Enclosed, Interdependent Ecosystems
You’ve probably seen this map before, but not in this way. This is a map of the enclosed, interdependent ecosystems at Mezzacello Urban Farm. I always intended to build ecosystems this way, but it was my friend Chris Atchison who helped me coin this idea.
It is my hope that it also helps you understand the ways in which each ecosystem both supports and depends on the others. It is a system, but it is not always clear. That is why a map is an excellent way to see this in action.
First, A Breakdown
- The House
- The Formal Gardens
- The Pollinator Gardens
- The Pond
- The Hornbeam Allee
- The Parterre Gardens
- The Livestock Areas
- The Potager and Raised Beds
- The compost Areas
- The Learning Labs
It may not be immediately obvious how these are all integrated and interdependent. It wasn’t planned this way initially. The feasibility and necessity of this configuration emerged over time.
The key features here are accessibility, sustainability, and ease of maintenance. That is how we developed our system of 3 to 5 sustainability ratio. You can read about that here.
Deepening Our Understanding of Systems
The other benefit to looking at the Farm layout this way is that it helps us to develop new systems to extend this version even further. If I overlay the water access and purification protocols, the energy production systems, and the Animal and insect distributions, it makes it an even more dynamic map.
This summer we will be working on doing just that. With 11 camps and four workshops on site that will really dive into the ways that thoughtful application and placement of intentional ecosystems can bring the land alive. It’s just like nature, but with a tad more technology.