So What is This Permaculture Stuff and Why Should I Care
So What is This Permaculture Stuff and Why Should I Care? I have written several articles on this blog that mention the word permaculture. I’m surprised that no one has asked yet. The many visitors that have visited the site have not asked many questions at all. Hopefully that will change and everyone will become more interactive.
The Wikipedia’s definition is as follows: “Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.”
I have heard others define permaculture as a design science that can be used for agriculture, but it can also be used outside of agriculture. It is the function stacking of sustainable poly culture.
David Holmgren and Bill Mollison first coined the term and wrote a book on how to design permaculture. The book is titled
Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual. It sells on Amazon for just under $100.
Permaculture Design Course (PDC)
There are several Permaculture Design Courses (PDCs) out and they are based off of the Mollison’s book. I have taken two PDCs and each of them are based off the Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual but they went about the course in different ways. They both met the requirements to award a certificate to the student; they just used a different approach to get the information to you. To receive a PDC certification you are required to attend 72 hours of classroom lecture, take and pass a final exam and do a permaculture design on a property (on paper) to be turned in and graded. The 72 hours can be done via video on demand or classroom.
An agriculture Permaculture design consists of an extensive checklist of items that need to be considered in the design. Some items that need to be considered include zones, sectors, elements, water, soil, earthworks, and much more.
Each of the above items requires great detail in a design. An example includes zones, which is a place on the property dealing with the function of that place and how often you visit that place. Zone 0 is inside your house. Zone 1 could be an herb garden right outside of the kitchen that you visit every day. There is a zone 2, 3, and 4. This goes out to zone 5, which is the forest or treed area that you do not touch other than an occasional stroll through to observe nature. Your entire property needs to fit into the zones above, although many suburb lots will not have all five/six zones.
The Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual goes into great detail on all of these topics and many more. Over the next few months I will review each chapter, covering 1 chapter every week or two. The chapters in the book are as follows:
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Concepts and Themes in Design
Chapter 3 – Methods of Design
Chapter 4 – Pattern Understanding
Chapter 5 – Climatic Factors
Chapter 6 – Trees and their Energy Transactions
Chapter 7 – Water
Chapter 8 – Soils
Chapter 9 – Earthworks and Earth Resources
Chapter 10 – The Humid Tropics
Chapter 11 – Dryland Strategies
Chapter 12 – Humid Cool to Cold Climates
Chapter 13 – Aquaculture
Chapter 14 – The Strategies of an Alternative Global Nation
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