Permanent agriculture, earth focused farming that benefits people. That’s what permaculture means to me in as few words as possible. For those of you that require a more in depth view read on. A form of agriculture that seeks to work with the natural world and to model the existing patterns of nature. The objective? Improving the quality of life for people and at the same time caring for the earth. This results in reduced waste and brings about food abundance. If it cares for the earth but injures people, it’s not permaculture. If it benefits people but causes damage to the environment it’s not permaculture.
Permaculture in Food Foresting
An example of permaculture in action would be a the creation of a food forest with or with out aquaculture which is designed to be easy to access and use while at the same time making use of every inch of space. When thinking about the process of designing a food forest we can see how stacking in space and time can ensure food abundance. As long as you make sure the seven layers are occupied, success will be fairly easy to achieve. What are the seven layers? (1) Tall Tree Layer, (2) Low Tree Layer, (3) Shrub Layer, (4) Herbaceous Layer, (5) Ground Cover, (6) Vine Layer, (7) Rhizoplane
A food forest will maximize growing space by having food bearing vines around food bearing trees. Shrubs, cover crops and root vegetables will also appear in the same vicinity where possible. Then there’s the chickens or other animals that can be introduced. Water harvesting is also an important factor and swales or terraced gardens like you would see in rice fields can be created easily.
By building a high number of edible perennials and companion plants into the structure of the food forest design you can really increase the food abundance coming from this particular edible forest. All you need to is add in a few annuals to supplement what you already have and your good. Include lots of different species and you create hi bio-diverse areas which are able to self protect against pests.
Anyway that’s my take on what permaculture. Want to have a go? then find a piece of land and learn as you grow. If you want more information you may find our post on What Plants Attract Beneficial Insects? useful. Until next time. Learn as you go & learn as you grow.
Your friendly Suburban Farmer – Edible Gardens Team
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