Saturday, 9 November 2013
I'm very excited about the creation of the Rainbow District Permaculture Society!
I've been dubbed "the neglectful gardener" by friends with green thumbs, who watched me try various methods of gardening that kept weeding and feeding to a bare minimum (mostly because i'm lazy, but also - because I felt that my interference with what Nature actually wanted to do just seemed wrong). I'd till the soil, plant seeds, seedlings and roots, and let them go.. many got drowned out by the invasive plants (weeds) I refused to annihilate... The plants that survived? Hardy perennials. What I've learned through researching permaculture, is that invasive plants, those that drowned out my annuals, are Natures way of rehabilitating the soil.
“Great civilisations have almost invariably had good soils as one of their chief natural resources”
Nyle C Brady ‘Nature and Properties of Soils”
Permaculture came to me by googling perennial plants that would survive in this cold climate. Since then, i've thrown myself into education on permaculture design. The idea is so simple, it boggles...
"Originally, the word “Permaculture” was the combination of the two words permanent and agriculture. Two Australian men named Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined the term in the 1970’s. It is an agricultural philosophy that allows us to use the resources that we have around us to their fullest potential. By observing and learning from our environment, such as how does nature replenish its soil, how does nature protect and conserve its water resources, how has nature adapted to the specific climate of an area, etc…we can learn how to imitate these natural processes in our daily living. The more closely that we can work with nature, the more likely we are to establish a balance which will provide us with the things that we need without hurting the environment."
- from http://www.neverendingfood.org/b-what-is-permaculture/
There is now a core group of friends working together to create permaculture systems in our area... which will be a lot of trial and error, considering that most sustainable forest gardens are in temperate climates.
Yet there is much food growing naturally here; hazelnuts, berries, mushrooms, sunchoke, rhubarb... these plants are telling us the types of foods that grow well here. And by creating microclimates with the use of well placed plants, trees, rocks, hugelkultur beds and buildings, annual vegetables can become abundant.
Happy to have found this ancient and modern way of life!