A major design concept of permaculture is zones. When you are accessing a permaculture site, dividing the property into zones can help you to position certain plants, animals, aquaculture, pasture, orchards, forest, and housing to result in the most positive connections between zones. This process leads to more stacking of functions, and a greater efficiency of the site.
There are (6) zones, starting at zone 0, and ending at zone 5.
Zone 0 – Is inside your home or office. Usually it is not possible to move zone 0, but if you are building new, make sure the house is positioned to take advantage of solar gain. Also, consider building an energy efficient home that is water wise.
Zone 1– This is your kitchen garden close to the house, which will produce mostly vegetables, herbs, and maybe some fruit. You will be visiting this area multiple times a day.
Zone 2 – This is your intensively managed orchard with dwarf trees and fruit bushes with your laying hens or duck pasture that you may visit once per day. Hens should be in zone 2 because they require a visit to the coop at least once a day for the eggs. This could also have intensively managed aquaculture or garden ponds.
Zone 3 – This is considered more of a commercial farming zone or animal pasture or food forest. This area could also be a large scale nut or fruit orchard. Animals could be pastured poultry, dairy, beef, pigs, goats, or many other farm animals. You might visit this area 3 or 4 times a week. This is also a nice place for a farm pond.
Zone 4 – This is typically a place to grow and harvest timber. It also might be a place to graze forest animals such as pig or deer at low stocking rates. Ideally, you only need to go here once a week.
Zone 5 – This is the wilderness. No need to go here, just let it go wild! This will provide natural habitat for many plants, animals, and insects.
For my permaculture site see the following:
Zone 0 – This is my home.
Zone 1 – This is my annual garden plots, and herb garden.
Zone 2 – This is my intensively managed fruit orchard as well as my chicken paddocks and garden ponds.
Zone 3 – This is my food forest.
Zone 4 – This is my wildflower meadow & timber areas.
Zone 5 – These are the wild areas along the edge of my property.