The Importance of Time

They say that ‘all good things take time’.  But sometimes you don’t have much time to make a thoroughly knowledgeable decision – particularly when buying property.

Often when we buy a property, we have different ideals and dreams that go along with the purchase.  From our often brief inspection when buying the land, we might put our Potential Goggles on and look at the realm of possibilities. That area would be great for a market garden….oooh, I can grow lots of leafy herbs in this corner or this would be the perfect place for an orchard…so you buy the property along with the lofty dreams and ideals that you have for the place.

Then once you’ve settle in, you often get to know the place, a feel for the seasons and a true understanding of what the property is REALLY like.  The snapshot in time when you viewed the property will likely be vastly different to the rest of the year and the changing seasons. That area that looked perfect for a herb patch in summer is actually a huge frost patch in winter…that amazing orchard location is actually in a high wind spot…or that seemingly perfect location for your market garden is heavily inundated when it rains…

Inundation in paddock

But that doesn’t mean that all is lost, that the property is useless or that your plans were crap – don’t throw away your Potential Goggles just yet.

One of the key things about Permaculture is the idea of time.  Of taking things slowly, not rushing into planning and implementation but to quietly observe and get a real understanding for the place, the seasons, the energy flows throughout the property and how you can harness, overcome, utilise or minimise them to assist in growing and being super productive!

Some stuff you can change, alter, mitigate and avoid, but there are often other challenges that when viewed in the right way can actually be opportunities.  Is that frosty pocket good for a frost tolerant (or loving) plant like blueberries or apples?  Could you harvest some of that free energy in that windy corridor with a windmill or turbine?  Could that inundated area be turned into an ephemeral waterhole?

Sometimes what you need is a little innovative thinking.

And Time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day…a forest doesn’t happen overnight…and a functioning ecosystem from the soil to the tips of the trees, with all their interrelated parts in between doesn’t just happen in an instant…or a year…or sometimes 5 years.  This is particularly true in our area of Central Victoria, on our heavy alluvial clay soils with minimal drainage, dry and hot conditions in summer, flat topography and windy environment.  There are challenges there that will take time to overcome.

The fun part is working out how to adapt an area or change an idea to get the best out of it, or modify it to overcome the challenges.  That’s where Permaculture can really help in giving you a host of ideas, designs and tools to create the most amazing functioning property of efficiency and productivity.

In Permaculture, it’s a case of working with what you’ve got in the best way possible and making the best of the situation.  And understanding that good things always take time.