Development of Permaculture
The development of Permaculture Eco Farm creates a system that benefits both the people and the earth by following the Permaculture designs and principles and its standard practices.
Permaculture is an agricultural and social design and principles that focus on the stimulation and utilization of the observed patterns and features of the natural ecosystems. Doing Permaculture studies and application is a total solution applicable to any scales, both in rural and urban areas. It is a toolbox of multi-discipline that includes water harvesting and hydrology, agriculture, natural building, energy, forestry, animal system, waste management, appropriate technology, aquaculture, economics, and community development.
Initially, the word ‘Permaculture’ referred to ‘permanent agriculture’ but expanded to also mean ‘permanent culture’ because of the philosophy of natural farming. Permaculture includes different branches such as ecological engineering, environmental and ecological design, and construction. It also includes terms such as integrated resources management to develop a sustainable architecture and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems from natural ecosystems.
The organic farming is also a part of Permaculture but not wholly. Through the process of Permaculture, the land, resources, people, and environment are all integrated into beneficial synergies. In this way, there is no waste and no closed hoop in diverse natural systems. According to Mollison, it is the philosophy of working with nature and not against it. Also, see more about Permaculture here. It is a thoughtful observation than just doing a labor without thoughts of it.
Permaculture centers on the three ethical standards and these are to care for the earth, care for the people, and the fair share. Indeed, through Permaculture, the future is here. As developed by one of its founders, David Holmgren articulated the principles of Permaculture in his book, ‘Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability.’ These fundamental concepts include observing and interacting, obtaining a yield, and catching and storing energy. It also includes applying self-regulation and accepting feedback, using and valuing renewable resources and services, producing no waste, and designing from patterns to details. Moreover, integrating rather than segregating, using small and slow solutions, using and valuing diversity, using edges and valuing the marginal, and creatively using and responding to change.
Development of Permaculture
The Permaculture is a term developed by David Holmgren and his professor, Bill Mollison in 1978. David Holmgren is an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator, and a writer. He is a well-known originator of its concept. He spent studying landscape design, ecology, and agriculture, and in close association with Bill Mollison, his co-inventor. Bruce Charles Bill Mollison, an Australian researcher, scientist, author, biologist, and teacher. Afterwards, he was called as the father of Permaculture after designing the integrated system or environmental and ecological design together with David Holmgren. They both envisioned a long-lasting and sustainable form of agriculture.
Photo source: https://www.holmgren.com.au/people/
Study of Permaculture
Based on the study of Permaculture in the Bush (1985-1993), David Holmgren initially focused on testing and refining his theories at his mother’s land in New South Wales. Then continue it in his property, Hepburn Permaculture Gardens, Melliodora at Hepburn Springs, Victoria with his partner, Su Dennett. David Holmgren is regularly teaching designs and principles of Permaculture.
The initial publication of Permaculture One Holmgren and Mollison introduced Permaculture design to the public. Mollison started Permaculture in Tasmania. He created the educational system, a Permaculture institute to train other people under the Permaculture design. It trains trainer through a formal study called Permaculture Design Course and Certification (PDC) that helped taught thousands of people around the world to use the Permaculture principles. In 1981, he received the ‘Right Livelihood Award’ also called as ‘Alternative Nobel prize.’
Years passed, and the ecological pioneers of Australia received a substantial recognition. It followed by the inclusion of the series on Melliodora within ten years of gardening in Australia. It was the most famous Australian gardening program on TV. Also, the Landline ABC TV rural program featured Holmgren’s profile. The TV program is an Australian broadcast network, a mainstream media that gave him significant recognition. Also, in 2012 he was recognized and awarded the Award II Monito del Giardin by Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron, an environmental organization in Italy. In 2014, Holmgren belonged to the Green Lifestyle Awards Hall of Fame because of his pioneering and ongoing work in Permaculture.
Common Practices in Permaculture
People are stewards of the land, and it is their responsibility to make sure of the techniques for sustainable farming to help productivity. Practicing the Permaculture design is a great toolkit to simplify the work and make the landscape resilient. In fact, Permaculture has many benefits. Permaculture: The Best Farming System to Feed the World. The Permaculture assists create plans that are inexpensive and easy. It allows innovation and creativity in farming, a dominant force to correct the wrong environmental doings in last centuries. Among the standard practices of Permaculture design are Agroforestry, hügelkultur, natural building, rainwater harvesting, sheet mulching, intensive rotational grazing, Keyline design, and fruit tree management.
Agroforestry is a new way of introducing trees in Agriculture. An Agroforestry is a Permaculture approach the uses the benefits of combining shrubs and trees with crops and livestock. It means that it connects the agricultural and the forestry technologies to create a more productive, profitable, and sustainable use of land. The term ‘forest gardening’ describe the system of mimicking the natural forests. Here, the processes and the relationships that are valuable in the natural ecosystems are incorporated. Next is Hügelkultur, a practice of burying vast volumes of woods to increase the retention of soil water. Through this method, the porous structure of wood acts as a sponge in the underground decomposition, and during the rainy season, the buried timber can absorb enough water to sustain the crops in dry season.
The next practice is natural building. It means building a system and materials with emphasis on sustainability by focusing on the durability, uses of the minimal process, renewable resources, recycled materials, and producing healthy living environments to maintain an indoor air quality. Also, its primary focus is to lessen the environmental impact of buildings and other supporting systems without compromising the health, comfort, and the aesthetic values of the people and the natural ecosystem.
Photo source: https://thelibertarianrepublic.com/
Another practice To Catch the Rain is rainwater harvesting wherein the rainwater is accumulated and restored to reuse before it reaches the Aquifer. The rainwater is for different uses such as for drinking, water for livestock and irrigation, and other purposes. The accumulated water from various houses and institutions in the local area contributes to the available water for drinking. It also helps to the subsoil water level and increases the greenery of the urban. On the other hand, the water collection from the ground has name storm water harvesting. Then, the wastewater obtained from the domestic activities like laundry, bathing, and dishwashing to recycle for landscape irrigation and wetland construction is called grey water.
An additional Permaculture practice is sheet mulching. In gardening, mulch is a protective covering placed over the soil and it can be stones, cardboard, leaves, gravel, chips, and other materials or a combination of each component but in Permaculture, organic materials are more preferred. Mulching absorbs rainfall, provides nutrients, reduces evaporation, increases the organic matter in the soil, suppresses the weed growth and seed germination, moderates the diurnal temperature swings, protects against frost, reduces erosion, and feed and creates habitats for soil erosion. It is an agricultural no-dig gardening technique. It attempts to mimic the natural processes that occur in the forests. Sheet mulching tries to emulate the leaf covers seen on the forest’ floors which result in a healthy, low maintenance, and productive ecosystems if appropriately deployed. It serves as a nutrient bank, storage of nutrients.
Intensive Rotational Grazing
The next is intensive rotational grazing. Grazing is a method by which an herbivore feeds on plants. In agriculture, it is method which livestock uses to convert the plants like forages to milk and meat. A lot of environmental destructions result from grazing. However, a managed intensive rotational grazing (MIRG) has an opposite effect. In this system, flocks or herds are systematically moved to fresh pasture or forest to maximize the quality. Cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, geese, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other animals can be of use in MIRG.
Furthermore, the Keyline design is another technical practice used in Permaculture. It is used to maximize the benefits of using the water resources of a piece of land. The Keyline refers to a specific topographic feature linked to the water flow, beneficial for designing the drainage system of the site. The significant is that Keyline is a level or sloping line that extends in both directions from a point. Alternatively, if not, it divides the relationship into the same vertical interval that a valley bears up to its ridges.
The last but not the least of the standard Permaculture practices is the fruit tree management and the proponents of Permaculture advocate the ‘no’ or limited pruning. One of its advocates is Sepp Holzer who grows varieties of fruit trees at an altitude above the norm. The plants generate enough heat that makes the roots survive the winter. Unprun branches caused the formation of long and natural branches that bend until it touches the ground. Hence, forming a natural arch against the snow which will quickly break into shorter pruned branches. In the same way, Masanobu Fukuoka discovered that pruning results to killing fruit trees and leaving tangled and convoluted. Afterwards, he concluded that trees should grow and rise without pruning to form healthy branches following its natural inclination.
Photo source: http://pri-kenya.org/?p=1495
Adhering to the Permaculture practices and techniques for a sustainable farming benefit both the people and the environment. It allows creativity, and significant innovations in farming and shows care for the earth. Probably, Permaculture: Permaculture: The Best Farming System to Feed the World.It is a dominant force to correct the wrong environmental doings in last centuries. Hence, through Permaculture, the future is here.