When I started studying permaculture and began setting about optimising the productivity of my home through permaculture design, I took the fifth principle 'Using Biological Resources' as an exciting adventure into keeping more animals that serve a purpose (besides being cute little bath buddies). I already had chickens and frogs and knew how much good they brought to my space here but I knew there was more I could be doing.
Like all of us I have big dreams. I dream daily about one day owning a property that will hold some cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and every beautiful type of poultry I can imagine and that is only touching on what I will put there (LOL). I keep a clear picture in my head of how and what I would like to put into the property and what I would like to get out of it.
However instead of dreaming of another day and what I can do there, I learn and do all I can here at this home, in this space. No matter this size the basic permaculture principles can be applied.
If we begin today and this moment we put things in place that not only serve a current purpose but will create future productivity for the area it has been placed in.
For example, not wanting to put plants into the current garden in case you vacate. One thought is to put it in pots around the home or better still put it in and add value and wealth to the home that will serve other families in the future once you have moved on. If we see it as one fruit tree or native plant we put in the earth to provide food or shelter to the future inhabitants than it is a success. It means one less family traveling to buy their lemons, or shelter and food for a bird species that is limited by it's native fauna in the area. It is an investment don't you think?
So these cute boys munch endlessly. They eat weeds, veggie scraps, over grown grassy areas and most things in their path. So if they are placed and contained in an area that needs work, they munch helpfully all day. Ah but with this munching comes the magic manure. I add it to my garden, my compost and use the guinea pig poo concentrate when I see a plant or area is not thriving as it could. It is great stuff! Read here about household animals uses.
But also after all the practical reasons look at the joy these little guys bring to my children. They love being bathed and relish in getting scratched while they soak. After being bathed in warm water we wrap them up and they lay and rest in my little ones arms. We love them.
Do you use animals to help in your home?