Permaculture, the only way to grow
There’s a new revolution circling our planet and it goes by the name of “permaculture.”
It’s an entirely new way of gardening, and a sustainable one at that.
It’s catching on like wildfire, and it’s a good thing too, considering how we’re losing our food crops and pastures to wildfire, drought and severe weather thanks to the effects of climate change.
You see, there’s a little (or big, depending on how you see it) number that determines whether we can feed ourselves on this planet or not.
This number, 350, is familiar to most of us who are already into sustainability. It represents the recommended high mark of 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, a measurement recognized as the safe limit for humanity, as the safe limit to avoid reaching irreversible impacts of climate change.
The bad news is we’re already at 392 ppm, so hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen, we could be in for a wild and hungry ride. Or, then again, maybe not. At least, not a hungry one if you subscribe to the growing principles of permaculture.
Developed in 1978 in Australia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, permaculture is a way of getting back to the land.
Through the practice of permaculture, one is able to feed a family for at least a season if not an entire year. Permaculture involves observation, interaction, integration, production with no waste, valuing diversity and resources, accepting feedback, slow and small solutions, using edges and margins, nature-based patterns for design, and creatively responding to change.
The way I see it, it’s like Mother Nature is always there waiting to share her miracle of life with us when we finally wake up, when we finally choose to become aware of her generosity. Lucky for the rest of us, some people have already heard the alarm clock ringing.
As a result, there are now permaculture enthusiasts all over the world. Colleges offer courses of study in permaculture and permaculture organizations offer certificate programs, internships, and introductory classes to help grow the movement.
Permaculture, you see, is all about design.
How can we best plant a garden for optimal results while regenerating our ecosystem at the same time?
From a permaculture point of view, you’d take into consideration all sorts of things to answer this question.
What grows best in the kind of soil you have, how much sunshine does your garden get, what is the slope of your land, how easy is it to access your garden from your home, will your garden be near a fence for shade or shelter? These are just a few design elements of the permaculture garden. Access to water and rainwater capture capabilities are, of course, other important components.
“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.” So says Bill Mollison, permaculture’s co-founder.
To use the motto of Sage Permaculture, a local permaculture outfit —“plants seeds, harvest change”— now that’s in our best interest!