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Chelsea Green Blog

Learn Permaculture 101 in Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

Permaculture is one of those gardening techniques that many people–as hard as it might be to admit–might not fully understand. But it’s actually quite simple.

From PlanetGreen:

Permaculture is the act of working with Mother Nature, not against her. It’s about creating an ecosystem by putting together communities of plants that work cooperatively. It’s about building and maintaining healthy soil. Catching and conserving water, naturally. Allowing a habitat for birds and animals, alongside your garden. And being able to eat your bounty, too.

The Origins of Permaculture

Toby Hemenway, permaculture expert and author of (Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, says:

“Permaculture uses a set of principles and practices to design sustainable human settlements. The word, a contraction of both ‘permanent culture’ and ‘permanent agriculture,’ was coined by two Australians. The first was Bill Mollison, a charismatic and iconoclastic one-time forester, schoolteacher, trapper, field naturalist, and author of the dense and encyclopedic bible of the field, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual. The other is David Holmgren, one of the first of Bill’s many students, who has brilliantly expanded permaculture’s scope.”

The Aim of Permaculture

According to Hemenway, the aim of permaculture is, “To design ecologically sound, economically prosperous human communities. It is guided by a set of ethics: caring for Earth, caring for people, and reinvesting the surplus that this care will create. From these ethics stem a set of design guidelines or principles, described in many places and in slightly varying forms.” […]

Read the entire article here.

We are Farmily: Everyday Life on Sole Food Street Farm

Food is the medium. The message is nourishment in its most elemental and spiritual form.That’s how author Michael Ableman sees the role of Sole Food Street Farm and the food it sells to markets, restaurants, and individuals.In the following excerpt from his new book, Street Farm: Growing Food, Jobs, and Hope on the Urban Frontier, […] Read More

Who Produces More Eggs: Ducks or Chickens?

During our monthlong focus on homesteading in September, we received a number of great questions with several of them centered on … ducks and chickens.Here is one such question that came in via Facebook:“I have read that ducks produce more eggs over a longer lifetime of productivity than chickens, but recently talked with a farmer […] Read More

From Farm-to-Table to Farm-to-Everything

No longer restricted to the elite segments of society, the farm-to-table movement now reaches a wide spectrum of Americans from hospital and office cafeterias to elementary schools and fast-casual restaurants.Nearly a century ago, the idea of “local food” would have seemed perplexing, since virtually all food was local. Today, most of the food consumed in […] Read More

The Three Cs of Farm-to-School

Most people know about the three “R’s” – reading, writing, and arithmetic. But, have you heard about the three “C’s”?If you, or your kid, is at a school that takes part in the Farm-to-School movement, then you may already know about them.October is National Farm-to-School month, and in their book Farm to Table, authors Darryl […] Read More

Homesteading: Highlighting Our Need For Each Other

Homesteading isn’t meant to be a solitary adventure, or done in isolation.Building and living on the independent farmstead takes at least one partner, if not several. That’s the advice of authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty. In their book The Independent Farmstead, The Sow’s Ear model for regenerating the land and growing food covers everything from […] Read More
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