Zones and sectors (4m 44s)

Zones are areas of lands having a particular characteristic, purpose or designated use. There are 5 permaculture zones. Each zone represents a different type of land use determined by how often we visit that element or that space and how much maintenance is required for that space.

Zone 0 – Self or your home. You and your house are the center of your universe. They are your domain. Your center. Design from there.

Zone 1 is a zone visited many times a day. It’s the area closest to your house. These elements need the most attention and maintenance. Try to stack as much produce around the house so it’s easier to harvest. Types of elements in zone 1 include the home, the kitchen, shower laundry area, water filter, annual gardens, herb gardens. Medicinal plant gardens, nurseries, chicken coop, small fish pond, dwarf fruit trees, climbers around the house, garden tool shed, compost piles. These are the things you visit more than once a day.

Zone 2, visited once a day. Some elements of zone 2 can be incorporated into zone 1 for example compost piles are useful to keep close to your home but don’t necessarily need to be in zone 1. Zone 2 elements include perennial gardens, animals such as poultry pigs, ducks and rabbits, chicken coop, duck house, worm bin, small pond, compost, workshop toolshed, milking shed and fruit tree orchards.

Zone 3 is the zone or the space that you visit once a week, more or less. Zone 3 is generally considered the farm zone. Here’s where we tend to have commercial crops like corn, rice and potato. You can also have animals for the market or barter. Broad scale farming systems like orchards or food forests. Zone 3 has larger water systems like small dams, lakes or ponds for aquaculture and also things like hedgerows or windbreaks.

Zone 4, is the zone you visit maybe once a month. Zone 4 is generally an areas that borders a forest or wilderness. It is used as larger pasture for animals like horses, or cows, buffalo, sheep or goats. Or it can be used to plant tree species for a wood lot to harvest timber for building, wood for fire, thatch for roofing and fodder for animals. Types of zone 4 elements include fruit, oil and nut trees a wood lot, bamboo, grazing animals, a large water source, reforestations.

And finally zone 5, an area that is visited rarely or never. Typically this zone is a natural unmanaged environment that is not owned by the farmer or landowner such as a protected forest, natural reserve or land regeneration site.

Sectors are the natural factors that affect the land and the productivity of the land. Consider these natural factors when placing elements around your site as well as when designing structures. Natural factors to indicate on your site map include sun angles, sun angles show where the sun shines at different times during the day as well as the year. Using sun angles can help maximize the hours of sunlight on the garden and hours of shade your home receives. One trick to find sun angles from one position is to face the sun at noon and stick your arms out in a 90º angle fro your body in the shape of a V. The part between your arms is the part of the property that receives the most sun.

Wind direction. Intermittent wind direction can damage trees and plants. Plant hedgerows or wind breaks in windy zones to break up the wind before crossing through your site. You also want to consider the view corridor, where are the best views and design to allow the best views to stand out. For example if you have a beautiful view overlooking a river, build structures so you can see the river rather than building right up against the cliff.

Contour maps, contour maps, also known as topographical maps mark the changes in elevation in a particular location. The distance between contour lines varies depending on the scale. It could be one meter or 5 meters. The difference in elevation of your site determines the scale of your contour lines.

Consider the slope, terrain, types of earthworks and elevation when designing a contour map. Sometimes contour maps can be found at a local government office, you can draw your own contour map as well. You can include contour lines of the basic site maps or if you’re going to be doing any earthworks you can make another map to show the contours.

Great, this concludes the map and zoning chapter. Thank you for your time.