Permaculture is a fantastic (and relatively modern) concept that incorporates aquaponics, hydroponics, fungiculture and so much more. Its objective is to allow humanity to live harmoniously with the natural world by applying ecological principles and systems to living principles and practices.
It achieves this by using patterns or features observed in nature’s ecosystems. A key aspect of this theory is to totally remove waste from a production chain and increase natural production using sustainable methods and materials. This considered, permaculture is not opposed to technology! However, it is generally more affinitive with low tech methods as they don’t have a long supply chain and are likely to have less reliance on fossil fuel based products.
To achieve this in the correct manner three main aspect must be considered: care for the earth, people and fair share, a good appreciation of nature and an ordered design process. This is made simple by following the twelve permaculture design principles:
- Observe and interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
- Use renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- Design based on patterns
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow (sustainable) solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change.
The term permaculture originates from “permanent agriculture”. This doesn’t refer to things staying the same, but stability. Within permaculture are several sub categories: construction, water resource management, regenerative habitat management, natural agriculture, ecological design/engineering, environmental design and natural ecosystem modelling.
Although harmonious living with nature has been practiced since ancient times, the modern concept of permaculture was developed in the 1970’s spearheaded by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist who had spent years studying the interaction of natural ecosystems.