Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Since the term permaculture was first coined in the 1970s by Bill Mollison, it has grown and become more encompassing. First starting out with sustainable agriculture, the idea of permaculture is a way of life. It includes ideas and concepts on food, land, information and legal systems. The whole concept of permaculture originates from three main ethics, care of the earth, care of the people and taking what is needed and reinvesting waste back into the system. Permaculture has become a way of life based on integration of each system and nature with everything else. There are several key aspects of permaculture that are needed to truly be self- reliant and integrated, some of them are as follows.

Backyard Animals
Backyard animals such as poultry are a large part of permaculture. These animals can help not only with your compost pile but they also help fertilize your garden and eat bugs, weeds and fruit and vegetables that may have fallen and rotted. By doing this the animals help form a sustainable ecosystem in your backyard. Soil cultivation is also a large part of permaculture, and poultry is a large factor of that.

Food Forests and Guilds
A food forest combines the natural benefits of the relationship between animals, and plants within a centralized location. The food forest, or guild, utilizes pieces of various ecosystems so to ensure all organisms (plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and insects) are equally able to sustain themselves based on what is located around within the habitat. By combining food plants with nitrogen fixing plants, nutrient accumulators, and beneficial insect attractors, one can design and build a thriving edible ecosystem that reduces work and inputs on behalf of the gardener.

Rain Water Harvesting
Rain water harvesting is the practice of gathering and then reusing rainwater before it can be deposited in some sort of collection point like an underground reservoir. The practical uses of this surplus water supply are irrigation, drinking water for domesticated animals, and indoor heating for homes. The advantageous application of rain water harvesting is that it can be used as a supplement for a main water supply with restrictions placed upon it. Another benefit of rain water is that it is generally more sanitary than surface water due to the fact that it has never come into contact with the earth’s terrain. Rain water harvesting is an effective renewable resource because it serves as a supplement to other water sources and may even be of a better quality.

Waste Management 
In permaculture nothing is truly “waste.” Everything is reinvested back into the system to be of use. This might include recycling, composting, or reuse. For example, some waste products may be recycled to be used as building materials, etc. Composting is utilized both for use in agriculture and for capturing methane from composting toilets for use in cooking. And many things can simply be reused. Wastewater is cleaned and then put back into the system to be of use. Waste in permaculture is something that a use has not been found for yet.


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