What is Permaculture?
You may have heard of the term “permaculture,” but what is it exactly? Permaculture is “an agricultural system or method that seeks to integrate human activity with natural surroundings so as to create highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems,” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In other words, it’s implementing nature into communities to promote a more sustainable balance by integrating land, resources, people, and the environment.
The word was coined in the 1970s by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist, and professor at the University of Tasmania. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than working against, nature.
Nowadays, there are many pop-up gardens in urban cities as people transform their patios and backyards into green, luscious areas. To start your own permaculture garden, I would recommend doing a bit of research about your own home layout and how to best integrate nature. Some questions to consider are: what is the natural climate of my home, how much sunlight does my area receive, how can I reduce my involvement and allow nature to take its course?
Permaculture is not restricted to a specific size and can actually be practiced at a large, community-level like the Rochester Permaculture Center (RPC). RBC is a living demonstration and education site that “ is dedicated to exploring, modeling, and inspiring more conscious, restorative ways of life through the application of permaculture, agroecology, and other regenerative design techniques and principles.” I like reading about their latest projects and would recommend learning more about their initiatives.
Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022