Redundancies and Resilience from Diversity

We had a bit of an emergency this weekend that easily could have been a major catastrophe. It really reinforced the importance of planning for likely risks, having redundancies, and building resilience through diversity.

A very, very tall and mature oak fell on a shed. That sounds bad and it was pretty well damaged, and there was a live wire issue to be dealt with, but it fell right between the annual garden and the chicken coop. On one side it would’ve ruined a big portion of our annual veggies, the other possibly killing our entire flock. Instead, we have an intact garden and some safe, if fairly annoyed, chickens.

Still, the damage to our infrastructure isn’t insignificant, and the tree itself was a part of the food forest and a major potential source of carbs and protein. Looking at the branches we spent a few hours cutting back today, the tree was going to give us a good harvest of nuts this year, even considering that we take only a portion of what a given tree drops.

We’ve been trying to build up our sources of protein that are readily available, focusing a lot on three things: laying hens, mushrooms, and nut trees. Our nut harvest at this point is mostly acorns; there’s a fairly good chance that will be the case for a long time, at least until the hickory trees grow bigger.

So at the end of the day we can more quickly recoup our loss because we both have other nut trees and other protein sources, and because one of them is also the product of our increased decay cycle, we’ll be able to turn a loss into a gain, or to refer back to an approach common to permaculturists, we’re making the problem the solution.


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