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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.


Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More

Skills: The Gateway to True Homesteading Freedom

There are numerous skills that a homesteader needs to use on any given day; some are learned and others are passed down from homesteader to homesteader.In this excerpt from The Nourishing Homestead, author Ben Hewitt talks about why these skills are important to pass down to each generation, perhaps even if you’re not a hardcore […] Read More
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