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What is Permaculture?

Editor's Note: The term permaculture was first coined by Australians David Holmgren, then a graduate student, and his professor, Bill Mollison, in 1978 as a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. They also realized extraction of our earth's natural resources would not be sustainable without renewal of those resources.

I discovered permaculture about five years ago when I was on a wild edibles class walk in Pleasant Hill. I was talking to the instructor about how it was too bad someone had not integrated using wild edible plants into an organic gardening or farming plan. To my surprise, he said They have, it is called Permaculture.

I heard one Permaculture expert use the term biomimicry in her description as she described how we have millions of years of research and development available in nature to practice living more sustainably. Why not use it?

How can we Apply Permaculture?
Simple examples of permaculture we can easily practice at home include:

Another common example is planting a hedgerow to provide a buffer for traffic noise and to some degree car exhaust pollution. My personal favorite is using chickens to control crabgrass and weeds in an area of my yard that was previously extremely difficult to manage.

Is Permaculture the way to save the earth? I do not know but I think it has a big part to play in the overall process!

--Mike Lay, Board member and student of Permaculture



PHIG (Pleasant Hill Instructional Garden)
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