Gardening: What is Permaculture?

What is Permaculture?

What is Permaculture

In age of Genetic Enginering, Deforestation, Urbanization, and oh, so much more, it's hard to keep optimistic about the future of the globe. Now, before accusations of naivity are thrown my way, I do realise the social binds that exists between us and the planet. In simple terms our resources are shrinking, and our population is increasing. No news there. We need to feed mouths and warm bodies as best we can.

However as we shudder at the effects of energy consumption and global warming, we are now researching clean, renewable energy. A similar investigative process is happening with food and our approach to environment, to maintain and re-discover our conection with the land in which we are inextricably linked.

One of these movements is called 'Permaculture'.

Quite simply, Permaculture is a mode of practice linked by the ethics of caring for people, the earth, the sharing of resources, and the reduction of consumption.

ohhh, isn't that nice

It is a mode of design of the environment the creates a sustainable human habitat. It is a set of practical initiatives born of ethical and altruistic ideals that seek to provide food, energy, shelter, material and non-material needs, and the social and economic structures that support the whole deal. The works!

A central theme to all this (although Permaculture is an exceedingly broad, multi-disciplinary practice) is the production of food. In order to mimic the natural environment, and encourage bio-diversity muti-use plants, sheet-mulching and trellising, and the use of animals to recycle nutrients and weeds are some aspects that are employed.

It grows organic produce (pesticide-free), helps mend over-used sites, fosters symbiotic relationships between different parts of the site, and incorporates values, practices, and knowledge of local cultures, while bridging cultures through the sharing of this knowledge.

All sound too good to be true? It's being done right now. It exists in a plethora of different contexts, conditions and cultures, and is a practise that takes the humble garden to a new level; to become a philosophy of life.

Look out for some future posting on Permaculture. It's happening all over the world, in Australia, the UK, in fact...dammit, all over the world. Sydney-siders may be interested to visit UNSW's permaculture garden for a visit.

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