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What is Permaculture?

A Simple Explanation

Permaculture is forest gardens, natural buildings,
edible landscapes, community design, and more!

What permaculture guru Bill Mollison describes in his books is a totally integrated design system that’s modeled on nature. If you design your garden or farm like a natural system you can save yourself a lot of work, save energy, and eliminate waste.

Think about it: nobody digs and sows, plants and weeds, or sprays bugs in a forest. Still, all those chores are taken care of somehow. The forest grows and feeds its inhabitants, doesn’t it?

If any task in your garden is an unpleasant chore then there is definitely a better way to do it or to eliminate it. Learn from nature. Nature has already developed a solution to every problem that you could possibly encounter in your garden.

Nature is also the ultimate recycler. Everything goes round and round. There is no such thing as “waste.” Everything is a resource.

And most important, it’s sustainable. It’s something that works in the long run, not something that is based on inputs that will eventually run out, not something that creates waste and problems that will eventually upset the system.

Design is the key word. It’s all about how you place the design elements together. Look at how things work together in nature, and then try to mimic that design in your garden.

“The aim is to create systems that are
ecologically-sound and economically viable,
which provide for their own needs,
do not exploit or pollute,
and are therefore sustainable in the long term.”

“Permaculture uses
the inherent qualities of plants and animals
combined with the natural characteristics
of landscapes and structures to produce
a life-supporting system for city and country,
using the smallest practical area.”

You can find specific examples at tropicalpermaculture.com.

The beauty of it is that permaculture principles work everywhere, in every climate and on every scale. They can be applied to whole villages or housing developments (though it takes a deeper understanding and more planning to do that), or to a tiny backyard or balcony (which can be done very easily).

If you think ahead and design your permaculture garden right, it won’t take much effort, it will mostly look after itself, and it will also be incredibly productive, beautiful and attractive to wildlife.

Courtesy of Birgit “B” Bradtke,  — Tropical Permaculture: tropicalpermaculture.com.

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