Friday, April 19, 2024

Happy New Year from The Polyculture Project and Welcome to the Bloom Room!

EcologyHappy New Year from The Polyculture Project and Welcome to the Bloom Room!


Hello friends from wherever you may be on our beautiful planet, wishing you all a Happy New Year as we embark upon yet another trip around the Sun.

It has been truly delightful to observe the growth of our Substack over the past year and to witness your appreciation for the information provided, as well as receiving the valuable insights you’ve shared with me.

This year brought unexpected encouragement as we welcomed our first paid subscribers. Today, our readership has grown to an impressive 8200+, with 19 exceptional specimens of humanity choosing a paid membership. That’s pretty great, especially considering our Substack was freely open to everyone.

Your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you!”

It got me thinking that paid membership presents a fantastic opportunity to expand our project activities, to not only serve better our mission to develop and promote practices that can produce food and other resources for humans while enhancing biodiversity but also to provide our members with a richer and fuller experience.

On that note, I would like to introduce you to the Bloom Room.

The Bloom Room is designed to create a space for more in-depth learning, for sharing projects and ideas, for seeking advice and discovering opportunities.

Ultimately, it aims to build a more intimate, interactive, and actionable relationship between members, a way for the Bloom Room community to support each other’s projects and learning journeys, and to encourage and facilitate the design, build, and management of more regenerative landscapes across our planet.

As a member of the Bloom Room you can expect;

  • Access to an interactive forum where you can ask questions,  direct what type of content you would like to see as well as share your own content and projects.

  • A monthly live session featuring general Q&A and tutorials on design software for creating and presenting polycultures.

  • A live session every month for members to showcase your projects, plans, designs, and gardens, with guest speakers from the community.

  • Full Access to all of the content on Substack including all new content for the six content categories. Polyculture Profiles – Travel – Plant Selection – Regenerative Design  Research and Trials – Fruit & Nut Growing Guides . New content will be posted weekly. 

  • A 50% discount for full enrollment to our 20-week Regenerative Landscape Design – Online Interactive Course where you will be guided from start to finish in what you need to know to design, build, and manage regenerative landscapes. Perfect if you are looking to start a career in regenerative landscape design or if you have a property you would like to regenerate. More information on the course here.

  • Future opportunities later in 2024 to join our Global Regenerative Landscape Design and Consultancy Service, with potential roles for those with the will and skill to join our design team. Members will also enjoy significant discounts on the services.

Design for 0.54 ha site in South Sardinia, Italy
Canopy and Shrub Layers for the Design

Simple, head over to our Substack Here and subscribe to an annual subscription, currently $70 or a monthly subscription is $7 (monthly subscription excludes discounts for products and services)

I understand that paying for an annual membership is not possible for everyone, and in the open source spirit that we have always aimed to practice, you will still be able to find all of the old articles from our Substack here on the blog, and there will continue to be some content on Substack that will be open to everyone.  

After Substack and Stripe (the payment processor) have taken their commissions, each member’s annual subscription will provide approximately $55 per year per member. If 2000 of our readers become paid subscribers, we would have a reliable $110,000 annual budget to further the quality, reach, and impact of the Polyculture Project.

So let’s take a look at what we’d use the funds for, based on reaching the 2000 members target.

All funds we have received via paid membership so far are used to cover the costs of development and maintenance of our existing research and demonstration gardens in Shipka. Our ultimate goal is to provide salaries for two garden managers and a dedicated ecologist to monitor and record the flora and fauna of the gardens

37 Weeks – $34,000

Lead Gardener $22,500 – Assistant Gardener $11,500

Duties include caring for our three main forest gardens from mid March – early December including, new plantings, biomass management, irrigation, new bed development, labelling the plants on ground and on digital maps, pruning, harvesting and recording the productivity of the gardens.

Our Newly Planted Forest Garden – Phronesis – 2023

31 weeks – $17,000

This job entails weekly field work from April 1 to November 1 documenting biodiversity within the gardens, specifically botanical and entomological surveys, soil tests, and biomass growth monitoring.

52 weeks – $32,500

This is the type of work I really enjoy, identifying the tasks that need doing, making sure they can be done well, taking the information gathered, the photos, the records and drawing from it useful procedures and protocols and presenting it in a digestible manner that others can easily follow or, in some cases, highlighting problems and mistakes so others can avoid making them too.

$27500

This is the part where it starts to get very interesting. I have been asking myself a questions over the last few years. Is it possible for a group of strangers from anywhere on the planet to get together to create and manage regenerative landscapes?

The short answer is, it is definitely worth trying. The long answer is 80 000+ words, a folder of spreadsheets, and a few more 1000 hours of brain-aching editing, but it is in the works and I am very excited about the prospect of funding and running this experiment with the Bloom Room Community.

The plan is to use 25% of Bloom Room membership fees to purchase land somewhere in the tropics, land that will be owned by the fund members and will be used to experiment on how to coordinate the regenerative design, build, and management of the site by a community of people around the world. I am currently in Sri Lanka looking for potential sites, heading to Tanzania next month and plan on visiting Indonesia later in the year.

Tropical Polycultures

To be clear, the fund is not capped at $27500, this is just the start. It will include 25% of all funds raised from membership fees beyond the 2000 subscriber goal and for all subsequent years.

The Bloom Room Community Fund has the potential to be a truly innovative approach to landscape management. Once we reach 1000 members, I’ll unveil the specifics of this plan, detailing our commitment to transparency and how as a member, your ownership share won’t just be symbolic—it’ll be tangible and fungible, whether you actively participate or support from the sidelines. Stay tuned for the details!

Finally, I’m excited about the Bloom Room’s potential to foster a supportive community, fuel regenerative projects, and explore innovative ways to create regenerative landscapes together. Looking forward to it !

Happy Growing!



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