What is Permaculture?
What do I think it is?
Permaculture is a vector through which people can learn and apply themselves to affect change in a landscape toward a regenerative, life-supporting food forest system. Well at least that’s how I see it. It is a set of principles and techniques that is freely available to read about on the internet, and courses are run all around the world to disseminate its message.
But what is it really?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia:
Permaculture is a philosophy of ecological design which attempts to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
Who teaches it?
How can I get involved?
PermacultureWest is the main organising body for permies in Western Australia. If you’re in the area (even passing through!), check out the website calendar for what’s happening and where. Also you can get in touch with local groups who gather regularly and are often doing workshops and permablitzes you can join in with.
Permaculture in Shaun’s Backyard
Before I heard about permaculture, I was working on composting, worm farming and planning to grow a lot of annual vegetables. Luckily I didn’t get too far with the latter, as permaculture completely turned my head around. I approached the backyard with my training in design, and have never looked back. Each element in my backyard is now a subject of much study. I’m forever considering how useful something can be. For example, the old shed I was going to throw away has become a chicken coop, a trellis, and (the roof) a water collecting surface. Those were the intended functions, but since it’s positioning I’ve noticed all sorts of other things happening. It casts shade in different patterns from winter to summer, creates cool undisturbed areas between itself and the nearby fences, and serves as a windbreak for my mulberry tree. I’m always excited by an additional function for something!
Permaculture has become such a broad umbrella, incorporating almost anything considered ‘sustainable’, including a lot of green technologies like biogas and biochar. Looking at it this way, you could say that all of my projects are permaculture, although my use of pvc pipe is shameful! (always get it second hand!). The truth is, many people are practicing permaculture without even knowing it. Next time you prune your roses, and drop the cuttings on the soil to break down, that’s chop’n’drop pruning, a common permaculture practice.