Permaculture Practices, Principles, and Design
Today, let us talk about Permaculture Practices, Principles, Design, and Architecture.
Introduction To Permaculture:
Permaculture is a framework which is considered to be innovative and it helps in the creation of sustainable ways of healthy living. It is a method which is used practically for the development of the systems which maintain harmony in the ecology, efficient and also productive so that they can be used by any person irrespective of the place.
If we think for a minute carefully regarding the way we are utilizing our resources such as shelter, food and any other needs which are materialistic or non-materialistic, you would understand that by making less use of them will give you more gain. By using very little efforts, you get a chance to be productive, which would also be beneficial to the environment, you and also your future generations.
This is the main essence of the method called permaculture and this is the design which helps you to have a very good life by maintaining the ecology. This can be designed in the gardens, households, gated communities and also business areas. This design will be created with complete intention to cooperate with mother nature and take ultimate care about the people present on this earth.
Permaculture is not restricted, it can be practiced by anyone irrespective of the place they live, such as yards, country houses, window boxes, spaces in the communities, conservation areas located in the countryside, near industries, schools and other establishments related to education, grounds which are not in use etc.
Permaculture will encourage people to be self-dependent and also resourceful. Being an ecological design system, it will help the people to get solutions to several problems they have been facing in both local and global terms.
Permaculture is actually called Permanent culture and it can also be described as a set of techniques for gardening. It has gradually grown into a philosophy design which improves life. Its main theme is to create human systems which would satisfy the needs of the human by using the elements of nature and getting inspired by the ecosystems of nature. The goals and priorities of the permaculture will have a mere coincidence with the things which human beings see as the main requirements to sustain.
Permaculture is great in tackling things like growing food, building houses and creating communities by decreasing the impact on the environment. The principles of Permaculture are developing in a constant way and these are undergoing refinement by people all across the world in various climates.
Read: Agriculture Robots.
Design Principles of Permaculture:
Observe and interact- This principle asks us to slow down and observe nature closely and also interact with the people in real life, but not on mobiles. The main point of this principle is the capability to start designing a culture which is dependent on the co-creation with mother nature, at the same time accepting the limitations of the current norms of culture such as separation of human beings from nature. It is your capability to dance along with nature and also educating yourself about when to interfere and when not to, educating yourself about the existence of limitations and abundances also learning about how to combine humanity to the ecosystem so that the requirements of human beings can be met by benefiting everyone. This can be achieved by practicing meditation, awareness of breathing, walking in the herbs to learn about the edibles and medicines available in the herbs etc.
Catching the energy and storing it:
As we all know that the sun is the source of all the energy and the human beings lose energy for every task they perform, it is very important for them to get close to nature i.e., sun, plants etc. so that your body meets the required energy levels. Generally, energy will circulate throughout our system and then it gets released whenever we perform the task, but minerals present in the soil will always undergo recycling if the soil is maintained well. Hence, it is very much important to take some time for relaxation so that the body can restore and balance the energy levels. This means that you will be in association with the things which bring positive energy so that you can not only be joyful but also be energized by running and learning new things
Obtaining a yield
System yield can be defined as the total amount of surplus energy which will be produced, stored, conserved and reused by the permaculture design. Energy will be in a surplus mode when the system has all the things available for its growth, maintenance and also reproduction. In the permaculture method, obtaining a yield means nothing but planting in such a manner that most of the food would be created. The food which is produced would be considered as a reward from nature. For a happy life, it is important that you work for a reward which is either intrinsic or extrinsic. There is no obligation that these rewards should be financed. These rewards should be in such a way that they create some kind of difference in your life, your colleague’s life or your friend’s life by making their day a bit easier.
Applying self-regulation and accepting the feedback:
In terms of scale, you need to start permaculture, small, and it would be better if you take feedback and think about a redesign. If you get to make small changes, you will get a chance to increase your confidence levels so that you would be able to handle tough tasks and changes which are even more difficult. Self-control and self-regulation will make you be responsible and accountable and also helps you to get empowered. Feedback is the one which makes you excel at your work.
Using and giving value to renewable resources and services and produce zero waste:
These principles are quite common and these are the tips which come out of common sense to live a life which is eco-friendly by creating a world which is more sustainable.
Designing from patterns to details:
You need to have a clear picture of everything before you start going deep into this principle. You need to know about the time and space you have and also plan for the coming generations. You also need to know the drawbacks or limitations of your permaculture design. Now start examining the complete picture, mainly the sections which you do not want to have a look too. Permaculture is the one which encourages to stand back and observe the patterns of nature and also of the society and fill the details you observed. This is the most efficient way to work too.
Integration is better than segregation:
The relationships which are symbiotic and cooperative will be more adaptable in the future where the energy will be declined. However, you will also have a disposition of culture to have a look and trust in the relationships which are predatory and also competitive in terms of culture and nature.
Using and valuing diversity:
Diversity in the yields is dependent on the diversity of the elements in the permaculture system. Moreover, the more diverse the positions or niches that are to be filled, there would be a chance to create the yields which are still more diverse to a certain extent. There are elements which are more diverse and will not offer any contribution to the system’s health unless and until they are able to make connections with each other. The diversity of the connections is the one which matters. You will need to analyze the needs and also the yields by using the connections which are diverse, so that you would be able to meet the requirements of each element.
Using the solutions which are small and slow:
Permaculture is the method which makes use of the solutions which are small and also slow. This is because the management of these solutions would be easier than the solutions which are bigger and they also allow the usage of the resources which are available locally which in turn leads to the outcomes which are more sustainable. Moreover, this will not always be feasible and in few situations, you need to go for the solutions which are bigger and also fast so that you would be able to get the solutions for the greatest problems of the society. This is the principle which will act as a tool, adding more value to the problem-solving.
Using edges and value the marginal:
Permaculture is a method which suggests that the place where the most interesting take place is the interface between the things. These things are very valuable, diverse and also considered to be the parts of the system which are very productive. This includes extending a garden or a place where the railway is not used. In professional and personal life, we need to try our best to make use of resources in an effective manner including the smallest spaces.
Creatively using and responding to changes:
This principle is the one which requires no explanation. But in the world which is changing day by day, it is the principle which is the most important one which has to be followed in both professional and personal lives. To live a life well and also to be viable and sustainable as a business, it is important for you to be resilient and work in a creative way to change.
By using the above principles, you can not only create a life which is better, but also a world which is a better one to live. This can be done by taking care of the earth and the people who are living on it.
Read: Button Mushroom Cultivation.
Core Ethics of Permaculture:
Taking care of the Earth:
- Earth is the main thing by which we are sustaining. It is the one which is providing us with all the elements which are essential to our lives in order to keep us alive in the form of food, shelter, air, water. Earth is the main and the one and only source to get all these things which are essential. We cannot even think of getting them from anywhere. We are completely dependent on earth and the systems of living present on it for the purpose of survival.
- If we take care of the systems of earth, it will help us survive and this is called self-interest which would enlighten you. It would help you do what is right for the survival on this earth by giving you some sense about not polluting the air because it is where you need to breathe. It would enlighten you about keeping the water and food safe from pollution because it is you who would be taking them at the end of the day.
- Caring earth is an ethic which involves all the things including both living and non-living such as animals, plants, water, land, air and water. This is because, as per science, every living being and non-living being are interdependent on each other and also interconnected with each other. If anyone being gets affected, then obviously every living and non-living being get affected.
- Caring the soil also comes under caring the earth. Each and every life on this earth is dependent on each other and the soil is the one which is complicated living ecosystem which gives intense support to the life of plants which in turn act as food for a living and non-living being, few directly and few, indirectly.
- Keeping beside the production of food, it also involves caring for the forests which are almost the ones which act as the lungs of the earth by making sure that there is an adequate supply of clean air. Forests are linked to the formation of rain and the water cycle and hence, they play a major role in making sure that the water supplied is a fresh one.
Taking Care for People:
- As we know that all the living beings are interdependent on each other and human beings are not an exception. Caring for people is nothing but the promotion of self-reliance and also being responsible for the community. Being self-reliable is nothing but taking the responsibility of your own future and helping your own community by sharing your experience as well as knowledge and also making people skilled so that they would be helping themselves in meeting their own needs.
- When human beings are collaborated and offering help and support to each other in order to meet their needs which are both physical and mental, there would be a bond which will be created and is stable, healthy and also supportive which in turn helps the community to prosper.
- Caring for people should start with the person who is very much closer to us i.e., ourselves. It would be very difficult to care for others if we neglect ourselves. After learning to take care of ourselves, then you need to go in the circles which are the next closest to us such as family, neighbors and then comes the society and our ultimate goal is to serve the humanity.
Sharing in a fair way:
- This ethic is the one which synthesizes the first two ethics. The main concept of this ethic is to make the people know that we have only one earth and it is our responsibility to share it with all the living and nonliving things and offer it as beautiful as it is to the future generations.
- Permaculture is against to the growth of industries as it is the core of its ethics, and it has an aspiration for the design of systems which are fair and equitable that will consider the limitations of the resources of the earth and also the requirements of the living creatures. The ethics of permaculture are more likely as the codes of behavior or moral values.
- Mulching – It is the process in which the soil is covered in order to create favorable conditions for the growth of plants and also for their development. This will prevent the water from getting evaporated from the soil and it is also easy to control the weed by using the process of mulching.
- Using manure as a fertilizer – By using the waste produced by the crops, livestock etc, we can prepare a fertilizer and this would help the environment to protect oneself from the chemical fertilizers.
- Hugelkultur – In this permaculture practice, wood will be buried in large volumes under the soil so that there would be an increase in the fertility of the soil. The wood which decomposes will act as a sponge when it is located underground and at the time of rains, the wood which is buried will play an active role in absorbing the water which will be sufficient to support the crops during summers.
- Agroforestry – Agroforestry is a method of managing the usage of land in which the trees are grown among the crops. This particular combination is intentional because of the benefits it offers by increasing the biodiversity and decreasing the erosion of soil.
- Companion Planting – Companion planting in agriculture is nothing but the plantation of several varieties of crops in any number for several reasons. The reasons may include controlling pests, providing habitat for the creatures which may be beneficial, increasing the space of usage or to increase the production of crops.
- Polyculture – This method is nothing but planting a large number of varieties of plants in a single farm or garden.
- Holistic Management – Holistic Management is a framework which involves decision making to make sure that the decisions we take are sound in terms of environment, economics and also in a social way. This will provide you with the capability of developing a detailed vision of the future you are dreaming about. The roots of holistic management are in the management of the environment.
- Plant Guild – Plant guild is nothing but a creating a group of plants which support each other in all their functions. They also would be supporting the animals and human beings and satisfy their needs in terms of food, medicine and utilities.
- Intercropping – Intercropping is a cropping practice in which multiple crops are grown in a single piece of land. The main goal of the intercropping is to get greater yields by using the resources or the processes of ecology which will not be used by a single crop.
Permaculture in India:
Though there is a rapid growth of permaculture in India, the villagers are very reluctant to dry several kinds of foods and habits and this is the reason why the permaculture movement is getting slowed down. To take an example, only a very few varieties of vegetables will be consumed in the areas where there is a chance of large diversity. If a large variety of plants are grown, it will not only increase the value of nutrition, but also increases the stability in terms of economic status. The diversity of plants will also increase the resilience when there is drought or heavy rains which are very common when there is any change in climate.
India is a country where are excellent government programs for rainwater harvesting. For example, the composition of toilets will solve the problem of open defecation and grey water can be managed by mulch basins which is a hygienic method. The regenerative marsh systems which are present at the city level can be used for dealing with black water.
Difference between organic farming and permaculture:
Permaculture is a process of farming, which uses the principles and practices of organic farming, but it is way beyond these practices of organic farming and it plays a major role in the integration of the farm and home in order to create a life that has less impact on the environment.
Organic farming is a farming method which makes of the fertilizers obtained in a natural way, such as manures and also makes use of the carbon cycle, which is again natural so that the wastes which are produced from plants or livestock can act as food to each other. Here in organic farming, the minerals present in the soil will be lost whenever harvesting is done and the produce is carried to the nearby market.
Here permaculture is forward to organic farming. In permaculture, food production is brought closer to the consumers and the wastes produced by the consumer will be again brought back to the cycle. It will decrease the wastage of energy which occurs in the transportation of food by encouraging the production of food at the place where consumers are located. In this method of permaculture, it is the people or the consumers who would contribute food to their daily life and meet all the needs.