CINCA Ecuador

From the 12th to the 14th of March, two Spanish volunteers, Laura Gázquez Peñalven and Ricardo Riquelme Pérez, came to CINCA Ecuador teach to the farm’s team and neighbours about permaculture. In this article, we will detail the component and the main aim of permaculture. 

Philosophy

Permaculture is a way of life that mixes agroecology, bioconstruction, natural medicines, personal development, etc. This philosophy aims to promote the mastering of each one’s time. 

Permaculture is an harmony between these principles:

Agroecology

Permaculture is a balance between different principles and agroecology is one of the main field of this philosophy.

The first pillar of doing permaculture is to observe the environment and the nature. When watching what surrounds us, we have the chance to discover the biodiversity. It is what we target to have in our vegetable garden, a multitude of plantations, and a biggest biodiversity: vegetables, bushes, trees, vine, flower, etc. The objective of permaculture is to imitate nature and to create ecosystems where we could live in symbiosis with the environment like the food forest.

Ground and others important parameters

The basic principal of permaculture is to cultivate a good soil: a ground with minerals, vegetables, and animals. It has to be like the rich soil of forests, the humus.

A rich soil with humus doesn’t need to be till as it is self-sufficient. When doing ploughing the life’s ground dies: the macrobiology (worms as an example which are essential to aerate the soil) and the microbiology (bacteria and mushrooms) allow the soil to be fertile. 

Another parameter essential to permaculture is water. In a farm, it is needed to have different water reserves. Above the soil, padding is made in the culture beds in order to capture water, create a fertile soil and protect the macro and microbiology.

Design

The design of permaculture aims to imitate the woods and to create a culture of edible food as much as to maintain native forest. When cultivating under the permaculture methods, it is essential to look after the ground surface slope, the wind, the sun, the animals, the rain, etc. 

The design of permaculture contains severals zones:

– Zone 1: House and garden with vegetables.

– Zone 2: Fruit and dry fruit trees.

– Zone 3: Animals in expend fields (don’t forget to rotated).

– Zone 4: Natural wild forest.

Permacultura

Culture beds

A good culture bed needs to be of 1.20 metros wide and 5.5 metros in length.

During the permaculture workshop, two types of culture self-fertilising beds were made in the Chacana garden in CINCA, in two days of work. Once down the beds have to rest some time according to the needs of the farmers and the environment.

  1. Hugelculture

We need to wait up to three month before seeding. 

Mulch: eucalyptus grounded (ashes in the trunks)

  1. Culture bed

There are 4 culture beds with a different mulch for each one.

Mulch 1 :  Eucalyptus without crushed. Wait for 1 month before seeding.

Mulch 2 :  Eucalyptus and mar alfalfa verde. Wait for 2 months.

Mulch 3 : Mar alfalfa verde.  Wait for 2 months (until it is dry).

Mulch 4 :  Sawdust. Wait for 1 month.

Permaculture bed in picture:

Looking after and planting

Afterwards, we have to look after the parameters to make sure the environement is favorable before seeding as:

– The pH

– The humidity

– The decomposition (time)

– The vegetables’ characteristics 

When the growing bed is done, we can seed:

– Leguminous species to fix the nitrogen in the ground 

– Bushes, medicinal plants, small trees, climbing plants, flowers and vegetables (leaf, flower, fruit, roots)

– Aromatic herbs 

A plan of culture is to be followed as following: when the plant has flowers, new plant has to be seeds and when the plant is harvest a new one has to be plants. So, the garden has to always be producing.  

Last but not least, to make the farm grow it is needed to have for 100 plants, 90 used to collect and 10 to seed. 

Conclusion

Thanks to this training, we started to plant under the permaculture mode. CINCA Ecuador attracts volunteers who have sufficient knowledges to ensure the growth and development of the farm. Our key employees are now able to train the new volunteers. We aim to share the permatuculture way of life. The goal is to spread the environemental benefits to local population and to teach it to new volunteers as much as they could learn to CINCA Ecuador.

Edition: Aurore Larue

Review: Laura y Ricardo

English translation: Augustine Houssil