Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Permaculture: Introducing the agriculture with a sustainable element

UN secretary Ban Ki Moon announced 2012 to be the year of sustainability. 
In line with this, agriculture comes in the picture as the focus of farming becomes intertwined and the concept of permaculture comes in place. This is a concept being brought to the fore to the public under the Permaculture Research Institute (Kenya). It entails a combination of food security and environmental sustainability as can be witnessed in the coining of the word from “permanent” and “agriculture” by Bill Morrison, a biologist and his student David Holmgren  in the 1970’s . It goes beyond laid down techniques just as it applies beyond agriculture. To find his inspiration, click . Its building ethics are: Earth care, People care and fair share and how to apply them to the gardens, land, economies and overall nature.

There are 12 principles outlined and just to mention a few which includes,
  • Integrate rather than disintegrate.
  • Work with nature rather than against it.
  • The problem is always the solution.
In a nutshell it integrates human habitats into natural landscapes and utilizes natural processes to provide sustainable food production, electricity and other basic human needs.
To start with, one observes the nature of the ecosystem and how various components interplay at work. The mere fact that ecosystems are stable and resilient, there is basically no waste as the waste of one species translate to the feed of the next species. Plants, humans and wastes are able to react together in a closed like system.
The system thus works as follows:
A crop cycle begins with seeds from the previous harvest being planted. Multiple plant species or what is commonly known as intercropping is incorporated. These are done at three levels:
Companion planting. As the name suggests, these plants supplement each other in areas of pests control, pollination and the fixing of nutrients. E.g. flowers, garlics, legumes and vegetables

Watch out  for part two,  as i bring to fore a practical Permaculture case for better understanding.......