What Is Permaculture

Sustainable Living

By Angela Tipton

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Recently, when I asked a potential customer what their plans were for their future property, they said they wanted to use it for Permaculture. Having never heard of this term, I decided to research it. What I discovered was a very interesting and earth-friendly concept.

What is Permaculture?

The term permaculture means “permanent agriculture.” It was originated by Australian researcher, scientist and teacher, Bill Mollison in the 1970s. It is a whole systems design concept, which was co-developed with David Holmgren, an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator and writer. Whole systems means that permaculture not only encompasses agriculture, but also horticulture, ecology and architecture. But that’s not all — it also includes economic systems, legal systems for business and communities, and land-access strategies. With all of these components applied, permaculture encourages us to follow the patterns and relationships found in nature.

Nature is diverse and so is the design of permaculture, depending on the location, climate conditions and available resources. This creates a sustainable and earth-friendly system. Caring for the earth, the people and reinvesting all surpluses are permaculture’s ethical principles.

For example, an orange tree supplies fruit for food and a cash crop, leaves for mulch, rinds for compost, dead twigs for fire, and shade people and other plants. The orange tree is local, depending where you live. When using a permaculture design, a gardener seeks out plants that offer practical benefits to the area, and also offer a pleasing view. Instead of planting flowering shrubs for a border, the gardener would use raspberry bushes.

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Where is Permaculture Applied?

This concept can be used in urban or rural settings, to create whole communities or a simple, backyard design. Adding a variety of plants that work together helps create a “backyard ecosystem,” which can catch water in a landscape, provide a habitat for animals and beneficial insects, or even grow an edible forest to produce seasonal fruits, nuts and other foods. Also, using alternative building materials for a dwelling, such as cob housing could be beneficial. This could be a great option for those who dream of living off the grid.

There are organizations and institutions worldwide offering permaculture design courses where one can get certified. Imagine either learning how to design permaculture or finding someone to create a design that is perfect for your needs. I found this blog for those new to permaculture very informative.

LandCentral offers a variety of land that could help one in their dreams of creating a sustainable environment offered by a permaculture design, whether you choose to live in the desert, near a swamp or on a mountainside.

 

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