Permaculture

Permaculture offers a design approach for meeting human needs while improving the health of the planet. And it inspires a lot of our homestead activities.

A young Asian pear tree guild produces food, habitat, and improves soil fertility using permaculture principles.

A young Asian pear tree guild produces food, creates wildlife habitat, and improves soil fertility using permaculture principles.

Quick Overview

Inspired by the oil crisis of the 1970s, ecologists sought to find ways that people could live sustainably without relying on scarce energy sources. They looked to how humans evolved to live over millennia and identified an ethical paradigm.

1) Care for the Earth – replenish ecosystems on which we depend
2) Care for People – meet human needs
3) Careful Process – use production surplus to support the first two ethics

In short, permaculture aligns our efforts to live with natural systems. It focuses on capturing energy from natural sources (sun, water, wind) in dynamic, closed-loop systems.

Applied Ecology

The concepts scale from small backyards to large farms and adapt to every bioregion of the world. Permaculture theory helps to reframe problems into solutions with implications for civic organizations.

Getting Started

While a lot of books and films augment permaculture theory and application, here’s a short list to learn the basic concepts.

Practical Permaculture (2015)
Swift read with great illustrations. Excellent intro to the breadth of permaculture.

Introduction to Permaculture (2013)
Essential permaculture theory and applications, explained by permaculture co-originator Bill Mollison.

The Permaculture Handbook (2012)
Capacious and articulate. Explores many considerations in garden farming.

Gaia’s Garden (2001)
Permaculture basics for gardeners. A classic.

Permaculture Design Curriculum (PDC)

A 72-hour course with a permaculture instructor can be an intense, rewarding experience. We suggest taking the next step after reading two or more of the recommended books.

Consultations and Training

Down the road, we plan on offering training and, eventually, a PDC course. In the meantime, our efforts focus on cultivating our homestead, design consultations, and volunteering in the community.

Please contact us if you are interested in talking permaculture. We enjoy helping others get started with projects.

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