What is Permaculture?
Permaculture refers to both "permanent agriculture" and "permanent culture". It is an ethical design system that centers around the careful and deliberate organization of whole systems to maximize health, energy flow, and growth potential while respecting and supporting the ecosystem.
Permaculture seeks to mimic the patterns of nature and uses many traditional methods of regenerative agriculture to grow food and manage the land with a concentrated effort toward organic food production and sustainable living.
Permaculture includes the design of water, energy and habitation systems to improve sustainability and reduce negative human impacts on the Earth.
Focused on regenerative agriculture, permaculture involves the observation and study of natural systems in order to understand the intrinsic relationships between components, and to apply these observations to the design of new installations.
Emphasis in permaculture is focused on planning the initial design of a property to capture, store, integrate and transmute natural water, air, earth and plant cycles into the foods, medicines, and materials we need to sustain our lives holistically.
Once established, permaculture properties can produce food for decades and even generations to come, while helping to repair the Earth and support the biodiversity of the planet.
The Positive Impacts of Permaculture
Sustainable food production is possible virtually everywhere if we know how to take naturally occurring energetic inputs, including waste products, and turn them into the inputs for the next cycle of growth.
Permaculture projects have successfully converted desert regions into fruitful food-bearing ecosystems. Permaculture presents major promise for strategies to approach global reforestation using agro-forestry.
Using permaculture methods is one of the best ways to ensure food security within local regions. As global politics become more uncertain, the importance of maintaining knowledge of successful food growing strategies in all bioregions becomes critical. Permaculture's focus on food production helps people to eat foods grown ethically and close to home. This benefits the planet, but is also healthy for the development and maintenance of our minds and bodies.
Does Permaculture actually work?
The Fandom permaculture wikia states:
“Permaculture organic designs have been proven more productive than industrial agriculture methods... Recently, unsubsidized organic farming was found consistently more productive and profitable than unsubsidized industrial farming (see UN Report on Organic Farming in Africa).
Intensive organic or permaculture farms can achieve more than 20 times the yield of a conventional farm (e.g. 200.000£/year per 2 acre with Will Allen Aquaponics ).
According to Bill Mollison, the founder of Permaculture, 74 m2 of garden is sufficient to reduce 50% of food expenses of a family. Fukuoka claims that 5000 m2 is sufficient for a farmer to get revenues to live with no-till and natural farming.”
Permaculture helps buffer climate change
As the climate changes, permaculture design contributes strategies which can buffer the effects of excess heat or cold and prolonged drought, and provide fire protection, flood protection, and water storage within the landscape.
Practices and Concepts within Permaculture
Appropedia.org permaculture portal lists a number of the techniques and concepts used in permaculture design, which include:
Techniques and concepts used:
Agroforestry · Aquaponics · Biochar · Biodynamic agriculture · Bio-intensive agriculture · Cardboard mulch · Carbon farming / bio-sequestration · Chicken tractors · Cobb · Companion Planting · Composting · Cover Crops · Earthen ovens · Earthships · Food Forests · Greywater · Grafting ·
Guilds · Hempcrete · Hügelkultur · Integrated Pest Management · Keyline · Landscape contour · Layers · Lacto-Fermentation · Managed Grazing · Mulching · Microclimate · Myco-remediation · Natural Fertilizers (such as Compost Tea and Organic Fertilizers) · No-dig gardening · Open-Pollinated and Heritage seed · Passive Solar · Perennial Plants · Polycultures · Rainwater harvesting · Regenerative agriculture · Rocket stoves · Seed balls · Silviculture · Straw bale construction · Succession · Swales · Three Sisters Agriculture · Wicking Beds · Worm farming
Additional relevant technologies
Energy-efficient building design, livable communities, and the triple bottom line approach (ecological-economics-ethics) are also relevant to the realm of permaculture study.
What is the "Permanent Culture" aspect?
The "permanent culture" aspects broaden the scope of the discipline to encompass community building, acceptance of diversity, appreciation of synergy, and realization of the mutual benefit of social relationships.
The hope found in Permaculture
Permaculturists (aka Permies) aim to create a world in which humans live in balance and abundance; harmonizing with the systems around us by honouring the intrinsic value and unique contributions each component of the environment lends to the health of the whole.
The hope found in Permaculture is that a harmonious way of living; one of vitality, connection, and ongoing development, is not only possible, it is already happening all over the Earth! Through tools such as Blitz Energy Exchange, we can learn from and join the pioneers in this field who are already working in our communities to forge connections and build sustainable earth-human systems.