PERMACULTURE is a contraction of the word PERMAnent agriculture or PERMAnent CULTURE.” No civilization or culture can survive without a sustainable agriculture base and land use ethics ” says Bill Mollison. (He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture)
Based on this philosophy the ethical basis,the code of conduct for people is evolved and founded on.
1)CARE OF THE EARTH :Provision for all the life systems to continue and multiply
2)CARE OF THE PEOPLE :Provision for people to access all those resources necessary for their existence.
3)INVEST SURPLUSES for above two.
The guiding principle is that the Permaculture farms should be developed in such a way that one would find their needs within the farms rather than depending on the external inputs.
‘THOUGH THE PROBLEMS OF THE WORLD ARE INCREASINGLY MORE COMPLEX, THE SOLUTIONS REMAIN EMBARRASSINGLY SIMPLE….’
– Bill Mollison, co-founder of the world-wide permaculture movement
Permaculture is an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Permaculture teaches us how build natural homes, grow our own food, restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, take care of waste and much more.
The philosophy within permaculture is one of working with rather than against nature, and of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless action. Permaculture design techniques encourage land use which integrates principles of ecology and applies lessons from nature. It teaches us to create settings and construct ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and the resilience of natural ecosystems. In the spirit of sustainability, it also teaches us to allow natural and designed ecosystems to demonstrate their own evolutions.
Permaculture – Key Concepts
Food Forests and Guilds
Food Forest mimics the architecture and beneficial relationships between plants and animals found in a natural forest or other natural ecosystem. Food forests are not ˜naturalâ, but are designed and managed ecosystems (typically complex perennial polyculture plantings) that are very rich in biodiversity and productivity.
Guild is a combination of plants, animals, insects and fungi. Guilds can be found in nature, in healthy ecosystems, or they can be designed and planted to make your food forest, garden, pasture or woodlot healthier and more productive. Each guild participant contributes something valuable to the entire composition. For majority of permaculture students, guilds pose a lot of mysticism and seem very difficult to understand. A good way to start learning about guilds, is to begin by composing something very simple – like one planter around a fruit tree and observe how thing are interacting.
Poultry and Backyard Animals
Animals (including birds and wildlife) are a critical component of any sustainable system, as without their participation and contribution the ecological balance cannot be achieved. Everything gardens in permaculture, and animals are in the leadership position. Manure is needed for soil fertility. Foraging on fallen fruit, weeds, seeds and garden pests helps with keeping things healthy. Soil cultivation is frequently a benefit, especially when keeping chickens.
In permaculture we strive to design buildings and landscapes to absorb rainwater. This is not only a good idea for dry climates, but is also very important in places with plentiful moisture. Why? Rainwater is best used when it is allowed to infiltrate the soil. There it is available to plants, it is cleansed and enters the groundwater or returns to the hydrological cycle. Rainwater harvesting is an alternative to designing our outdoor environments to get rid of water – where it rushes down hillsides, streets or roadways. This is how soil erosion begins and pollutants get washed into waterways. In some circles, there is a distinction between rainwater harvesting (meaning direction rainwater and runoff towards planted areas for infiltration); and rainwater catchment where water is actually captured from roofs or other hard surfaces and is stored in cisterns. The former is simpler and less costly, the latter allows you to have access to water during dry spells, but may be more expensive.
Designing for Multiple Functions
Many examples can be drawn to illustrate this principle, the one that reminds us to always capitalize on the investment of work and resources. Everything should serve multiple functions by design – road channels cooling winds towards a house; water tank casts its shade to create comfortable microclimate nearby; rain gutter drains towards a fruit tree.