Permaculture has always interested me. Bill Mollison (one of the founders of permaculture) gives this definition ‘Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way’
My friend Ellie Young invited me to take part in her permaculture e-course. Earth Mamas – Permaculture for passionate women. This course sounded ideal as an introduction to permaculture. I nether had the time or funds to do a permaculture design course. Earth Mamas would be perfect.
The first permaculture principle is to Observe and Interact. I have made life hard for myself in the garden by not focusing on planning. Observing what happens in my garden leads to plan that will work with nature. The further bonus is the workload is lessened. I’m not creating extra work for myself – yay! How helpful would it be to work with nature and not against it?
One Sunday morning I did an exercise that we were given in the course. The exercise was to sit still in the garden and observe and record what was happening in the garden. With pen in hand, I jotted down notes of what I was seeing, feeling and hearing.
So what did I observe? The first thing was all the weeds! It was a jungle in my garden due to the humid, wet weather we were experiencing. Then I noticed what I call ‘the random pop ups’ – daikon radishes, ceylon spinach, Thai basil, marigolds… all plants that have self-seeded in my garden.
There were also some specific questions to answer about season, climate, what was growing (not only in my garden but my neighbours) and how the elements (sun, rain, winds) were flowing. I found this useful. I often drift off into fairyland so having these questions sharpened my focus. It also made me record this information. I do have a rough idea of the answers to these questions in my head but putting it down on paper inspired me. It inspired me to take action into researching some perennial edible sub tropical plants for my veggie patch. This is something that I have been meaning to do for the last three months!
I have only just started in my permaculture journey. Finally taking the time to learn more about permaculture is something that will benefit not only my garden but my life (e.g. you can apply permaculture principles to parenting).I’m hoping the observe and interact approach will lessen the amount of time I spend yelling at my kids to do things 🙂
Now over you: What have your experiences been with permaculture? We would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.
Interested in learning more about permaculture? Why not check out Pip Australian Permaculture…love this magazine and their website.