Category: Why Permaculture?

How to Measure Success with Gardening

How to Measure Success with Gardening

Part of the beauty of permaculture is our work in gardening. It informs our thinking in food production, and it guides our approach to the land. It is a way of thinking that is central to permaculture. It’s a way of thinking that is nurturing and sustainable and inclusive of humans. That requires human input in a way that is considered. A garden is human interaction with the land’s food production systems.

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Why We Do Things The “Hard Way”

farmer's Hands

During the past year or so I have frequently wondered why we do things the hard way. Surely it is a lot easier to get a 9-5 job, drive a nice car, have a nice house, buy all our food and just live a “normal” life? Okay, so that would most likely mean mortgage, car loan, and credit cards but everyone else does it, why not us? It is an attractive proposition for someone struggling to make ends meet whilst living the Permaculture Dream.

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Permaculture Ethics – Making Them Work

Empy Hands

“A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.” – Albert Schweitze

The ethical principles of Permaculture set it apart from other design disciplines, as their inclusion guides the actions and goals of the designer.

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‘Silent Spring’ Triggered an Environmental Movement

Silent-Spring-Headline

The book ‘Silent Spring’ triggered an environmental movement and as such we have known the toxic effects of chemical agriculture, basically from the very beginning. We have suffered both massive environmental damage, disease and pest resistance, and human health issues.

Silent Spring is a 1962 environmental science book by Rachel Carson. The book documented the detrimental effects on the environment—particularly on birds—of the indiscriminate use of pesticides.

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Geoff Lawton – Expertise

geoff lawton expertise

As a discipline that tries to create sustainable systems, permaculture is wonderfully diverse. You don’t just develop expertise as a gardener or as a farmer, but you also work with ideas from water, waste, from energy systems and architecture. You engage in the spectrum of human knowledge, and this is intensely rewarding. It is how we come to develop holistic systems that are sustainable. This diversity can also be daunting. […]

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Announcing the First Programme Details – Geoff and Nadia Lawton

Geoff-Nadia-Lawton

The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) is excited to announce that Geoff and Nadia Lawton will be attending this year’s British Permaculture Convergence to present a series of workshops. Presenters include: Geoff Lawton – Permaculture Research Institute Setting up demonstration sites as education centres & training permaculture project managers Permaculture Earthworks design and implementation Nadia Lawton School gardens across the world Working with tribal women Matt Ralston & Adrian Lovett Making […]

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Growing Local – Eating Local

Fresh produce

One of life’s simple pleasures would have to be going to the local Farmers Market for the weekly shopping. The hubbub of chatter, cooking, banging and rattling. Talking to the people who actually produce your food. The smells, the sights, the touch on your skin. The sense of being part of a food system that is whole and sustaining. Local Farmers Markets are popping up everywhere and are in great […]

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Fukuoka, Bowie, Gandhi and You

Blackboard

So you’ve heard of Permaculture, you understand the notion of sustainability, you recycle… mostly, you’re grappling with the concept of infinite growth on a finite planet, perhaps you have some friends or family who are beginning to behave a little strangely and keep talking about things like ‘biochar’, ‘cob’ or ‘compost tea’? In short, you’re interested, but you don’t know where to begin! A book that has become a cornerstone […]

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Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

feat Why Our Lawns Are Bad for the Environment and How to Change Them for the Better

Lawns were a European invention, England to be precise, and they were the undertaking of the fabulously wealthy, seeking to bring the glade closer to home. Originally, they were cultivated with more useful (though not necessarily used) plants like chamomile or thyme. However, the trend moved towards closely cropped grasses, first maintained by grazing sheep then by men with scythes and finally, eventually, moving along (in fast forward) to the […]

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Comfrey – BELIEVE the HYPE!

Comfrey – BELIEVE the HYPE!

There’s a plethora of info out there about comfrey but not much detail regarding establishing and managing a comfrey patch so I thought I would write an article to share my experience on this and how we grow comfrey as part of our fertility strategy in the market garden. When writing this article I could not resist to include some of the stories of this incredible plant and of the […]

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Great, Free (or Cheap) Gardening Resources for the Small-Time Farmer

feat Rooftop Allotment (Courtesy of David Barrie)

Much of the modern food movement, the one that is shedding large-scale monocultures and promoting local self-sufficiency, is predicated on small farms. Our suburban lawns are being transformed into zones of food production. Our urban balconies become miniature ecosystems, complete with animal habitats and edible gardens. Vacant lots and public parks are converted into food forests and/or allotments. At the beginning of this transition, we are relearning some skills—seed-saving, organic […]

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Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

Perennial Polycultures – The Biomass Belt: Fertility Without Manure

We’re extending the Polyculture Project to include experimental perennial polycultures on various plots of our newly acquired land. Our aim is to develop models that are low cost to establish and maintain, can produce healthy affordable nutritious food and will enhance biodiversity. We’ve been looking into fencing our plots, and how to meet fertility demands of the establishing perennial crops such as fruits, nuts, herbs and perennial vegetables without relying […]

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