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What is permaculture-All you need to know guide for gardening and farming

If we define permaculture in very simple words then it is the creation of a self sufficient, organic and sustainable ecosystem.

But there is a lot more to permaculture. It is not just a method of farming or gardening but a social, economic and political system.

We will try to easily explain permaculture for everyone's understanding. Permaculture is a sustainable model of farming that can be very efficient in its production and can be implemented on a very small scale. 

Most of the people understand permaculture as two different words perma and agriculture (perma-agriculture). This is also said by Beth Anne Martin. But It can be inferred that permaculture is more based on 2 other words permanent and culture (permanent-culture) because it is the use of land in a smart way that the plantation becomes more efficient, sustainable and environmental friendly.

Permaculture Gardening and Farming
Permaculture gardening design and pattern

Ethics and Principles of Permaculture

To understand the basics of permaculture in depth we have to understand the ethics and principles of permaculture.

The ethics can be divided into three main components

  • Earth care
  • People care
  • Fair share

Also there are 12 principles of permaculture. We have discussed these principles of permaculture in detail. These principles are

  • Observe and interact
  • Catch and store energy
  • Obtain a yield
  • Apply the self-regulation and accept the feedback
  • Use and value renewable resources and services
  • Produce no waste 
  • Design from patterns to details
  • Integrate rather than segregate
  • Use small and slow solutions
  • To use and value diversity
  • Use edges and value the marginal 
  • Creative use and respond to the change

These principles and ethics should be included for mass education of people. To tackle the new challenges like climate change and others, these green techniques should be adapted at a very individual level. So then it can be implemented on an organizational level.

3 Ethics and 12 Principles of Permaculture
Ethics and Principles of Eco friendly Permaculture

Importance and Purpose of Permaculture

These climate changes, mass drought and other natural catastrophe are becoming more common because of the misuse of resources, capitalist mindset trying to achieve temporary profit, inefficient conventional and outdated extraction of minerals and oil damaging the earth in the process. Resulting in other problems rather than offering solutions.

In these newly created problems regenerative farming like Permaculture can be the solution. Permaculture can feed the world with ensuring the sustainability of the resources and eco friendliness for years to come.

Who Invented permaculture

Permaculture term and its basics were invented by Bill Mollison. With time the other farmers joined and implemented the permaculture method of organic farming. Expanded the vision of permaculture gardening or farming, integrated and shared their own thinking in it based on their work, knowledge and assessments. 

Permaculture Include knowledge, education and techniques from many different fields of science. like agriculture, horticulture, geography, geology, engineering, ecology, finance, economics, and many many other fields. 

Permaculture people (permaculturist)

There are many people also known as permaculturist around the globe doing permaculture or moving towards permaculture. The most influential People are Bill mollison, David holmgren and Geoff Lawton and many others. In many parts of the world which have seen the result of the Green Revolution are moving towards permaculture or a type of permaculture like Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF). As we have seen in the Indian states like Karnataka.

David Holmgren explains “Traditional agriculture was labour intensive, industrial agriculture is energy intensive, and permaculture-designed systems are information and design intensive.” 

Permaculture versus Agriculture

Agriculture is a vast term and it has many methods for its implementation. It includes organic and inorganic farming along with many other ways to achieve good yield from the soil.

Permaculture on the other hand mainly focuses more on organic methods of farming. Mostly self sustainable procedures are used. An efficient system of products, by products and the waste are made and become interconnected with each other. This is a kind of minimalistic way of living not relying on the outside needs and making interconnected cycles of interdependencies. Most people do not use any inorganic components like inorganic fertilizers and it's the right way to do it. If you use inorganics elements then it does not remain organic sustainable permaculture farming. Permaculture uses its own waste like tree trunks, rotting plants and the waste of the animals. Turning these unwanted materials into compost will help to make the soil more fertilised.

Natural farming Permaculture versus Agriculture
Permaculture and other types of farming

Permaculture versus Organic Farming

Permaculture is a sophisticated type of organic farming in which our very small steps stack up to make a difference in our overall yield of food production. The Permaculture is a very efficient type of organic farming where all the small elements and systems are made to complement each other. Unlike organic farming diploma culture is a whole socio economic and political school of thought. 

Permaculture versus Horticulture 

Horticulture simply is a type of agriculture that is used to make plantations more beautiful or pleasant. This can be done for personal pleasure or presenting the landscape better.

Permaculture and horticulture can go hand in hand.  Vegetation plantation , tree plantation for fruit plantation can be done in a way to make them appear more pleasant to the common eye.

We have already discussed permaculture in detail. We use the design process of the permaculture farm observing the topography of the land. Giving more thought in the design process we can turn our farms into Horticulture farms.

Permaculture sustainable way of gardening
Designing self sustainable permaculture garden

Permaculture versus Green Revolution

There was a world before 1960 where most of the food we consume were natural. There were no many use of inorganic pesticides, inorganic fertilizers, genetically modified seeds on a high scale and other artificial or inorganic things were used. These days everything has changed. We are cultivating monoculture crops, using vast pesticides, artificial fertilizers and genetically modified crops everywhere in the world. This is because of the Green Revolution which started in the 1960’s in many countries of the world with the funding of c international organisations. The objective of this so-called Green Revolution was very noble which was to feed the world and end the world famine.

Did Green Revolution really achieve what it was meant for?

There is still famine in many places of the world. But in the process we have diverted to the unnatural, capitalistic and descriptive practices in agriculture. We can achieve mass production from using these chemicals but damaging your soil, food chain and food security for many years to come. The green revolution was a basically political move by the western countries to influence the countries against the communist expansion. Communist era there was a tug of war to win the countries except their system of government. The west for capitalist countries tried to influence  other countries by development and projects. These projects were funded by international organisations like the World Bank. These projects include the funding of big dams, Irrigation systems and the Green Revolution it was a time anti communist alliances were created like NATO and others. The aid package like the Marshall plan and also the export of the weapons from the US and alliance were sure to the other nations. The Green Revolution certainly shown hugh success and so still used in most of the countries.

Problems with Green Revolution

The wrong things about it is the use of pesticides that are known to increase the cancer among the people who use it in their crops and fields. The fertilizer which produce good yield when used once twice or few times in a single type of crop for monoculture but then limiting the the type of crops, vegetation and other things that can be grown with it. these pesticides and fertilizers required a complicated process to make. The big industrial plants require complex technology with many main elements to be processed which is also a very energy consumable process. Becoming a burden on the overall economy of a country. These fertilizer and chemical plants also have a big share in climate change and are not eco-friendly. With these artificial components the soil reduces its ability to support the plant gradually. In permaculture the waste of the plants, trees are converted into organic fertilizers which in return make the soil more capable of production.The whole many systems of interconnected elements increases the long lasting overall production.

Permaculture as alternative of Green Revolution

The finances, research,and the political backing used for the Green Revolution if used for the other regenerative farming techniques like permaculture and others. Then maybe the world would have moved to a very self sustaining model of food security and production. Also very eco friendly and with a high production all around the globe with every kind of climate.


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