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  • Writer's pictureHighlander Farm

The Basic Principles Of Permaculture

What is permaculture?

Permaculture is a design approach based on the understanding of how nature works. It is a process that mimics the natural order of things as they would exist without human interaction. Permaculture is a "give more than you take" approach to preserve the resiliency of the eco-system.

Permaculture is a unique tool that is used to design regenerative systems - at all scales - from home to garden to community, farms and bioregions around the world.

There are 3 basic concepts to permaculture:

  1. Earth Care

  2. People Care

  3. Fair Shares - or the return or surplus back to earth and people

Permaculture comes from a long history of practices from indigenous cultures around the world, and combining them with the science of ecology, design approaches and appropriate technology.

What is the first step to get started?

Whether you own land or live in an apartment, you can still use permaculture processes. The first challenge, or starting point, is to produce ZERO waste. That is a permaculture principle based on nature. Nature doesn't produces waste. So how can you produce zero waste? It could be that you consider buying groceries without packaging, or learning to repurpose the packaging it comes in. We, as humans, are natural designers and we can design our lives with the tools permaculture provides us with a little extra thought and consciousness on how we use things.

How do animals contribute to permaculture?

All animals have "jobs". They require zero training. They are born with the skills and instinctually perform them. Everything in nature has a "job". Bees pollinate. Insects break down organic matter and so forth. They all have jobs. They all have purpose. Here at Highlander Farm, we utilize the animals natural skills to work for us. We will relocate chickens to a grassy field where they will scratch and forage and naturally till the soil for us. We use the rabbits we breed to produce natural fertilizer through their manure and urine. Here on the farm, everyone has a job, even the animals.

Permaculture is cyclic.

We plant gardens which provide natural diet for the farm animals, who in turn till the soil and fertilize it, creating gardens for planting once again. It's an important concept to replenish what you take. To give more than you receive. Permaculture is a way of life which promotes a balanced eco-system. We should never rape the land of its natural resources and wait for mother nature to try to recover. The idea is to replenish as we take so that we have an abundance of resource to live off of.

Permaculture success is in the design

The genesis is in the design. The placement or animals in relation to their jobs. The diversity of the systems you have created. From capturing rain water, to raising meat, to zero waste lifestyle. Permaculture is designing a sustainable lifestyle of abundance. It is proactive and not reactive.

Happy Farming!

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