Have you heard of permaculture? This tries to go a little further than organic farming and was born in the 70s in Australia as part of the design of stable and sustainable agricultural systems. It can be considered as a part of the ecology that wants to end the use of agrochemical products and pollution in general, as well as promote what is sustainable, equitable and healthy, to maintain an adequate relationship with the environment and not squeeze it and exhaust it in a while relatively short.
If you want to know more about what permaculture is, its advantages and disadvantages , then keep reading this AgroCorrn article in which we discover everything about it.
- What is permaculture
- Basic principles of permaculture
- Principles of permacultural design
- Main advantages of permaculture
- Disadvantages of permaculture
What is permaculture
If we look for the literal meaning, the etymological definition of the word “permaculture” , we find that, on the one hand, “perma” derives from “permanent” and that within ecology, integration, sustainability and self-sustainability are encompassed, and that on the other hand, the word “culture” refers to “cultivation”, promoting the ecological and ethical philosophy to integrate with the environment.
It is a way of life that is considered ethical, sustainable, balanced with nature and that seeks to find the point where the present can be maintained while ensuring the future of the planet and of all living beings, including of course humans.
In the 70s in Australia, different ways of achieving agrosystems that took everything into account, that is to say that they were holistic, that could be directed towards self-sufficiency in a local way, were sought from agroecology , to be able to coexist with the environment again. natural environment, as our ancestors did, but with improvements thanks to the knowledge we have today.
According to the forerunners of this kind of eco-friendly farming and lifestyle, which goes beyond organic farming , David Holmgren (ecologist and eco-design engineer) and Bill Mollison (biologist, researcher, ecologist and activist), the Permaculture can be defined as a fully conscious design of landscapes that mimic patterns and relationships in nature, while providing abundant fiber, food and energy to meet the needs of local beings.
In short, a livable environment designed through permaculture manages to combine human life with that of local animals and plants , in a totally harmonious and beneficial way for all parties. In this way, we ensure that we can live perfectly today and that in the future we will also be able to live in good natural conditions, caring for and preserving the very planet we inhabit.
Basic principles of permaculture
The principles of permaculture are simple and focused on being able to achieve in the most appropriate way possible what we have discussed so far, both for people and for the environment as a whole.
- Take care of the earth.
- Take care of people.
- Food production.
- Supply with renewable energy .
- Equitable distribution of wealth.
- Natural landscape design.
- Organize (infra) social structures.
Principles of permacultural design
In addition to the principles discussed, there are principles of permacultural design and the main ones are the following:
- Integration: in the design everything is integrated in a sustainable way and that it remains, that it produces in a rational way allowing the environment to compensate.
- Relative location: you have to place the elements in such a way that they help each other, as a symbiosis.
- Interaction: the functions are carried out in different alternative ways by different related elements. For example, getting water can be done in different ways that must be alternated so as not to exhaust any.
- Energy planning: the use of energy should be aimed at saving these, which are as autonomous as possible, so the different sectors of cultivation and buildings are placed in such a way that this is favored.
- Self-reliance: although it is one of the goals of permaculture, self-reliance is also a means to achieve such a comprehensive system. Self-sufficient environments are independent of commerce.
- Local development: development is sought in the most local way possible, since this is how a balance can be found with the natural environment, practicing the local economy and social spaces aimed at this type of balanced consumption that allows the environment to be compensate.
- Cooperation and solidarity: permaculture promotes a sense of community and unity, so all projects are cooperative and not focused on totally individual or commercial use on a global level.
Main advantages of permaculture
Thus, there are many benefits that we can obtain from this lifestyle, but to mention the main ones in AgroCorrn we highlight the following advantages of permaculture :
- It allows you to live healthier than most of today’s society.
- It is grown and consumed seasonally according to the real needs of the body in each season of the year.
- The resources used come from nature and the immediate environment, so the initial costs are lower.
- There is no need to use large machines or intensive labor to increase the productivity of the field.
- The land that is worked with permaculture is very fertile, since it is treated and cared for in a natural way, both with completely natural processes and products, which allows it to regulate itself in the long run and even protect itself from diseases.
- It helps the personal economy of those who follow this lifestyle, since the expenses are lower.
- The local area economy is stimulated.
- Renewable energies that are used at the beginning may require a high investment, such as solar panels, but in the long run they pay off and are a great advantage, reducing the cost of electricity and pollution.
- Collaborate to maintain the present and at the same time ensure a future, taking care of the planet instead of abusing it.
- It helps to make society aware, both children and the elderly, that we must take care of the planet, that we are not its only inhabitants and that it is possible to do so while improving many aspects of our quality of life.
Disadvantages of permaculture
There are also disadvantages of permaculture , but we can consider them as few compared to the advantages.
- Production is lower so it is not useful to feed those who live in areas where it cannot be produced easily.
- It requires much more time, dedication, and workload than other forms of growing food and producing energy.
- The consumer, although being local, pays a higher price than for processed and industrialized products, due to the lower volume and therefore higher costs.
- Although it is tried to the maximum, it is difficult to be able to guarantee 100% that a crop is totally natural and ecological, since nowadays transgenic crops are very widespread and the seeds move through the environment through wind and water, so that there may be natural crops “contaminated” with transgenic crosses.
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