People from all walks of life, all over the world, are discovering the principals and techniques of permaculture design. As one learns more about the benefits of these techniques to create a beautiful abundant landscape, it is hard not to get excited about Permaculture design. By mimicking nature with design components to fit each individual’s needs, a person can provide food security, while creating a beautiful landscape. One that takes less time, money and energy compared to a conventional vegetable garden or typical ornamental landscape.
The key aspect Permaculture design is creating bio-diversity within the system. Planting several different types of plants in an area creates an environment that is, not only beautiful, but will confuse pests, reduce irrigation needs, build soil and grow nutrient dense foods.
Pest control – By planting food and shelter plants, [Corn flower (Centaurea cyanus), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum or A. rugosa, aka Korean mint), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)] for beneficial insects (Lady Bugs, Lacewings, Spiders, Parasitoid Wasp), permaculturist create an environment that will reduce pest pressure.
Builds soil – Plants serve different functions in an eco system.
- Nitrogen fixing plants, [Crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), most vetch and pea species]partner with bacteria in the soil to produce usable nitrogen. They either die as seasons change or are chopped and dropped releasing nitrogen into the soil.
- Dynamic accumulator plants [Comfrey (Symphytum spp.), Dandelion (Taraxacum Spp.), Lamb’s Quarter (Chenopodium album)] pull minerals and nutrients from deep in the sub soil. When they die or are chopped and dropped, they release these minerals into the top soil.
- Mulch is used extensively in permaculture. It breaks down over time, creating great top soil, while providing protection from UV rays which kill soil life.
Reduces irrigation – Several components of permaculture design decrease irrigation requirements.
- Swales (Swale info) and ponds slow down the run off of rain water and allow it to soak into the ground for later use by the plants.
- Having multiple layers of trees, plants, and ground cover reduce evaporation and keep the soil moist.
- Increased humus (decomposed organic material) in the top soil allows the soil to hold more water.
Increases mineral content – By recycling plants from the system back into the system, a permaculturist keep the minerals on their property. After some initial mineral additions (Azomite, liquid kelp, and green sand) the high mineral content in the soil will grow nutrient dense food.
Increases food security – During a hurricane, power outage, loss of job, or any disruption in the current food distribution system, it is good to know that a good permaculture design has created abundance.
Reduces carbon footprint – It takes no fossil fuels to walk out the door, pick an herb, fruit, fungi, or vegetable for dinner. At the same time plants are capturing carbon molecules from the air and locking them into the soil.
Builds community – Neighbors will be curious about the transformation in the yard. Good food is something for which most people appreciate. That shared bond creates conversations and friendships in the community. Neighbors can swap plants, produce, seeds, and techniques. Setting up bartering networks saves everyone money. People receive quality food and services for less than they would pay to a large corporation.