2 Powerful Benefits of Permaculture Practice
Most farming practices put our ecosystem in troubled waters, but permaculture is one approach we need to save the ecosystem. Conventional Agriculture entails the use of machine with efficiency for both planting and harvesting to carry out monocultural farming. The devastating ecological consequences of these conventional farming made permaculture an appealing alternative. Permaculture promotes a stable ecosystem which is very essential to our livelihood. In this article, we will explain the concept of permaculture, and how it works
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture means applying the principles of natural cycles and ecosystems in farming or garden design. Permaculture enthusiasts learn how nature designs and arranges the ecosystem, and try to recreate a diverse, natural, resilient, and self-regulating ecosystem. Environmental components and living organisms can have a useful relationship and support one another.
History of Permaculture: How did Permaculture Start?
The ecological approach behind permaculture has been around since the dawn of time. Joseph Russell Smith suggested that the practice of permaculture may have been around long before the term was coined and popularized in the 1970s. From the forest farming by Japanese Toyohiko Kagawa in the 1930s to the Tanaka-inspired Masanobu Fukuoka, whose writings on natural farming influenced the inception of the permaculture movement, we can see how indigenous peoples around the world have been living according to what we call permaculture principles for centuries before the 20th century.
However, the term “permaculture” was coined by two Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 70s. The achievement of Mollison and Holmgren is that they brought these approaches into a holistic concept and made them known worldwide.
The collective vision of Mollison and Holmgren is changing the basic structure of land use towards a diverse ecosystem based on perennial edible plants.
What are the Benefits of Permaculture?
The Permaculture Ethics of Fair Play
The tenets of permaculture mandate that every project is ecological, social, and fair. We categorize them into three:
- Earth care: Earth care involves the careful handling of the earth to preserve the biodiversity of plants, animals, microorganisms, and their habitats and use resources such as water, soil, and energy carefully.
- Human Care: The idea of human care reflects the careful treatment of all humans, dealing fairly and consciously with each other and with our (basic) needs. Human care starts in our immediate family and extends to other parts of the world through our consumption and design decisions.
- Fair Share: By fair share, we mean fair management and self-limitation, which encourages the impartial sharing of excess time, money, energy, and other resources.
The basics and principles of permaculture connect All Aspects of life
Unlike other forms of agriculture, permaculture promotes the interrelationships between living organisms and the environmental factors that shape them. The primary essence of permaculture is to help man develop long-lasting and sustainable ecosystems. To achieve these, here are the basics of permaculture to follow:
Keen and Detailed Observation
An important principle of permaculture is careful observation. Every change that you bring about in a system always has unexpected influences on elements and processes. Noticing and responding to them is the key to understanding
Don't be Carefree, pay attention to feedback
In a garden, feedback is understood as a reaction of cultivated nature, which wants to free itself from human actions and other influences. This makes our planning lively and sustainable.
Feedback shows the limits of growth and can set material and energy flows in motion without us doing anything about it.
Proactivity and acting for the long term
Permaculture is about thinking and acting for the future. As a permaculturist, your plans and actions are sustainable and future-proof with the potential of giving a healthy ecosystem in the long term. The permacultural guiding principle also encourages small and slow solutions.
Incorporate Creativity and Diversity
Permaculture is all about biodiversity. The best thing is that the garden is teeming with a wide variety of plant species in useful mixed cultures, coupled with a diverse animal world.
Besides improved biodiversity and self-regulation of the ecosystem, this also has a super useful effect for gardeners and farmers, by saving them costs incurred by maintenance, extra work.
A Little Space, a little work, gives a Bountiful Yield
Optimizing an existing agricultural system is usually more efficient than just expanding the area. This is beneficial for nature because less space is being exploited.
Gardeners also have less work to do with the farming space and still look forward to a huge harvest
Permaculture Promotes cooperation instead of competition
Permaculture makes all elements work hand in hand instead of one against the other. All the design elements are arranged in such a way that they support each other, a sort of symbiotic relationship, instead of competing for each other’s space.
From big to small or from pattern to detail
One of the most important permaculture basics is having the big picture in mind and then working your way down to the rudiments (individual building blocks). Permacultural concepts can easily become quite complicated. That is why it is crucial to have a well-thought-out pattern as a basis and reference point for the details.
Everything goes in circles, which creates energy spirals
Permaculture makes energy abundant everywhere. There is energy in the food that grows in the garden, there is energy for our bodies, there is also energy as stored water, or simply as biomass. Permaculture gives spirals of energy when rightly implemented
How to Create Permaculture
Are you interested in permaculture? Using the simple example below, we will show how you can plan and set up your permaculture farming
Create agroforestry with biotopes, fruit, and berries
In agroforestry, we combine classic arable land with rows of trees and shrubs. Scattered in between are small wet and dry biotopes that increase biodiversity. The concept is suitable for small farms with an area below 10 hectares. The agricultural yields comprise crops, fruit, berries, and valuable wood.
Steps to Creating a Permaculture Agroforestry
The following work steps are necessary to create the agroforestry:
- Figure out your action plan
- apply green manure to the areas meant for rows of trees
- Plant trees and provide suitable tree protection
- Plant field hedges, wild fruit, and berries
- Create small biotopes
Below summarizes the most important information
Appropriate area size
Minimum 5,000m², and a maximum of 10 hectares
The lanes should run in a north-south direction.
Initial investment costs
Approximately $7,100 for each hectare
Required care of the basic structure
1 good working day per year per hectare
67% of arable land remains, plus a good 5 tons of fruit, wild fruit and berries, and another $2,300 of valuable wood per year.
How to Organize Permaculture Project
There are many methods and techniques in permaculture that can keep track of things, even in complex projects. Look, we have summarized five practical approaches for you here:
Carry Out a survey, take stock of what you have at hand
Familiarize yourself with the site by conducting a site survey. Only when you have enough information about the climate, and soil to help you can create a suitable plan and select suitable plants.
What do I need for Permaculture?
To help you plan better, outline your needs, resources, and limitations. Since there are countless design options in permaculture, you must know the needs of each one involved, and the needed resources. But the most important thing is to stick to your desires and concerns about the project. Make sure that there is a lot of clarity from the beginning so that you can implement the project in the best possible way.
How do I divide my Permaculture space?
Zoning is the division of spaces in permaculture. Zoning is an enormously important task that enables you to manage land efficiently. A well-thought-out division of your space can save you many empty paths.
Carry out Permaculture input-output analysis
Using input-output analysis, you can check the profitability of a certain design element. You will figure out the requisite amount of work and resources to get an excellent result. You can do these:
- List all the things you need for a specific design element.
- Then outline the added value that the design element will bring to you.
The results you get will help determine your planning.
Permaculture process model
Just like fixed structures, a process model helps you to keep track of planning and implementation. Developing a permaculture process model is easy. Below is a simple template to follow:
- take inventory
- carryout situation analysis
- develop a suitable concept
- review the concept and work out details
- implement the concept
- adjust and refine the concept
Permaculture is all shades of goodness. It can help us win the fight against climate change, species extinction, and water pollution, and still produce enough food.
The additional trees planted and the humus would bind tons of CO2, while humans will attain food sovereignty, get clean groundwater, have a healthier and cleaner environment, and much more.
Economically, permaculture will reduce labor needs in agriculture, lower investment in agrochemicals, and other agricultural machinery needs. This may not be the best news for everyone, but we can’t deny the fact that permaculture has many exciting, positive approaches in store that come with a huge agricultural turnaround.