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2853 Bowers Place, Kamloops, British Columbia V1S 1W5

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GO BOX Permaculture Project: The Plan 2013 - May 13th 2013

GO BOX Storage is trying to answer the question: "What can a corporation -- and family -- do to reduce its impact on the greater environment?" Our goal is to grow as much food as we can, which is a bit of a feat on industrially zoned land that was once a copper and gold mine.

This is GO BOX Storage's official landscaping plan from 2006. How things have changed!

I have been looking over GO BOX's official landscaping plan. It's hard to believe how far we have come from the official landscaping plan, made in the dead of winter of the first year we spent in Kamloops. If you would like a closer look at our original landscaping plan from 2006 please see this file:
2006-11-08 02 - LANDSCAPE PLAN

Plans, after all, are flights of fancy. Even though Shaen and I have had experience with design and gardening, we had no experience with the climate in Kamloops. We had no idea of the kind of plants that would thrive in such a dry and cold climate. We knew we would use drip irrigation to limit water loss. We knew the City of Kamloops promoted the use of xeriscaping for businesses. So, we put together a plan that had the required percentage for landscaping coverage and incorporated elements of xeriscaping. We knew nothing about xeriscaping but looked around the city for examples and asked city officials for their advice.

We spent 2006-2007 building the first warehouse and 2008 building the second warehouse, two major retaining walls, and paving a good portion of the yard. The parent material on the two lots was clay and cobble with very little topsoil. Building soil was going to be a challenge. We did some tree and shrub planting in 2007 but lost many plants to winter-kill. We focused on building soil fertility with the help of our flock of chickens. Fortunately, having over an acre of land in the City of Kamloops allowed GO BOX to use chickens to improve soil fertility. Otherwise, it would have taken many extra years to built fertile soil.

By 2008 gardening became more of a priority and the planting began in earnest. My clearest memories of that early garden was using a pick-axe to carve "pots" in the clay for my herb garden. Removing winter-killed plants was a common activity, along with trying not to expire in the heat. We were constantly searching for local organic material. With the help of the flock, organic materials quickly transformed into beautiful, rich soil.

After many failures, we started to have modest harvests. We had great harvests of free-range eggs and chickens. With the help of our chickens, we haven't seen a grasshopper in many years and other pests are managed by the flock. We found raspberries, sour cherry, plums, currents, tomatoes and herbs are our best crops. We supply about four months of our family's greens, though there are many important plants we just can't seem to grow. We found deep mulching to be necessary to maintain soil moisture. The GO BOX permaculture project also attracts many seasonal wild visitors, which gives great pleasure to everyone in the family.

This year we want to see how much production we can get out of the GO BOX permaculture project, while using the waste from other local businesses. We're trying to answer the question: "What can a corporation -- and family -- do to reduce its impact on the greater environment?" Below is our action plan:

  • continue to increase soil fertility by integrating livestock into urban environments
  • collect organic material from local businesses
  • use waste paper for deep mulching
  • buy used or discarded equipment and materials for project
  • collect and use waste water from our warehouse roofs
  • create habitat for wild visitors
  • produce as much food as we can for our family and friends
  • experiment with winter gardening using greenhouses
  • share our successes and failures with other people interested in permaculture and local food security

If you use Facebook and like GO BOX Storage, please go and "Like" us on Facebook. We also have a GO BOX Permaculture Project on Facebook.