Permaculture is a holistic systematic approach to agriculture which usually includes integration of systems and plants as well as closing loops of processes we often find in a healthy ecosystem. Fortunately my school (Plymouth State University) has a program for students who want to take get certified in permaculture which requires the permaculture course I took. The founders of permaculture are Bill Mollison, and David Holmgren. The word permaculture refers to permanent agriculture which usually requires perennials rather than annuals. The approach of the now common “no till method” emerged out of this way of farming. The philosophy of permaculture is ”to work with nature rather than against it.” Some other common practices in permaculture are companion plant gardening and polyculture farming both of which means to integrate species that would work and grow well with each other. More anthropogenic systems within permaculture include but are not limited to greywater systems, composting toilets, and renewable energy systems. Some of these systems are considered appropriate technology which means that the technology is culturally, economically and environmentally appropriate for the uses. Another common diagram that breaks the three principles of permaculture are fair share, Care of the Earth, and care for people lastly. Crop rotation is also a common practice in permaculture as well this has been inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka’s natural farming philosophy which is mentioned in his book “The One Straw Revolution”. The farming method not only promotes a natural way of bioremediation and is often referred to as regenerative farming but it also usually promotes resilience in a natural for an ecosystem. As I mentioned in another article I wrote about in my blog multi-trophic vertical aquatic farming is a new discipline of permaculture that promotes polyculture farming in water. Another key aspect of permaculture is adding as many layers to the working landscape as possible such as a food forest thus mimicking a mature forest. Another concept of permaculture is identifying and creating different zones which means working systems that are closest to you and expand further from you.
Below is a picture depicting the different “layers of a Food Forest”
Key words: Permaculture, companion plant, polyculture, no till movement, appropriate technology, crop rotation, regenerative farming, bioremediation, resilience, multi-trophic vertical aquatic farming, working landscape