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Why Permaculture is a Great Idea While Pluto is in Capricorn
Last updated on March 11, 2012 at 12:00 am EDT by in5d Alternative News
With Pluto in Capricorn until 2023, we can expect a collapse and rebirth of every corrupt system on this planet, including our grocery stores which are filled with toxic GMO products and substances such as aspartame and fluoride. An alternative to help promote a healthy lifestyle along with sustainable living can be found in permaculture.
The most important aspect of permaculture is the seeds used in your sustainable environment. Be sure to buy organic heirloom seeds versus any Monsanto GMO product. Once you start growing your own food, you can also use the seeds from your permaculture system to maintain future harvests.
Permaculture is a theory of ecological design which seeks to develop sustainable human settlements and agricultural systems, by attempting to model them on natural ecosystems
Permaculture draws from several other disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, sustainable development, and applied ecology. "The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self-reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use."
Permaculture as a systematic method was developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s. The word "permaculture" originally referred to "permanent agriculture", but was expanded to also stand for "permanent culture" as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system. Mollison has described permaculture as "a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than premature and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single project system."
The key to the permaculture design model is that useful connections are made between components in the final design. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture is also about careful and contemplative observation of nature and natural systems, and of recognizing universal patterns and principles, then learning to apply these to one’s own circumstances.
Holmgren's 12 design principlesThe core of permaculture has always been in supplying a design toolkit for human habitation. This toolkit helps the designer to model a final design based on an observation of how ecosystems interact.
1. Mature species on a keyline irrigation channel. Victoria, Australia1.Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.
Permaculture design focuses heavily upon natural patterns. All things, even the wind, the waves and the Earth moving around the Sun, form patterns. In pattern application, permaculture designers are encouraged to develop an awareness of the patterns that exist in nature (and how these function) and how patterns can be utilized to satisfy the specific design needs of a specific site. "The application of pattern on a design site involves the designer recognizing the shape and potential to fit these patterns or combinations of patterns comfortably onto the landscape".
The seven layers of the forest gardenLayers are one of the tools used to design functional ecosystems that are both sustainable and of direct benefit to man. A mature ecosystem has a huge number of relationships between its component parts: trees, understory, ground cover, soil, fungi, insects and animals. Because plants grow to different heights, a diverse community of life is able to grow in a relatively small space, as each layer is stacked one on top of another. There are seven recognized layers in permaculture, although some practitioners also include an eighth layer, fungi.
1.The canopy: the tallest trees in the system. Large trees dominate but do not saturate the area, i.e. there exist patches barren of trees.
2.Low tree layer: dwarf fruit trees, citrus trees and other short trees
3.Shrubs: a diverse layer that includes most berry bushes
4.Herbaceous: may be annuals, biennials or perennials; most annuals will fit into this layer
5.Rhizosphere: root crops including potatoes and other edible tubers
6.Soil surface: cover crops to retain soil and lessen erosion, along with green manures to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil, especially nitrogen
7.Vertical layer: climbers or vines, such as runner beans and lima beans (vine varieties)
In a future article, we'll be covering hydroponics, so check back and bookmark this page!
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