Permaculture

“With observation, we quickly begin to realize that everything is connected. When one of us makes a choice, it affects everyone around us.”

Permaculture is a set of techniques and principles for designing human settlements. The name was coined by Bill Mollison & David Holmgren in 1959 as a contraction of permanent culture and permanent agriculture.

It is associated with agriculture because of the emphasis on the role of plants, but it is more about examining cycles and studying patterns than anything else.

With observation we quickly begin to realize that everything is connected. When one of us makes a choice it affects everyone around us. As Permaculturalists we look to interconnections of people, plants, animals and buildings to create a healthy sustainable whole.

Permaculture ethics call for

  • Caring for the earth; repairing it and conserving its resources.
  • Seeking peace and guarding human rights everywhere.
  • Investing capital, intelligence, good will and labor to these ends.

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“Wrapping up the day at an installation of a low water roof top garden in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles.”

Interconnections

Permaculture can help us with out relationships by teaching greater awareness of the cycles and patterns going on. It promotes a culture based on earth stewardship, and understands that the more realistic picture of life is that everything is gardens! A wildlife habitat, an edible garden, and an aesthetic garden can merge into a single self renewing landscape ecosystem designed to let nature do much of the work.

“What Happens” 18 x 24 oil on board with laser print collage, by Ketti Kupper

What would nature do to solve a problem? We can choose to work with Nature, not against it; making the least amount of change for the greatest possible effect. We can create food gardens that provide their own fertilization, internal weed suppression, pest control mechanisms and internal moisture level management. It requires a custom solution and things like gardening in cycles, and diversity of plant materials.

The question of how we support humanity begins to take on a new perspective when we see the world as an ongoing ecological design. Permaculture is a multifaceted study and we highly recommend taking a workshp, readings, or joining an experienced Permaculture group to increase sensitivity toward the earth, the people around us and the beautiful ecosystem with which we are only a small part.

Soils and Organic Gardening

Soil is the skin of life between the rock and air. It’s the edge between living and dead. Soil is alive! It is not inert matter. Food grown in rich naturally fertilized soil will offer optimum vitamins, minerals, and trace elements as well as beneficial phyto-nutrients to help protect us against disease.

Whether you are growing food, flowers or drought tolerant plants, starting with organically rich soil full of beneficial soil microbes plus mychorihizae (fungi) will bring resiliency to the garden.

Organic gardening avoiding the use of chemicals or pesticides, teaches us to loosen our ideas of perfection, and to recognize the garden as a part of the larger patterns of nature.