On Permaculture


| 9/21/2011 1:07:21 PM


Tags: permaculture, gardening, organic gardening, mulching, growing corn, three sisters, Christopher Nyerges,

It turns out I was practicing permaculture before I ever heard the word. The coined word means “permanent agriculture,” referring to finding the way to let nature seek its own balance in gardening and other areas of life.

Here are some sections adapted from my Self-Sufficient Home book.  

FIGURING THINGS OUT 

When I was still living with my parents, we had no space at all to garden. It was unthinkable then to tear up a front lawn and use it for a garden – something I wouldn’t hesitate to do today. The next door neighbor offered us the use of an empty yard between  our houses. My mother – who grew up on a farm – sat up at night with  me planning how to use that space for gardening. Most of what I learned about what to plant and not to plant was learned by making mistakes.

I began by planting herbs, tomatoes, and corn, all neatly arranged in north-south lines with some pathways in-between. I knew nothing about fertilizer or mulch or pest control. I just went out there and planted what I believed would make the best garden, and I watched the results.

Herbs took care of themselves – mints, fennel, oregano, lavendar, and others. Herbs tended to be drought-tolerant, and required very little of my time and effort.




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