The importance of gardening and self-sustaining farming activities is more prevalent now than ever before. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more people are engaging in these practices. So what is permaculture? In simplistic terms, it is the ability to grow food with your own resources and rely on nature instead of corporations.
If you’re interested in developing a resilient garden, permaculture is the right approach for you. With permaculture, you can grow a multitude of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and roots with any resources available to you and with limited space if necessary.
In this blog, we’ll discuss what permaculture is, its benefits, common examples, and how to implement it yourself. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Permaculture?
Permaculture was developed in Australia during the 1970s by partners Bill Mollinson and David Holmgren. The term was originally a contraction of “Permanent” and “Agriculture” which is the design of a permanent and sustainable agricultural system.
Permaculture is an innovative agricultural approach designed in creating sustainable ways of living. It’s a method used to grow a productive agricultural ecosystem with a focus on sustainable development.
Benefits of Permaculture
Here are some of the benefits of practicing permaculture:
● Reduced Waste: Nothing goes to waste. Any biodegradable materials from home like leaves, table scraps, fruit peels, garden waste, and other waste materials can be used as fertilizer for crops and plants or as livestock food.
● Reduced Toxin Exposure: Since permaculture uses natural fertilizers and organic pesticides, you won’t be exposed to chemicals of commercial and artificial pesticides.
● Efficient Water Usage: You can use rainwater and wastewater to water the crops and other plants.
● Less Maintenance: Compared to the conventional method, permaculture requires less overall maintenance. Once you’ve set up the garden, nature will take care of itself.
● Cost Efficiency: There’s no need to spend on artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Since it’s more water-efficient, it will reduce the impact on the water bill.
Permaculture in Practice
Here are some of the most commonly found implementations of permaculture today:
● Sheet Mulching
● Minimum to No-Till Farming
● Intercropping and Companion Planting
● Market Gardening
How do I Begin?
Here’s how you can implement permaculture by yourself:
● Understand Your Surroundings: Learn what native plants, insects, and predators are prominent and suitable for your region and planting area. Observe what part of the planting area receives more sun. Determine slopes of the landscape.
● Crop Patterns & Calendars: Decide on which annual and perennial crops will thrive in your planting area. It’s best to practice companion planting.
● Design Layout: Consider the crops and your planting area when designing your permaculture garden’s layout. Don’t forget about light requirements, water sources, and the existing landscape to determine where best to plant. You can use existing garden blueprints for best results.
● Build Beds: Start building your garden beds. It’s recommended to use raised beds since it doesn’t require tilling of soil. The beds should be six to 12 inches above the ground. You can also use sheet mulching with these beds.
● Plant: Start building and planting your garden. Use organic mulches and compost to consistently follow the principles of permaculture. Make sure you’re using water efficiently as well.
Permaculture is one way to start a sustainable and efficient system of generating food with nature. It’s been used extensively by many permaculturists through the years and has many benefits. You can always start permaculture gardening anywhere and any time!