Permaculture: Sustainable Plant Communities, Guilds, and Polycultures

Hello, everybody... this is my first post in this newsgroup and I'm very excited to talk to y'all.
I'm a novice / intermediate permaculture enthusiast in Santa Cruz County (California... think redwoods) and I'm completely sold on the idea of self regulating systems of planting: groups of plants that work well together to create a long term self-regulating equilibrium. These are called Communities, Guilds, and Polycultures. For the simplicity of language, I'll call them all guilds from now on (please forgive my ignorance now and for the rest of my post). This form of gardening is definitely new and still experimental, but many examples still abound, which I shall go into in a moment.
First, I would just like to ask, if anybody out there has any experience with such systems, please take a moment and share your knowledge with the rest of us. You'll be contributing greatly to our wealth of knowledge. In particular I'm curious if anybody has any experience with guilds in the Santa Cruz region with slightly acidic sandy loam and tan oak / redwood / grassland steep terrain. Oh yeah, I've got a good amount of sun, considering. I'm interested in food crops mainly, but hey, I'm aesthetically minded too.
Please... share with me as I am about to with the rest of you...
======= Some of the existing systems I know of are courtesy of Toby Hemenway, the brilliant author of "Gaia's Gardens: A Guide to Homescale Permaculture". I'm, planning to use keyhole beds as my main design pattern.
I would like to preface this by saying I don't have the time to fully explain the guilds that I'm writing about, I can only give you the plants and a rough explanation of what they do. If you want to learn more, please have a look see at the book. If you know of any other books that are great, I'd love to hear about them... but I'd like an in depth post even more!
The number 1 common sense guild is the Three (3) Sisters guild, which consists of corn, squash, and pole beans all in the same bed. I read that you can also use Honeybush as a 4th sister in dry places (should I plant that too?) The basic, rough idea is that the squash hang out down low, the corn grows high, and the beans use the corn as a trellace. There's a lot more going on though, believe you me... (like root levels, insects, and birds and nitrogen fixing) just have a look at the book, buddy.
This is a summertime crop, though, and we're not quite there yet.
There's also "Ianto Evan's Polyculture" (pg. 144 of Gaia's Gardens) which I'm planning to start ASAP in a keyhole bed. The idea is you make a year round garden by starting in early spring. Get a bunch of cabbage going indoors, and broadcast radish, dill, parsnip, calendula, and variosu types of lettuce (Romaine, Loose Leaf, Butter, Iceberg, and Heat Tolerant varieties). Please read the book for more details, I'm skipping over much of the fine technique. Once the radishes are ready, yank em and then plant the cabbages in their spots. One the lettuce has been yanked and eaten, plant bush beans and buckwheat. During the winter (warm winters), plant fava beans (nitrogen fixers) and garlic.
There is also Jajarkort's Polyculture which I won't go into right now... it's a lovely asian (polynesian?) guild. Again, have a looksee at Gaia's gardens.
I hope this is helpful to you folks, and perhaps you can help us all by posting your favorite guilds.
Cheers and Love, Dubious
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(snipped)

Try a newsgroup called alt.permaculture..Toby used to post there.
Janet
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dub wrote:

ya'll spammers get more creative everyday.
--

Travis in Shoreline Washington


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Uh what are you talking about travis? My email address having the word spam in it? That's because its my public email address in which I expect to get a lot of spam... why not be up front about it? You don't honestly think I'm spamming anybody do you?
Travis wrote:

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dub wrote:

Your address has nothing to do with it. You appeared to me to be a shill for the book.
--

Travis in Shoreline Washington


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Sorry if I was gushing, I'm just really excited about some of the ideas in the book, that's all. I'm sure there are plenty of other good books out there.
Anyways, I'm not affiliated in any way with the author or anything like that.
Travis wrote:

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Which? He mentioned two book titles, but he was legitimately discussing the content and their two different authors in the context of his questions. They have different publishers, neither of which he advertised. Other gardening groups, such as alt.permaculture and uk.rec.gardening, often mention and discuss books and authors in the course of discussions. It's got nothing to do with selling more books, just gardeners sharing resources.
Janet.
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What spamming are you talking about? Permaculture is a well known movement, on-topic for a gardening group, he was talking about it sensibly and sent the post to one group.
Janet.
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dub wrote:

spam reported.
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