanctuary. Citrus trees are companion planted with guavas. Citrus trees may prove to be a larger canopy grower, while the guavas grow well in the shaded undergrowth. At the same time, a predator-prey relationship may exist between the guavas host, wasp insect, and the citrus host, psyllid insect. As well as planting with emphasis on insect diversity, long-term weather diversity also exist ranging within multiple zoned climate varieties. This may prove valuable if climate variations occur more frequently.