Permaculture is a “sustainable” living methodology of conscious designs, is the maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have diversity, and therefore mimics the patterns of nature.
There is no waste in nature, everything has a place and a purpose, working in perfect harmony. Humans are a part of the ecological system not above or bellow.
“Permaculture offers a radical approach to food production and urban renewal, water, energy and pollution. It integrates ecology, landscape, organic gardening, architecture and agro-forestry in creating a rich and sustainable way of living. It uses appropriate technology giving high yields for low energy inputs, achieving a resource of great diversity and stability. The design principles are equally applicable to both urban and rural dwellers”- Bill Mollison
Permaculture principles :
- Observe and interact is the foundation of understanding how best to relate to the natural cycles, with continuous observation, using all of out senses to detect and learn the patterns of nature.
- Relative location by setting up working relationships between elements so that the needs of one element are filled by the yields of another element
- Energy cycling using incoming energy at its highest possible level, then at its next highest, and so on:
• Incoming ‘wild’ energies such as wind and sun are captured to generate electricity.
• Fallen leaves are gathered to be used for mulch or compost.
• Kitchen scraps and waste are used to make compost or feed worms in a worm farm.
• Domestic grey water is directed into the garden to provide water and nutrient to trees.
• Green manures crops are grown and cut down when they begin to flower, and are then dug into the soil to enrich it and add organic matter.
• Animal manure are composted and used for fertiliser, or used to produce biogas, which can serve as a source of fuel.
• Rainwater is captured and stored at an elevated position such as a hillside so it doesn’t require energy to pump it to a downhill location where it is required.
- Each element performs many functions one area has many functions.
• A tree can provide fruit, provide shade, and act as a wind break.
• Dill can be used as a herb, the flowers attract beneficial insects, and add visual appeal to your garden.
• A hedge can provide fruit, privacy, and shelter for wildlife.
• A pond can grow aquatic plants, hold fish, and attract birds and other wildlife.
- Each important function is supported by many elements important basic needs such as water , food, energy, fire, protection, etc should be served in two or more ways.
• A wall can give privacy, support climbing plants, and store heat (for growing tropical plants in cooler areas).
- Efficient energy planning minimizing output of human energy with zone planning.
• Zone 0: Centre of activity (house, barn, village).
• Zone 1: Most controlled and intensively used ( garden, workshop, greenhouse, wood storage, small animals, compost, mulch, clothes line).
• Zone 2: Still intensively managed ( larger shrubs, small fruits, ponds, chickens, terraces, orchards).
• Zone 3: Unpruned, un-mulch, water available only to selected plants, semi managed area ( large animals, birds, nut trees).
• Zone 4: Semi- managed / semi wild, used for gathering hardy woods( wild life, timber products ).
• Zone 5: Unmanaged or natural wild system, in other zones we design, in zone 5 we observe and learn from nature, a place for meditation.
- Small scale intensive systems if you want to know how to control your site start at your door step, herb spiral near the kitchen.
- Use edges and value the marginal productivity increases along the boundary of any two ecologies, ( water – land, forest – field, coastal plain – piedmont ) and those boundaries should be in curve lines no in straight lines.
- Accelerating succession and evolution forest gardening self-supporting ecosystems ( how aborigines do it ).
- Use and value diversity tidiness separates species and creates work and may also invite pests, whereas order integrates reducing work and discouraging insects attacks.
- Using biological resources using animals for natural compost.
Tricks for creating the ecological garden :
- Soil building
- Perennials vs annuals
- Multiple stories
- Plant communities
- Stacking functions
- DIY Hugelkultur: How Build Raised Permaculture Garden Beds (inhabitat.com)