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Wow, this is exciting! It’s finally happening. This is my first post on permablogger.net. There’s no going back. Now that I started, I’ll just have to keep at it. That’s the whole point of writing a blog. Once you start, you have to keep publishing posts. Regularly.
Why a blog? As far as I know it’s the easiest way to get your word out. What I’m trying to do here is present my take on the wonderful topic of permaculture. I hope you’ll join me as I explore different topics of permaculture, read every book I can get my hands on, watch every DVD, inspect every web page.
And I’ll tell you all about it every step of the way.
Introduction to permaculture
Why ‘back to basics’? I wanted to start this blog with an introduction to permaculture. As I was thinking about what the appropriate title would be, I knew immediately this was it. I have to start with the basics.
One of my favourite mottoes in life is ‘Be the master of the basics‘. In every aspect of life where there are any sort of skills involved, great success can come just by being very good at … basics. Simple as it is, it’s a hard concept to grasp.
People tend to believe that in order to succeed you have to go beyond the basics. We love everything that’s ‘advanced’. Who has the time to spend countless hours shooting the basketball, when there’s dribbling, crossovers, dunking and all those fun things that you can do instead. Well, learn your arithmetic first, then move on to algebra.
Michael Jordan did one thing very good: shoot the basketball. Of course he was much more than a great shooter, but believe me he spent his 10.000 hours just shooting the basketball. From every possible position. That’s how you do it. Practice, practice, practice.
I could find numerous examples. Golf, chess, swimming, trading, … Or take exercise, for instance. Why exercise on all those fancy machines when you can have a better workout just with your bodyweight. It doesn’t get more basic than that!
OK, I’m rambling. I shouldn’t do that. Enough with the examples. How does this relate to permaculture? You guessed it. I believe permaculture IS (or are? ) the basics of gardening. Or farming. Agriculture, whatever you want to call it.
The underlying theme in this case is nature. We garden in nature (at least we used to), we farm in nature (at least we used to), we live in nature (at least we used to). Doesn’t it make sense to do all these things as nature intended them to be done?
To me, that’s what permaculture is all about. You take the nature’s way of doing things and replicate them in your garden. Use them to your advantage. This right here are the basics of permaculture. Master that (and just that) and you’ll see the difference.
More designing, less maintaining
Included in this post are pictures of two gardens. One is a permaculture garden and the other is a conventional garden. Which one looks more natural to you? (Note that I’m saying more natural, not more common or normal.) I’m sure it’s the permaculture one. While it may not look as pretty to our eyes, but it’s much prettier to nature’s eyes.
What we’re doing here is taking a bit more time before actually thrusting the first spade in the ground, in order to spend less time maintaining it. We learn what works in nature and design our garden on those principles.
Of course we can modify them a bit. We can, for example, choose a certain variety over the other. We can grow our crops in different conditions than ordinary. But our modifications come at some expense. We must put more work in later in order to maintain it. The more we modify, the more work is required. It’s up to us.
What are your thoughts on permaculture? Do you prefer conventional gardening? Why? Let’s start a debate in the comments.
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