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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.


New French edition of The Resilient Farm and Homestead available

Great news for French-speaking fans of Ben Falk’s The Resilient Farm and Homestead: An Innovative Permaculture and Whole Systems Design Approach. The French language translation is now available from Imagine Un Colibri, from French booksellers, and on Amazon.fr. Falk’s book is a technical manual that details the strategies he and his team have developed for […] Read More

How to Make Biochar

Doing some spring cleaning around your property? By making biochar from brush and other hard-to-compost organic material, you can improve soil—it enhances nutrient availability and also enables soil to retain nutrients longer. This excerpt from The New Farmer’s Almanac, Volume 3, explains how to get started. To make biochar right in your garden, start by […] Read More

Generosity as Activism, and Other Homesteading Principles to Live By

“Like everyone I know, we occasionally find ourselves faced with a decision to which there is no obvious answer,” says Ben Hewitt, coauthor of The Nourishing Homestead. “Do we borrow money to build a bigger barn, or do we keep getting by with what we have? Do we spend our meager savings on trees and […] Read More

Pass the Walnut Syrup?

Everyone knows and loves maple syrup, and in some states (like Chelsea Green’s home state of Vermont), it’s big business. However, it’s a widespread myth that maples are the only trees that can be tapped to produce sap, according to Michael Farrell, sugarmaker and director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Forest. Sap can also be collected […] Read More

4 Books for Growing Food in Winter

Don’t let cold weather stop you from producing and enjoying your own food. For many, the coming of winter simply means cultivation moves indoors or under cover. Small farmers, homesteaders, home gardeners, and commercial growers can extend the growing season with techniques outlined in these essential books. There’s no need for urbanites and small-space dwellers […] Read More
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