What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a movement that’s taken flight in recent years. The dictionary describes Permaculture as “the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient.” However, it is so much more than that vague description. It is a philosophy, a way to structure your home, and a way of life. Bill Mollison says that Permaculture is working alongside and with nature, rather than against it. Looking at plants and animals in all their functions, instead of treating them all as single-product systems.
Permaculture is a construction of a few different words. “Permanent”, “Agriculture”, and “Culture”. IT began as a simple idea of sustainable food production but has since grown into a much bigger idea that encompasses even social and economic systems.
It originated in the 1970’s by Bill Mollison. He spent many years studying ecosystems of animals and nature in general and realized how efficient it all was. Everything working in tandem, along side each other instead of fighting against each other. Alongside that, he grew angry and disgusted at the destruction he saw going on to these natural ecosystems.
The wonderful thing about Permaculture is that anyone can do it. It is a comprehensive and dynamic system and can be practiced by just about anyone, at any different level of skill or understanding. One could be a master gardener with specially built expensive equipment, or just starting out with a hoe and a dream.
What is Homesteading?
Like Permaculture, Homesteading is a cultural movement that has taken the world by storm. It is defined by Wikipedia as “a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craft work for household use or sale.”
Homesteading is very easy and simple to get into. It is a common misconception that one must own tons and tons of land and have lots of space to do it, but that’s simply untrue! Homesteading is about efficiency and making the best with what you have. It has been connected with the do-it-yourself trends of late and spreads the ideas that we don’t need big supermarkets, power grids, or a consumer economy to lead a full and happy life.
The modern homesteader utilizes tools like solar panels on their roofs, chicken coops and vegetable gardens in the back yard. Their homes are full of canned goods from the food they’ve grown themselves. It is an image of self-sufficiency and self-reliance that appeals to many in modern society.
Why should Permaculture matter to a Homesteader?
Permaculture and Homesteading, to some, are one in the same. Homesteading is relying on yourself and what you’re capable of personally. Permaculture is creating and utilizing a self-sufficient eco system. A homesteader could gain great insight from studying the Permaculture movement and absorbing some of its knowledge into their own lives. Creating a self-sufficient garden that you can pluck vegetables from and can yourself. Both movements create less strain on the environment as well, lessening your carbon footprint and relying less on the power grid and big chain super markets.
As you can see, Permaculture is very important, and Homesteaders should think twice before skipping over this efficient and self-reliant movement.