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Permaculture

Ivonne_SmitIvonne_Smit s-Hertogenbosch, The NetherlandsPosts: 9

Here in The Netherlands, I'll start a PDC-training in March, 2016.
On the GW forum permaculture doesn't seem to be a frequently used subject (yet).

I would like to combine organic / wildlife gardening with permaculture techniques.
What is your expercience in this?

Posts

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,223

    Hello Ivonne. I confess that I had to look up the definition of permaculture in the dictionary. It all sounds a bit agricultural and large scale. Most people on the forum here are hobby gardeners (or at least if they are professional gardeners they confine their remarks on the forum to the hobby aspect of their gardening interests).

    The nearest I could get to having an interest in permaculture is to say that I try to garden on organic lines. I try to restrict my use of pesticides to those moments when my love of nature and all things in it is overwhelmed by an unreasoning and desperate desire to kill the little b******s that have been eating my plants. Having done the deed I often feel intense remorse and have been known to go and apologise to the dead or half dead creature which a day before had represented Beelzebub on earth. 

    I am sure that there are many people on the forum who know what I mean.  Good luck with your quest.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    I have been to someones garden doing this - google red shed graham bell.  he runs courses and writes books, and there is lots of info on his website.  Hope this helps.

  • Ivonne_SmitIvonne_Smit s-Hertogenbosch, The NetherlandsPosts: 9

    @pansyface Thanks! Permaculture may have been started as a professional thing. But compare this movement for instance with traditional gardening = wildlife gardening. 
    Since my first subscription to GW Magazine in the '90s, I've noticed that nowadays the editors pay much more attention to ecological issues.
    I think we'll hear a lot more about permaculture in (allotment) gardening.

    @a1154 Perfect! I read  Mr Bell's book The Permaculture Way, but had no idea that he had written a book The Permaculture Garden as well. I put it on my reading list. Perhaps I'll visit his nursery in Scotland next year. Thanks again!

    Anyone else who did a training permaculture or so?

  • I use a number of permaculture principles in my garden.

    I will say right up front I am not overly "eco" and I think that some of the frankly *astonishing* research and work that has been done by some of the permaculture people is massively damaged by their reputation for the whole "hippy dippy"-ness and the general "lets give everyone a hug" concepts. Which drives me crazy, because what has been learned, and achieved, is not only making trivial stuff easy - for example that I have a very nice garden which takes ZERO effort - but also is literally saving 10's and maybe 100's of thousands of lives.

    For those that don't know - from the 1970's onwards some clever people in Australia, the US and the UK all started thinking along the same lines - how can grow food (and flowers) in a way that is long term sustainable - i.e. doesn't need external inputs like fertilisers, money or too much time. It's not about "organic" - it's about ALL of the inputs and outputs. They teamed up with a lot of universities and undertook some very major research and did it very carefully.

    The results have been astonishing. Methods have been developed for re-wilding deserts. Within 3 years, using no chemicals, no engineering and no water pumps, they are turning swathes of desert into workable farmland. In india, villages that have used their research have massively boosted food output - not just a few percent by by 100x in the space of 7 years. People in Austria are growing the likes of melon, water melon and olives outside (all year round ) 4000 feet up in the alps. 

    As gardeners, there is an incredible amount that can be learned from the permaculture world - a lot of the science is impeccible. There is *NO* difference between re-greening a desert in three years and turning a sandy beach side garden into a green rich garden in the same time. All the methods that prevent famine in africa and india and south america by driving 20x, 50x or even 100x more productivity out of the land, with less work and less effort going into it will also work in anyones vegetable garden or shrub border. It *does* work in my garden - and I bet that I am one of the worst gardeners on here. My biggest problem in my garden last year was I produced too much food and the plants grew much bigger than I expected, and I ruined my planting schemes. At the time it was annoying - but it's a very nice sort of problem to have. 

    If Permaculture stuck to it's science and it's good solid foundations, I would bet my house that it would change the way most people on this forum garden, because it is so effective. In fact - people would have been doing it for 20 years. The issue is that along side it, you get crazies telling you to bury special crystals in your compost heap ("biodynamics"). or that you really need to be slaughtering your own pigs and cows to be a "proper" permaculture person. So... all the amazing science gets drowned out by the crazy noise and the entire thing gets written off. Which is sad... because you should see how easy my garden is to grow in....

  • Ivonne_SmitIvonne_Smit s-Hertogenbosch, The NetherlandsPosts: 9

    Thanks @SlowSteve! I recognize the guru-effect and stay academic and realistic on this subject!

  • a1154a1154 Posts: 749

    Great post Steve, made me smile.  Just off for some hugs, and to buy some crystals

    ;-))

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