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Permaculture and Organic Gardening often go hand in hand, but they are definitely not one and the same!
Most Permaculturalists garden organically - however some may be willing to use chemicals or herbicides in order to save time and energy.
Organic Growers would never consider using chemicals but may plant vegies in neat, orderly rows down in the remote corner of their yard rather than using Permaculture Principals to reduce pests and energy use!
Why not take the best from both perspectives and apply it? We all stand to benefit from treading more lightly on this planet.
Permaculture: What it is... and what it isn't.
The three ethics are: Earth Care. People Care. Fair Share.
There are many ways to try and give a meaning to the word 'Permaculture'. Originating from the words 'Permanent' and 'Agriculture', it can encompass many things. It is a system of integrated design. It is a way to reduce energy and water consumption. It is a philosophy and way of life.
There is no one 'permaculture design'. It is rather a broad range of practical ideas, which are selected carefully to suit a location, site orientation, local conditions, and lifestyle of the people at its core.
Permaculture can be used in both urban and rural environments. Whether you have a small urban courtyard or a large acreage, Permaculture Principals can be used in gardening, recycling, energy reduction - so there is no better time to explore its potential and get started on a healthier, greener lifestyle.
The 12 principles of permaculture are:
Principle 1—observe and interact:
By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
Principle 2—catch and store energy:
By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
Principle 3—obtain a yield:
Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
Principle 4—apply self-regulation and accept feedback:
We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
Principle 5—use and value renewable resources and services:
Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources.
Principle 6—produce no waste:
By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
Principle 7—design from patterns to details:
By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
Principle 8—integrate rather than segregate:
By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
Principle 9—use small and slow solutions:
Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
Principle 10—use and value diversity:
Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
Principle 11—use edges and value the marginal:
The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
Principle 12—creatively use and respond to change:
We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.
There are many, many brilliant books and websites devoted to Permaculture, as well as excellent courses run in Perth regularly if you wish to increase your knowledge. (See our links & resources page.)
We hope you will join us on the Permie voyage - but we warn you - it can be addictive!!!
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