Intro to Permaculture with IDEP

Evelyn from Los Angeles explores Permaculture with James and Silla at the …. facilities. Silla and James take us through the step by step process of permaculture and that if we work with the earth and allow the earth to do its own thing, it will work in our favor.

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. Its great for the environment because it uses recourses you already have to fuel the system! You don’t need to buy new recourses in order to produce strong and productive crops. As you see in the short clip, James explained mulch as an example. Mulch is dried out materials such as straw or grass that releases carbon while protecting the soil from too much sunlight. It retains water  which allows the moisture to help the plant grow and stay healthy. By keeping humidity off the soil it allows it to be more fertilized. Furthermore, mulch acts as a protection from rain or too much moisture which prevents the soil from washing away.

Companion Planting is a core concept of Permaculture and is a prime example of how nature takes care of itself. When you put two components together such as two different plants, they work together as a guild. In permaculture, a guild is grouping plants, animals, insects, and other natural components that  work together to help ensure their survival. Instead of planting gardens, Permaculture teaches us how to “build guilds”. For example the planting of different crops in proximity for pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial creatures, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity. Its cool to see two different types of plants have a relationship and feed, protect and ultimately benefit one other. They share nutrients in the soil and mice organisms which is what plants live off and need to survive. Companion planting gives strength to plants such as rice as you see in the video, because of this you don’t need to use fertilizer!

Synergistic planting is also another component of Permaculture and allows there to be no further digging, ploughing or tilling, and no use of external inputs such as manures and other fertilizes, or pesticides. Soil health is maintained by the selection of plants, mulching, and recycling of plant residues. James presents the use and importance of cycles in premature such as crop rotations which is planting in cycles. For example,  the remains of what you just panted  can benefit the next crop you are about to plant. James stressed the importance of cycles and states, “What one plant takes the other one gives.”

In closing, James explains to us a reason why Animals play a role in permaculture in order to create a closed system. For instance, feeding the chicken seeds or various weeds allows the chicken to poo into the water which gives the water nutrients and micro organisms which plants feed off of.  The water then overflows down into the irrigation system that fees the garden, this creates a closed cycle.

Permaculture is short for permanent culture, it is a lifestyle. Culture is taken as the growing of life organisms that work in a system, and permanent is basically “this is the way you live till further notice.”
Its like recycling on a whole new level! Take water for example. You take a bath, then let the water go (NOT DOWN THE SEWER DRAIN!) but rather outside to a container so you can water the garden when you get done. Many people get clever and come up with combinations that let them live an entire life by reusing the same thing several different ways, little to no waste, and plenty of food and shelter and happiness.

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