You’ve probably been hearing a lot about permaculture lately, and like I, wondered what on earth is all the buzz about? Initially, I’ll be honest –all I saw when I looked at the word was culture, and I immediately thought it was a new group to join.
So what does permaculture really mean? Permaculture is defined as an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings.
So how do we integrate human activity with natural surroundings?
Whether on your homestead, property, or in your garden everything created- food scraps, plant waste, and animal waste is all put back into the soil, hence composting, creating a closed loop system of farming/gardening. Nothing is brought in from the outside–you use everything that is already available to you from the resources you have on hand. Thus creating zero waste.
In essence, you collect waste, you compost the waste, and then you return it to your soil. In your soil, you grow your food, and if you have livestock you grow their food too.
By doing things this way your operation is considered sustainable, as well as efficient, less costly to operate, it’s environmentally safe, as well as safer for you, your family, and anyone that eats what you produce–nothing from the outside is being hauled in that may be contaminated with chemicals, bacteria, or other pollutants.
In closed-loop farming, you try to use everything such as:
- Table scraps are composted- all scraps even bones and meat scraps.
- Lard is rendered from pigs
- Animal hides are tanned and turned into gloves, vest, jackets, and so much more.
- Garden scraps–any and all safe plant scraps
- Animal waste is composted.
By the way, this isn’t something that is new in farming, gardening, or homesteading. I grew up this way in the 70s, and know many hundreds of people that grew up this same way too. I grew up on a farm, but even most of the city kids I knew had compost pails under the sink. All kitchen scraps were thrown in the garden, and/ or fed to the chickens and pigs. Chickens scratch the ground–they are natural compost tillers. I found a great article about this here.
What is vitally important to remember as you start your spring planting is — you need your soil to be at its very best. You need to start with soil that is alive, healthy, and thriving. Chemical-laden soil grows a chemical laden product. Depleted of its nutrients soil grows depleted of its nutrients product. Small scale or large scale you don’t need to rely on places outside your farm or homestead to provide you with nutritious resources for healthy soil. You have everything it takes to make it if you have kitchen scraps, plant and animal waste, time and space.
Here’s an article I found that teaches you all about composting.
Here’s an article about building healthy soil.
Here is a Composting 101 Guide.
Here’s a Permaculture Film.
Here’s some free online streaming of all things permaculture.
And last but never least here is a family that blogs about homesteading, permaculture, and gardens created by chicken tillers– The Rhodes Family on Youtube. You will love them and find a ton of useful information about permaculture and chicken gardens here.
A special thanks to the website Permaculture Research Institute for providing hours of rich and comprehensive information for me to consume on Permaculture.