This short video discusses some of the issues in our popular cartoon image of Organic and Permaculture at https://permaculturevisions.com/difference-between-organic-gardening-and-permaculture/
The 3 things that make Permaculture different:
It has an ethical core. The test is: if it isn’t good for the earth and good for people in a fair share, then don’t use it.
Each site is design to imitate Natural Systems. Permaculture uses biological resources and natural energies and observes the clever ways nature responds and adapts. Nature cycles the energy resulting in now waste. Efficiency is Natural.
Permaculture uses a set of Principles, Strategies and Techniques
Integration is Key
Permaculture uses organic gardening practices but it goes beyond. It integrates the garden and home to create a lifestyle that impacts less on the environment.
The Permaculture garden is more than an organic garden. Although organic food production often has many innovative elements, a Permaculture designed garden joins each of the elements into functional relationships.
Permaculture design is mindful of our relationship with our environment. We see we are living in a period of energy resource limits. And we acknowledge that emissions are contributing to the heating the planet. Many of us are feeling the changes and seeing our environments polluted. Whilst a few wealthy people have the resources to ignore climate change, most of the world’s people cannot. Rich people can relocate, get air-conditioning, and import truck-loads of water. But even the wealthy cannot fix nitrous oxide build-up or save their beach homes from collapse.
Big, Little, and More
Permaculture thinking can be applied to many physical and social structures. It is energy-wise and collaborative to minimise the impact of a culture on the surrounding environment. A good permaculture design has great potential. It can connect neighbours. The biggest Permaculture site in the world, The Chikukwa Project, has helped the whole community.
Permaculture design has:
Focus on closing the nutrient and water loop by using waste, and reducing the dependence on inputs.
Creation of healthier soil and diversity of produce.Our Permaculture Design and Demonstration Site.
Responsibility for waste. There is an aim to eliminate waste. i.e. no excess nitrogen nor weed seed, released.
Variety keeps residents engaged and excited about growing their food.
Imitating nature by conserving the soil and water, and genetic capital. There is an intensive use of space. Plants are allowed to set seed and are inter-planted for pest control. You are unlikely to see food plants in rows. The permaculture site will look more like a food-forest with some open glades full of herbs and perennials.
Optimisation of natural energies, e.g. wind, dust, leaves, bird droppings.
Nutritious food and habitat for people AND native animals and birds.
experimental permaculture chickenDependence on observation. Permaculture design is a mixed technology. Bill Mollison (co-founder of permaculture movement) said that permaculture, like a bicycle, it is adaptable and has great potential but is only as good as the user.
Minimal risk. If we fail at permaculture, nature simply takes over. The soil will continue to heal, the forests grow and someone else can step in to rebuild our efforts.