Sunday 1st. May is National Permaculture Day in Australia.
Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, “wastes” become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.
The first recorded modern practice of permaculture as a systematic method was by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer in the 1960s, but the method was scientifically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications.
The word permaculture is described by Mollison as a portmanteau of permanent agriculture, and permanent culture.
The intent is that, by training individuals in a core set of design principles, those individuals can design their own environments and build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements — ones that reduce society’s reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution that Mollison identified as fundamentally and systematically destroying Earth’s ecosystems.
While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture has developed a large international following. This “permaculture community” continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications, permaculture gardens, intentional communities, training programs, and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become a form of architecture of nature and ecology as well as an informal institution of alternative social ideals. (Source Wiki)
Information on the range of activities taking place in celebration can be found at the Event Site here .
Many years ago I attended a weekend campout workshop on permaculture, and subsequently read extensively on it and have been guided by its principles ever since.
Permaculture makes pure and simple sense to me.
When I first moved to this property, there was virtually no garden, and the site was very exposed to strong winds and extremes of temperatures. The house sat exposed without any moderating influences, and my first summer here was horrendous. However, bit by bit that changed as I was able to build up soil fertility and grow vegetables and observe the microclimate and then plant bushes and trees in the most appropriate positions. Sometimes a plant had other ideas, as self-sown wattles popped up in unexpected places. Those are now providing beautiful blooms and shade and shelter. My garden after three years, is a place of life and thriving communities of micro organisms, insects, reptiles, birds, in addition to the plants. If I decide I want to photograph something, I need only walk out the door and take my choice – hence my foray into macro work. Naturally, eating fresh food grown organically on my property is a joy and certainly a buffer against the pressures of rising food prices in this country. There’s plenty of evidence to support the claims that gardening is good for one’s health – have a look here and here. After all, there’s more to it than putting food on the table…….