Growing more food on less land, with more people involved, is an excellent way to bring people together from different regions all over the world and to also learn about how we can grow our food in a way that restores our health and also the health of the landscape.
Permaculture is a holistic design for creating sustainable human settlements and food production systems. It is committed to preserving and extending natural ecosystems. This intentional system focuses on environmentally sound use and building stable communities through harmonious interrelationships.
The core idea of permaculture is that everything is multifunctional, self-sustaining, and integrated. Permaculture means that you work in collaboration with nature instead of against it. Permaculture is an excellent idea that can be implemented anywhere from the jungles in the Amazon to your backyard.
8 Reasons Why Permaculture Is Sustainable Farming
There are a lot of design disciplines, but permaculture is considered the main one that focuses on achieving sustainability. It looks at how we design our living spaces and how we interact with nature. Permaculture provides that opportunity to make our lives more balanced and in harmony.
It prompts people to use renewable technologies, grow their organic food on a small and intensive scale rather than on huge farms. It also emphasizes certain ways of doing things, like how to catch rainwater and manage waste to ensure that there is no imbalance or environmental degradation.
Permaculture looks at adopting sustainable methods, be it a garden, a community, or in our homes. Permaculture leads to sustainable farming because there is low aggregation and consumption, meaning that not many of the planet’s resources are being used, which leads to less environmental impact.
Permaculture Means Less Waste
Once a permaculture design system has been established, it becomes a closed-looped system where the waste of one element feeds another. The closed-looped system is necessary because the food production system is meant to be circular and self-sustaining.
A circular food production system leads to the amount of waste being reduced and, in some cases, even eliminated. Because of this zero-waste philosophy, you will not have to spend money on things like fertilizer like you would need to with modern farming. Permaculture is self-sustaining because nature does most of the work.
Permaculture Helps To Regenerate The Planet
Because you are creating many of the resources you used to buy, like growing your organic food while using the design tools of permaculture, you are actively helping regenerate the planet.
This is because you create topsoil instead of depleting it, conserving natural resources, and restoring damaged ecosystems. All of this is done by living your life normally within an appropriate design.
Permaculture Helps Protect And Build Fertile Ground
With modern farming, you usually find people buying huge plots, plowing the earth and planting a single crop, fertilizing the land to death, and using tons of pesticides to grow the crop. This leads to the soil being poisoned and the land becoming degraded.
That is not the way it works with permaculture. There are no machines or toxins used in the design system. The first thing that you do is look at the landscape of where you want to do your farming. Take note of the water flow and climate and design your farm around those circumstances.
You also protect and build fertile ground, unlike the big trenches that tractors leave when tilling the soil because, with permaculture, the topsoil with the minerals and its ecosystem stays intact. It is nurtured with natural fertilizer like a bad harvest that goes back into compost.
Diversity Is Promoted Because Of Permaculture
Usually, every row has different produce on it, and each one can get replanted up to four times a year, meaning that more is produced with less space. If one crop fails, others grow to balance it out. What’s so appealing with permaculture is that not all rows are for harvesting.
Strips between rows are kept completely wild so that native animals can thrive, promoting diversity. Because of this, you often get nature itself becoming a natural pesticide because most pests usually have predators.
There Is Less Pollution When Using The Permaculture Method
Because you are growing your organic food, there are fewer transport emissions as the food is close to the consumer, which means that there is less damage to the environment because there is less pollution, which leads to sustainable living.
Permaculture Encourages Harvesting Of RainWater
Because permaculture works with the natural system, it means that your water usage will be reduced as often rainwater is harvested and used. Once again, this is using natural resources without depleting or harming the environment.
Permaculture Leads To Reduced Land Degradation
There is a permaculture practice whereby large volumes of rotting wood, branches, twigs, and even whole trees that are buried under the soil, creating raised garden beds. These buried materials will decompose after several years leading to the garden beds being loaded with organic material and nutrients.
As the wood shrinks, it creates more air pockets for the roots of the plants. Because buried wood absorbs water, nutrients will be prevented from going into the groundwater. Also, because the soils are deeper, the raised beds will be filled with soil life. This means that there will be reduced erosion and, therefore, land degradation, ensuring sustainability.
Permaculture Promotes Sustainability
Modern methods used now have damaged the planet greatly, not to mention us as people. It is a sad fact to have to face up to, but humans are in danger of destroying this planet and themselves due to how we treat this earth and its resources.
Permaculture designers realized that the planet could not sustain the damage constantly caused by modern agricultural techniques, monoculture forestry, and thoughtless settlement designs.
Permaculture combines different disciplines such as organic farming, integrated farming, ecology, and sustainable farming.
Permaculture can be seen to be the complete opposite of intensive agriculture, which usually leaves land no longer fit for farming, meaning that land suitable for human habitation is gradually being reduced. It is a system that is persistent when it comes to supporting human existence.
What Are Some Tips When Starting A Permaculture Farm?
There are a few basic essentials that you should keep in mind when you first start focusing on permaculture.
Having A Composting Area Is Important
It is crucial to have a composting area. Yes, it may be messy, but it is extremely important to remineralize the soil. All plants have a life cycle, which means that you have material to use to make compost.
It does not necessarily matter if your compost is hot or cold because they both work well, but hot compost gives you the ability to make material rather fast. Mulches are also popular in permaculture.
Ensure that you build and retain soil fertility, which is crucial in designing and working with a permaculture system. Make sure that you are doing it in a way that it is mimicking nature.
Rainwater Must Be Harvested And Stored In Tanks
Harvest rainwater as much as you can. Permaculture is all about nature; therefore, harvesting rainwater should be a priority instead of using tap water because you are trying to boost that soil fertility. Use IVC totes or a large water tank to store your water. Having water catchment systems will actively increase biodiversity.
Ensure That Your Farming Works Within An Ecosystem
Your goal should be to work within an ecosystem, so you’ll want to attract the right animals, insects, etc., into your growing system so that you don’t have to do a lot of work.
You’ll most like have more pests than the average modern farmer, but because you’re working with nature, you’ll notice that you’ll have less pest damage. So to create efficiency of work, have a keyline design and build a natural pond to help attract the correct animals.
Make Sure That The Soil Retains Water
If the land you are farming on has soil that does not retain water well, add in some zigs and zags to slow down the water and give it some time to sink into the ground.
The Location Of Your House Is Important
Building your house right in the middle of the farm is beneficial as you can have the plants that require the most attention closest to the house. Find out where the wet areas are, where you get the most sunlight, and what plants will thrive under those different conditions. It’s crucial to analyze each sector and space.
What Makes Permaculture An Important Way Of Farming?
Most of our nature is dominated by trees, perennial plants, etc. Why are annual crops still dominating agriculture? Why does agriculture not simply follow the existing design of nature? Thousands of years of agriculture have already destroyed our ecosystem.
Aquatic ecosystems are destroyed by pesticide-carrying runoff, natural habitat loss by land conversion, pollution, and contamination caused by herbicides, fertilizers, pesticides, and even other agricultural practices that contribute to the devastation of our environment.
Permaculture is different because it is primarily concerned with ensuring that the land use is environmentally sound and the communities being built are stable. Permaculture is a system that is sustainable and will be well worth establishing for years to come.
You would be working with rather than against nature to grow food. Permaculture, therefore, focuses on three things, people, nature, and the good of the earth. What makes permaculture important is that it is built upon three ethical practices. These practices lead to sustainable farming.
Care Of Earth
Care of the earth simply means taking care of the planet will sustain us and keep us nourished. The earth supplies us with what we need, and to ensure that we survive and prosper, we need to treat it with consideration and respect.
Earth is also composed of organic and non-organic systems, interdependent and interconnected to one another. When one is affected, all are affected. For example, it is a given that more plants will grow and thrive when you take good care of the soil.
Not only do we get more sources of food, but higher organisms are also supported. Beyond food production, clean air isn’t the only benefit of maintaining forests. The forests play an important role in ensuring that we get a fresh water supply because rain formation and the water cycle are linked to the forests.
Care Of People
Fundamental to permaculture is caring for people. To care for people means that we need to make sure that the needs of the people like food, shelter, employment, social relationships, and health are met. Ensuring that people have access to resources will allow them to survive and thrive.
When it comes to the care of people, the community plays a key role. Individuals can benefit from deepening community ties. For example, a person may not know how to grow their food, but you can develop the capacity to live more sustainably and become more self-reliant by having good networks.
We have come from and will always go back to a community. In permaculture, you strive to only attain the necessary amount of resources that you need in consideration of the whole community. Only take what is enough in a long table of resources and never more than you need.
The goal is to thrive as an individual and as a collective. All members of a community serve a purpose and are all needed.
To put it simply, permaculture is a form of agriculture that has the capacity to be practiced forever. Permaculture is all about teaching us how to take care of the planet to keep it sustainable. Studies show we are facing worldwide soil degradation due to intensive farming methods.
Permaculture farming might be a great place to start if you prefer knowing where your food comes from or perhaps just growing your own food. The goal is for farming to be four things, stable, diverse, productive, and resilient.