What is permaculture, really?
I have absolutely no background in permaculture or agriculture. I used to consider myself green-thumbless. It’s only been in the past few years that I’ve attempted to even have potted herbs. Before getting involved with Sustainability In Exile, if you asked me what permaculture is I may have responded with something like “Uhhmm, I know it has to do with plants and maybe a bohemian lifestyle, no?”
Well, now that I’ve been working with the team at Sustainability in Exile, I’ve come to learn more and see why permaculture makes sense. In fact, it made me wonder why the whole world hadn’t adopted permaculture years ago.
If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a brief explanation: Basically, permaculture is about designing an efficient system for humans, plants and animals to flourish and become sustainable. It’s an agricultural practice that takes a holistic approach. A farmer begins by observing how different parts of the system relate, then designs a plan to nurture abundance based on the working relationships that already exist. Underlying this process are three core principles: care for the earth, care for people, and make sure all have a fair share.
The current industrial system model is broken. Monoculture farming depletes the land of nutrients, which makes one wonder how nutritious any of the food that comes out of it can be. With permaculture, nutrients are replenished because of harmonious relationships in the ecosystem.
Change must inevitably happen. It’s up to us to learn from what hasn’t worked and decide if we’re going to make the change something sustainable. Permaculture design is one way to achieve sustainability.