Permaculture

Feed the People Farms utilizes permaculture design on the farm, as well as offering permaculture survey, design, and consultation by a certified permaculture designer. Survey and design is offered for edible and native landscapes for the home and farm. For landowners, homeowners, landscape architects, or farmers who want incorporate regenerative practices into your designs; we can help. Fill out the form below and our certified permaculture designer will contact you.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a design approach focused around ethical and principally sound methods and technologies, natural patterns, and holistic energy and nutrient use. At the core of permaculture design are three ethics, fourteen principles, and guidelines for resource use. Since trials and the first published manuals in the late 1970s, permaculture has spread into fields of agriculture, architecture, construction, landscaping, engineering, fashion design, business, and entertainment.

Ethics

“Earth care. People care. Fair share.”

  • Care of the Earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply.
  • Care of people: Provision for people to access the resources necessary for their existence.
  • Set limits to consumption and population: Share the surplus to further the above ethics.

Principles

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Each element performs multiple functions; each function is performed by multiple elements. Beneficial connections between diverse components create a stable whole. Redundancy protects then one or more elements fail.
  4. Make the least change for the greatest effect: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time. Use “leverage points” in systems where the least work can accomplish the most change.
  5. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  6. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides. Collaborate with natural succession patterns.
  9. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  10. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing. Often the biggest limit to abundance is creativity.
  11. Find the solution within the problem: Creatively use and respond to change. Mistakes are tools for learning. Most problems usually carry the seeds of their own solution and inspiration of solutions to other problems.
  12. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  13. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  14. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Resource Guidelines

Resources, inputs, materials, tools, equipment, fuel, and supplies are ranked as follows (from regenerative to degenerative):

  1. increase with use;
  2. be lost when not used;
  3. be unaffected by use;
  4. be lost by use;
  5. pollute or degrade systems with use.

High ranking resources (1-3) are sought after first and foremost. These are regenerative resources like seeds, compost, wood, hay, cotton, wool, bio-plastics, etc.

Low ranking resources (4-5) are used once or sparingly, salvaged from waste or old projects, or avoided entirely. These are mineral or degenerative resources like concrete, petroleum, petroleum plastics, vermiculite, natural gas, glyphosate (RoundUp), chemical fertilizers, etc.

More coming soon…