The term ‘Permaculture‘ is a portmanteau word for ‘permanent agriculture’ and ‘permanent culture’. Permaculture is basically an agricultural system which focuses on the natural way of practicing agriculture, maintaining the ecological systems and not strictly adhering to the systems followed in modern agriculture. This system of permaculture garden was designed and developed by two Australians named Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.
Permaculture has been defined by Mollison as, “A philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system.”
Why Should We Use Permaculture?
Permaculture gardens serve many functions. Rather than limit the garden to only one use, permaculture gardens employ a variety of uses. A permaculture garden provides food and medicinal crops, wildlife habitats, crafting materials, an attractive appearance, and a private, relaxing atmosphere throughout every season.
These types of gardens produce food by using a variety of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and flowers. Flowers are not only grown for their edible or medicinal properties but also as an insect repellent or attracting depending of the needs. They are also good to be used as cut flowers for beautiful bouquets or dried out for additional longer-lasting displays, and numerous plant materials are used for crafts as well. Permaculture gardens welcome wildlife and are often used as quiet sanctuaries for meditating and/or exercise too.
Ways To Get The Most Out of Permaculture Garden
There’s no better way to enjoy and benefit from all that nature has to offer than in a permaculture garden. That’s why here we present to you 5 ways to get the most out of permaculture:
#1- GROW GARDENS, NOT LAWNS
Unless you are planning a football tournament in your backyard, there is really not much need for a lawn. It takes a lot of work to maintain and it does not really have a function besides appearing stereotypically suburban. Instead, you can grow some magical relics that will provide free, nourishing food for you for the rest of your life.
You can also can plant trees. They can be used as lumber, climbing poles or treehouse real estate. The only limit is your imagination (which will probably expand greatly as soon as you get rid of your boring lawn).
#2- Eliminate waste
When we say ‘eliminate waste’, we mean about reducing the amount of food and other stuff you throw out every day. Start by establishing a compost. Now you have a place for all the non-tasty parts of your fruits and vegetables and the leaves from surrounding trees and bushes. Why share your organic material with the garbage man when you can use it as free, chemical-free fertiliser?
#3- Keep chickens
Not only do chickens taste delicious and make delicious eggs – they are also tiny dinosaur descendants. You can feed them with some of the leftovers that can not go in the compost. They also eat some of the nasty bugs and slugs that can plague your garden. You can even use them to fertilise and weed parts of your garden you want to use – simply keep them in a cage that you can move around (do not worry – chickens are significantly less heavy than a brontosaurus). These kind of practice is called “chicken tractors”
#4- Educate yourself
Never forget that reading books makes you cool. However, if you put down Dan Brown for a moment (or, you know, forever) you will actually learn something valuable like how to do your own permaculture garden. Some good books to start out with could be:
- Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren.
- Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway.
- The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country by Peter Bane.
If you really want to engage yourself and become a permaculture master you can join the Richmond Vale Academy. Here we have already covered a lot of the groundwork, so you can experience how permaculture functions. However, we seek to implement more permaculture techniques and practices every day and we would love that you join us.
#5- Get your community involved
Take your family, friends, colleagues or frat bros by the hands and guide them into the wonderful world of permaculture. Get everyone you know involved and share all this great knowledge. Make a weekend out of it.
And if you see a playground with some extra space, simply ask if you can grow some crops there. Or if you happen to come by a university with endless fields of useless grass, give the headmaster one of your homegrown potatoes and tell him/her that it’s possible to lower the food costs and improve the food quality by growing their own veggies.
In Today’s world, there are literally thousands of permaculture principles in action. Gardeners are applying permaculture in their gardens all over the world and communities are using the tools to create community gardens, regenerate sites, develop wetlands to treat wastewater, establishing composting systems, planting forests and forest gardens. So, what are you waiting? Start your own permaculture garden and enjoy its benefits!
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