9 Permaculture Practices

Apply permaculture to your land to nurture its natural features.

| June/July 2017

  • Permaculture design can help simplify your life and make your landscape more resilient.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • This cistern collects rainwater from the metal roof on the author’s barn. When it’s full, the water flows into a trough for animals, and then into a rain garden.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • A three-bin compost system is an accessible DIY permaculture project to tackle.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • You can use burlap as a sheet mulch to kill off grass and make room for food.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • A variety of perennial plants produced the fruit on this plate.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • Beekeeping is one way to enlist natural allies for pollination and making honey.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • When you select plants, consider which conditions they’ll require, such as sunlight or shade.
    Photo by Paul Kearsley
  • When you select plants, consider which conditions they’ll require, such as sunlight or shade.
    Illustration by Paul Kearsley
  • Lulu is a guardian dog for poultry.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom
  • Rest and relaxation are essential to good health.
    Photo by Jessi Bloom

We’re all stewards of the land, blessed to be living here, and it’s our critical responsibility to make sure we honor the natural resources that help us live. Permaculture design provides a great toolkit for doing this, and it can also help simplify your life and make your landscape more resilient. Practicing permaculture can be fun and rewarding on many levels.

Though it’s complex and can take years to learn, I’m going to help simplify permaculture for you. First and foremost, permaculture is rooted in ethics, which can act as a filter to help you make decisions:

• Take care of the Earth.
• Take care of people — starting with yourself!
• Share resources and abundance.

You can learn from a number of different ecological design principles, creation techniques, and even technical jargon, but I’ll let you save all that for your own adventures in learning permaculture. Here, I’ll focus on some easy ways to get started on your journey.



1. Become a Systems Thinker

Each one of us depends on many different systems to survive — food, water, energy, and soil fertility, to name a few. It’s important to examine these systems and try to understand the elements that make them work, as well as their connection to our lives, so we can create as many self-sustained, closed-loop systems as possible.






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