by Christina Luisa
March 07, 2012
Permaculture is a fundamental approach to food production and urban
renewal, water, energy and pollution.
It is based on the ethics of caring for
people and our planet. It is about growing your own healthy food,
being resourceful and environmentally responsible. Permaculture
concepts, design principles and ideas can be applied successfully to
anything from small suburban units to large farming properties.
According to Bill Mollison, permaculture integrates ecology, organic
gardening, architecture, landscape and agro-forestry into the
creation of a rich and sustainable way of living.
Not only does it
use appropriate technology that provide high yields for low energy
inputs, it strives to create a resource that is both stable and
Permaculture design ethics include:
Care of the earth ("Earth Care")
Care of people and all other
species ("People Care")
Limiting consumption; sharing
surplus ("Fair Shares")
The core principles of Permaculture are
explained in detail
Here is an easy-to-follow guide on four great ways to start
incorporating permaculture practices into your own life.
Get into the
habit of observing nature
Start to closely observe natural elements and designs such as
sunlight patterns, moon phases, the direction of tree growth, where
and how water collects and where plants don't grow well in your
Don't forget to extend your observation
to patterns in human nature as well.
For example, pay attention to what kinds
of work young children enjoy and don't enjoy, or how your coworkers
tend to behave at certain phases of a project. What time of day is
your mind most receptive to trying new ideas?
It is also important to observe the needs of anything you want to
nurture, whether it is a garden, a plant, an animal, a friend or a
business partner. If you want to grow herbs or raise chickens, find
out what conditions they need so you can adjust your micro-climate
Look around you and imagine ways to apply the permaculture ethics
and principles to the design of everything you notice.
A good way to begin developing your eye
for design would be to choose a permaculture principle that
especially resonates with you personally and find ways to implement
it in various areas of your personal life.
For example, if you really love the permaculture principles of
"using and valuing diversity" and "using small and slow solutions,"
then make a list of ways you can diversify your daily activities in
a simple, non-wasteful way.
Design grocery shopping lists that
include a variety of simple, local and seasonal foods, and make your
shopping trips include tasks for the whole family, since one of the
most important aspects of permaculture is the rebuilding of
simple and ecological permaculture garden
Ecological gardening involves growing a wide range of edible and
other useful plants and can be done on any scale.
It's a fun and easy way to create a
"backyard ecosystem" by assembling communities of plants that can
work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
Composing and maintaining soil
Catching and conserving water in
Providing a habitat for various
animals, insects and birds
Growing an edible "mini forest"
that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
Many beginning books on permaculture as
well as online sources explain how to complete a variety of useful
projects such as making your own herb fertilizers and compost or
creating homemade organic sprays for pest control.
To learn more about creating permaculture gardens, check out
permaculture design course
Study and practice permaculture principles in-depth by looking into
affordable local permaculture design courses.
You'll learn to practice sustainable
design in your everyday life, strengthen your connection with nature
and develop your creativity and intuition.
In the process, you'll also get an interesting tour of various
permaculture practices from all over the world - all of which you
can adapt to your own situation.
Most permaculture classes offer an
extraordinarily rich community as well, giving you the opportunity
to improve your understanding of this holistic design system and
create lifelong friendships and business partnerships.
If you don't want to take a general
course on permaculture design, research specific elements of
permaculture such as,
Permaculture Principles at Work
Hemenway, Toby. Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale
Permaculture. White River Jct., Vermont: Chelsea Green, May
Six Steps to Create Your Own...
Organic Permaculture Garden
by Tara Green
February 22, 2012
Organic gardening avoids the use of chemicals to make plants grow or
protect them from insects, relying instead on natural gardening
principles used for thousands of years.
organic gardening goes a step further and also emphasizes
growing plants sustainably, working with rather than against the
grain of the natural environment.
Permaculture organic gardening is
growing in popularity as more people realize that it offers an
inexpensive and relatively low-maintenance way to grow their own
fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
Choosing a location
Observe your property at
different times of day.
Consider which areas receive the
most sun, which are in shade for much of the day. Depending
on where you live, if sunshine is a scarce commodity, you
will want to expose plants to receive as much as possible.
On the other hand, in desert
regions, you will not want your plants to be in the area
most likely to be parched by sun exposure. Also think
protecting your garden from the paths where strong winds
tend to blow through your property.
Even a small property will have
microclimates - notice these and plant accordingly to give
different plants either more sun or more shade according to
plants which require time-consuming chores such as spraying
and pruning by the gardener.
Select plants which will thrive
in your area rather than those which will require extra
labor on your part to protect them from the environment. As
far as possible, select plants which serve multiple
purposes, such as fruit trees which will put forth blossoms
in one season, fruit to pick in another, and provide shade
for when you want to sit and enjoy your garden's natural
Native plants are also more
likely to attract local pollinators such as bees, and to
draw butterflies so that your garden contains even more
Making a home for your plants
Raised beds require less
physical effort on the part of the gardener and also benefit
plants, providing better air circulation, more protection
from spring chills and improved usage of water.
Raised beds also mean a small
permaculture garden is an option even for apartment dwellers
and others with little available space since you can rely on
containers and vertical gardening principles.
Feeding your plants
One of the key concepts
of permaculture organic gardening is to avoid waste.
Having a garden gives you a
means of re-using natural waste such as eggshells, apple
cores, coffee grinds as well as yard waste which many people
You can either purchase or make
a compost bin to turn this organic material into gardening
gold which can be used to help your plants grow.
Watering your plants
Modern gardeners who do
not follow sustainability principles tend to draw heavily on
piped-in water resources, often using hoses and sprinklers
to make plants which require abundant water grow in a desert
Permaculture organic gardening
tries to use natural water as much as possible, maximizing
the use of groundwater and rainwater. Rain barrels allow you
to collect rainfall and extend its use over longer periods
Protecting plants from pests
Eschewing the use of
chemicals does not have to mean a garden full of pests.
You can use companion gardening
principles, growing plants which deter pests near those
which attract them. There is also a natural synergy between
some plants which means planting them near each other
increases your yield.
Also, just as some herbs have a
medicinal effect on human health, they also offer benefits
to plants which grow near them.
For more information about
companion planting, visit
If you have space and live in an area where it is permissible to
keep poultry, chickens can make a wonderful addition to a
If they are permitted free-range for
most of the day, they will consume many pests. Chicken manure also
contributes beneficial nitrogen to the soil of your garden.