Permaculture is short for Permanent Agriculture and is the term used for a self sufficient, ecologically harmonious way of living. It is being conscious with regard to our environment and our resources and creating systems to sustain us not only today but in the future.
These systems are designed on the basis of a natural eco-system and are holistic in nature. Permaculture is not just the production of organic food, it takes into account other factors such as energy usage, technologies, natural resources, animal and plant systems and social and economic structures. It is all about getting back to basics, working with nature and looking after the earth for future generations.
The principles of Permaculture are ensuring that we get more out of life by using less.
Look after and nurture our natural environment
Restore damage to the land, forests and waterways
Grow chemical free food
Improve and maintain soil fertility
Make the most of our water supply
Recycle to reduce pollution
Use solar energy where possible to reduce the use of fuels
To have a productive garden we need certain ingredients. Without a good nutritious soil, nothing will grow. The ingredients for a good soil are sand, organic mulch, beneficial bacteria and water. In a permaculture system this is all on hand. Amongst the garden vegetables things such as lemongrass and banana trees are grown to provide a source of organic mulch. Lemongrass can be cut back regularly and banana trees have a constant supply of leaves and sucklings which can be pruned for mulch. Both of these plants provide a food source also, fruit from the banana tree and flavouring from the lemongrass stems. The mulch is added to the soil of the garden and some form of manure is then needed to provide the beneficial bacterial to break the mulch down into organic matter. Chooks, goats, cows etc provide manure which is full of beneficial bacteria, they also provide a food source such as eggs and milk. A worm farm is a great way of ensuring the produce grown is purely organic as they eat the organic matter and manure creating worm castings that are then added to the garden as pure organic matter. By using a worm farm we ensure that all bad bacteria found in manure is removed before adding to the soil which we then grow our vegetables in.
This process is continual in a Permaculture garden, ensuring the earth is kept nourished and re-usable year after year.
We can make the most of our water supply by installing rainwater tanks, providing us with a natural source of water, free of added chemicals such as fluoride etc.
Use solar energy where possible to ease usage of expendable fuels. There are a variety of Solar systems available today as an alternative to gas and electricity such as solar hot water systems and solar panels for electricity, just to name a couple.
If we all did our best to live in this way, our children and our children’s children would reap the rewards and have the pleasure of enjoying this beautiful earth, as we have. At the same time we are all gaining the enormous benefits of living this wonderful healthy lifestyle.