5 Reasons to Like Permaculture


Now I started the blog with a long post, so here is a shorter one. You may be thinking, what made you become interested in permaculture? How did I find out about it?

Working at an engineering consulting company, there are occasionally topics held as lunch and learns where you bring your lunch and an expert talks through a PowerPoint presentation while you eat. A few years ago, I went to a lunch and learn on permaculture from an external expert (I think it was Dan Palmer of Very Edible Gardens fame but forgive me if I’m on the wrong track), and I was hooked.

Hydrangea Rotschwanz blooming in my garden in November 2012

Hydrangea Rotschwanz blooming in my garden in November 2012

Why do I like it? Here are my top 5 reasons:

  1. It is efficient and it works – I say that because there are other approaches that work, but are more involved, use more resources, or are more labour-intensive. Permaculture is about examining the energy flows and designing with that in mind.
  2. It is ethical – the key principles are care for the earth, care for people, and share the surplus. These permeate all aspects of permaculture and use these to solve local issues and global issues.
  3. It makes sense – it acknowledges that you will be working in less than ideal conditions and gives you the tools and understanding to solve your problems. It encourages you to build in redundancy in the functions of its elements so one problem doesn’t wipe out your production.
  4. It respects old practices and the wisdom of nature – what did people do before industrialisation and heavy machinery and aeroplanes and pesticides and fertilisers? They had economy of scale, they reused their waste, they followed the seasons. I’m not saying that’s all they did but those ideas make a big difference and continue to have merit as time goes on.
  5. It is broad – it’s not a single area, it’s not just gardening, not just agriculture, not just energy resources, not just design, but all of those things and more. There’s plenty to sink your teeth into.

What do you think? What grabs you about permaculture?