Monday, December 22, 2008
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a design philosophy that emphasizes the use of nature's patterns and principles to create human settlements that are integrated into on-site resources by stacking and connecting functions. It is a practical, ethical and to some, spiritual approach towards working with nature and reducing resource impact. Permaculture is an umbrella--an overarching framework that connects many of the disciplines necessary for sustainable living. Topics of study and application can fall into the following categories: small farm design, village-scale energy systems, cob building, straw bale construction, water catchment, grey water plumbing and landscaping, rain gardens, composting toilets, perennial food systems, aquaponics, herbalism, alternative healing, homebirth, homeschooling, community revitalizing and local enconomy. To some, permaculture is a way of life and a career choice to use one's time and energy to create and restore productive eco-systems. Some use permaculture principles to create eco-communities in 3rd world countries, some use permaculture principles to design homes and communities, some design principles in horticulture related enterprises, some find work in teaching, urban gardening, sustainability centers......and the list can go on and on. Any one can be a permaculturalist. To be a permaculturalist is to actively create and design abundance into one's home and community. A permaculturalist is always a student of nature and of native wisdom, constantly renewing themselves and working with others to create and share abundance.
In my opinion, I think Iowa's ecologically minded need to unite under the permaculture umbrella. There needs to be a united collection of people who seriously understand what it takes to grow food, provide all or most of the communities energy, fuel, shelter, restore habitat, bio-diversity as well as many other ecological needs.
In the Spring of 2009, a series of permaculture related classes will available in either Fairfield or Iowa City. Updates will posted on this blog and other sources soon to be posted.