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What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is one of the hottest words in gardening, taking organic to the next step. Traditional organic gardening seeks to garden or farm while doing no damage. Permaculture is a still-developing science of working the way nature does to create food and renew itself. For instance, why clear out a patch of land and put one variety of plant there? It takes a huge amount of chemicals or human energy to kill off other plants and make the soil fertile. Why not find plants that work together to take up the same patch–nut trees, for instance, near vegetables that like to grow in shade, and add to that plants that will fix nitrogen in the soil, making the other plants more fertile? And maybe raising some chickens that will help clear out the weeds, and feed off the leaves of one of the plants while providing fertilizer? That’s the kind of thinking behind permaculture. Permaculture works beyond growing food to other things, like creating energy-sustainable shelter, using water more efficiently, and making other parts of modern life less wasteful.
The first thinkers and experimenters in permaculture worked in Australia and the tropics, but it has worked its way to North America. Paradise Lot by Eric Toensmeier is an engaging account of two plant geeks who decided to try out its theories in a one-tenth acre lot in urban Massachusetts. For people with even less space, the book "Getting Started in Permaculture" by Ross and Jenny Mars has over 50 DIY projects to create a more sustainable garden.
Here are more great resources on this fascinating topic ...
Permaculture / Organic and Environmentally-Friendly Gardening Practices
Practical Permaculture for Home Landscapes, Your Community and the Whole Earth by Jessi Bloom and Dave BoehnleinThe idea behind permaculture is simple: take care of the earth, and the earth will take care of you. In clear, logical steps, Practical Permaculture offers the tools you need to live a life rich in healthy food, safe housing, and renewable resources. This book covers the basic principles of permaculture and is filled with real-life examples from all over the world.
Permaculture and Climate Change Adaptation by Thomas Henfrey and Gil Penha-LopesPermaculture is a design system for sustainable human habitats and the basis of a worldwide citizen-led movement present in over 100 countries. For decades, permaculture practitioners have devised creative responses to changes in local climatic conditions. In doing so, they have developed a collective knowledge and experience invaluable to global efforts to address climate change.
Sustainable Revolution : Permaculture in Ecovillages, Urban farms, and Communities Worldwide by Juliana Birnbaum and Louis FoxThis extraordinary exploration of permaculture—a philosophy based on common ethics of sustainable cultures through history that have designed settlements according to nature's patterns and lived within its bounds—features the work of visionaries throughout the world.
More Books on Permaculture
Learn more about how sustainable gardening practices can be beneficial to the environment and save money.
Toledo Library Gardening Blog Posts
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