Tyler Ziton is a Certified Permaculture Designer from Orlando, Florida with over 20 years of gardening experience. He has a Permaculture Design Certificate from Oregon State University and is the author of Permaculture: The Secret to Self-Sustaining Food. When he’s not designing self-sufficient gardens, you can find him in his permaculture course where he teaches people how to grow their own food.
Reliant on the Food System
In 2020, I saw a glimpse of our food system’s vulnerability. My local grocery stores had little to no food. Meat, produce, toilet paper, all gone from the shelves. We had to visit several different stores to make sure we had enough to last the week.
And it’s happened several times since then.
Currently, our grocery stores have an egg shortage and are just now getting them back in stock. They’re limiting them to just 1 dozen per family.
On top of that, I’ve found more flaws within the food system. Here are a couple that stand out most:
- You need to eat 8 oranges today to get the same amount of nutrients as 1 orange 50 years ago (due to nutrient depletion in the soil)
- Grocery store food is anywhere between 2 weeks and 11 months old (leading to even more nutrient loss)
So, it’s obvious there’s a problem. And the solution might seem just as obvious.
In March 2020, I didn’t know where to begin.
I remembered hearing that during WWII, civilians in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany grew victory gardens in their backyards and public parks. Growing these “war gardens” offset the demand for food and allowed manufacturing to focus on other supplies.
So, I walked into our backyard and planted everything I could get my hands on (remember, there was a seed shortage). I planted corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic, herbs, flowers, and fruit trees such as avocados, lemons, oranges, figs, limes, and many, many others.
I learned about raised beds, hugelkultur, composting, vermiculture, mulching, pruning, grafting, propagating, and other techniques. I tried my hand at all of them.
And it began to work.
After some time, I decided to pursue a certificate in Permaculture Design from Oregon State University. It was difficult, but what I learned was priceless.
However, not everyone will follow this path. Most of us are too busy to read all the books, watch the courses, and visit farms to learn what we need.
Not only that, but permaculture can be complicated as heck. Sectors, zones, slopes, resource management, guilds, passive heating/cooling, swales, nitrogen-fixing, soil testing, and many other aspects are a big learning curve.
When I was learning permaculture, I wished that I had a cliff’s notes version and a simplified way of how to use it for my site. Something that translated the permaculture language into an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide. And an instructor to walk me through it.
Permaculture Design Course
I took this challenge, along with everything I learned (and am still learning) and distilled it into a simple, permaculture course so you can spend less time with the complexities, and more time doing the things you love.
The problem with permaculture today is that it’s too often shown to be abstract, complicated, and peculiar.
But there are many benefits that are simply too good to pass up.
People are saving hundreds, thousands, and even tens of thousands of dollars by avoiding obvious mistakes simply from learning a bit of permaculture. And this makes learning it well worth the cost.
With this course, I’m delivering a streamlined, simple, actionable view of food forests and how you can make the most of it.