Reposted from Eartheasy Blog
Even earth lovers can be arrogant. We clip and prune, weed and spray, and try to keep the bugs at bay. Yet while we try to figure out the best methods to get what we want from our gardens, nature is patiently showing us what works if we only but listen. We can learn from her if we pay attention to what has worked for the planet since the first natural garden occurred.
Permaculture (first introduced by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer and later developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and affiliates) is a holistic, long-term, ecologically oriented practice that requires an understanding of plants, animals, and their relationship to each other. The term comes from the phrase “permanent agriculture“, and many of the techniques and strategies used in permaculture have been around for a very long time. Farmers and gardeners all over the globe are showing us that it is possible to have a high yield from a small area with little or no dependence on mechanical, unnatural measures, by carefully observing what nature is showing us about environmental interrelationships and putting those patterns into practice in our gardens.
Learn to invite diversity into your garden. Diversity builds resilience. Let go of segregation, where each plant has its row and is kept from other types of plants. Instead, grow herbs, flowers, and food in the same area (known as poly-culture). Permaculture uses this system of layering. Picture Fruit trees with onions, garlic, or chives planted underneath. The plants from the allium family don’t compete for resources with the trees and they nourish the soil beneath. Putting the right things together can provide a mutually beneficial relationship for both.
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