Whether your goal is to create a small garden, convert your whole lawn, or re-design a hillside to stop erosion and create a water catchment system, the Art of Permaculture can help you make it so.
Too often, humans strip an area down and completely re-structure the landscape to suit their design. Permaculture helps the designer to recognize the contures of the land and how it can be enhanced and utilized to its maximum potential. In the long run this is more efficient, less costly, more sustainable, and allows the land to be more productive.
One of the most destructive activities in our modern culture is industrial agriculture and the mass production of what we consume. The substances that we call 'food' contain the nutrients essential for our bodies to grow and flourish. Nourishing the body is an intimate thing. What we eat connects us with the world.
When we traumatize animals by compressing them into tight containment, destroying their relationship with nature; fill them with chemicals to compensate for the conditions; force them to live in their own feces; we are consuming that trauma, those chemicals, and the filth we have forced them into.
“In fact, our industrialized food and agriculture system comes with steep costs, many of which are picked up by taxpayers, rural communities, farmers themselves, other business sectors, and future generations. When we include these “externalities” in our reckoning, we can see that this system is not a cost-effective, healthful, or sustainable way to produce the food we need."
~ Union of Concerned Scientists
Industrial agriculture grows genetically modified mono-crops; uses chemical fertilizers to make up for the nutrients that have been stripped from our soils; sprays and injects everything with poisonous pesticides that kills insects and contaminates the rest of the fauna. All of this affects the surrounding areas and seeps into the ground water, and can linger in the landscape for untold decades, and perhaps centuries.
How can we expect to stay Healthy when this is the way we treat our food?
The argument that we must farm this way to feed the masses is absolute hog-wash. The masses are perfectly capable and typically willing to feed themselves when they are not being oppressed, warred upon, poisoned, and enslaved by those who claim to want to help, but who really are only in it for the money and control.
In order to create a New World, We the People - that is Us - You and Me - are going to have to stop arguing for our limitations and allowing these so-called philanthropists to run our lives. Either we give it up, or we take it back. The People are fully capable of managing this planet without the thousands of organizations who keep claiming they are helping, when they are actually making things worse.
Local People! Local Action!
Fortunately, there are many other ways to produce food for everyone. Neighborhood gardens are an excellent activity for any community. You get to know your neighbors; children get to help and learn; you produce local, seasonal foods; people can also work together to process the food for storage; gardening together strengthens the community. Surplus from gardens can be sold to raise money for other projects. There are few things more satisfying than getting your hands into the soil and watching things come to life, not to mention eating your own Healthy food. The advantages are endless.
Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It integrates land, resources, people, and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems.
Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison, is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics, and community development.
Permaculture is 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 product system. [mono-cropping] ~ Bill Mollison
7 Reasons Governments Should Be Prioritizing Permaculture Projects
from the Editor at the Permaculture Research Institute.
Permaculture just might be the agriculture of the future. Interestingly, permaculture used to be the agriculture of the past, when humans relied on what naturally grew and thrived around them to sustain them.
- Permaculture can be used as a soil erosion control method
- Permaculture relies on natural fertilisers
- Permaculture reduces pollution
- Permaculture nurtures community values
- Permaculture protects natural ecosystems and habitats
- Permaculture is a sustainable agricultural concept
- Permaculture can be self-sufficient
Ancient Gardens of the North America
by Jonathon Engles
"Native Americans, like many other ancient civilisations, were clued in on the inner-workings of nature. They found ways to harmonise with it, taking advantage of biological cycles and utilising astute observation to make abundance seem almost fortuitous...One of the reasons permaculture is such an appealing methodology for creating sustainable homes, gardens, and lifestyles in the modern world is that it so often harkens back to ancient techniques, adopting the logic behind them whilst imbuing them with today’s technological advancements...Perhaps now is a good time to revisit what was happening in the gardens of North America a few hundred years ago, before colonisation."
"The chinampas agricultural system is a set of artificial floating islands, primarily used in southern Mexico; lake area Xochimilco in Mexico has the most famous present-day chinampas system. Chinampas are traditionally built based on oral wisdom transmitted since the time of the Aztecs...The chinampas are composed by small islands in strips, built with the sediments from the lake bottom, branches and decaying vegetation, creating a web of channels...The system stands out for having a great biodiversity: it houses 2% of the world's biodiversity and 11% of the national biodiversity with 139 species of vertebrates, 21 species of fish, six amphibians, 10 species of reptiles, 79 species of birds and 23 species of mammals."
- Chinampas contribute to food and livelihood security
- Chinampas are crucial for local agro-biodiversity
- Chinampas support local and traditional knowledge systems
- Chinampas foster local cultures, value systems and social organizations
- Chinampas complement local landscapes and seascapes features
- Chinampas serve as a disaster risk reduction solution