There are many long definitions of Permaculture. In a nut shell I think of Permaculture as a method of design that copies nature and puts strong emphasis on biodiversity (or variety).
Regular readers will recall my saying often that when I started gardening I looked to nature for my example. That is basically what Permaculture does.
When I started gardening years ago —and for many years that followed — I’d never even heard of Permaculture — much less know what it was.
In today’s world marketing has influenced the way people garden as well as most other things they do. Many things are promoted as needs when the reality is — they’re not “needed” at all.
There’s nothing secretive or expensive about gardening with nature. And the nicest part is — it’s the easiest and most enjoyable way to garden — in addition to being a way that creates a more diverse, natural, beautiful and more abundant garden and landscape. And the icing on the cake —- it doesn’t take anywhere near the amount of maintenance that conventional borders or gardens take.
A Reader Writes about a Book She is Reading
A good friend and reader wrote to me today saying that she picked up a very interesting book from the library recently. She writes, “It’s about the same things you talk about – working with nature instead of against it. —– I’ve just started it, and it is so different from anything else —— I’m hearing things that I’ve only heard from you before.” (She hasn’t filled me in on any of the details yet.)
By now you’re probably wanting an example. Well — I’m going to give you a small one — and I haven’t even read the book yet —- but I can almost guarantee you that this principle will be addressed somewhere in that book.
A week or so ago a reader wrote, ” I remember your telling me (or perhaps I read it in a post) that it was better NOT to edge your beds with anything. I ignored that good advice, edged with some nice bricks I had laying around, and was regretting it just the other day. I will get around to taking them away SOON. (They look nice, but wiregrass loves to creep under them.)
Fences, boards for raised beds, landscape fabric and the like just cause more work. It is much easier to work with nature rather than against her. She’ll always win — so why not work with her.
Many Might Feel this Way
I think many folks who are gardening today feel as my friend did. In talking about the book she writes, “The working with nature was something I’ve heard you say, and I guess I always thought of gardening as taming it or conquering it…. this guys says similar (to what you say).”
The book is Gaia’s Garden: A guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. It is said to be the first major North American book on Permaculture. It has excellent reviews and many consider it a “must-have” — especially the Second Edition. I know I want to read it.
It would make a great Christmas gift for a gardener — or for yourself.
But if you can’t afford the book, find it at the library, or feel that it would put you into overwhelm — don’t worry. Just keep reading TMG. Sooner or later, I’ll cover all the basics you need to know and in the meantime your good common sense will hold you in good stead.
Here are a few of the TMG Posts dealing with principles that are also principles of Permaculture:
Organic gardening is easy, effective, efficient —- and it’s a lot heathier.
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