What is Permaculture, Hmm?

Permaculture is a design system that observes and mimics patterns in nature  to design holistic human habitat.

As a tool, Permaculture presents a mindset that places all beings on the same level in regards to being able to provide something to the system; it provides many practices and technologies, both soft and hard that come from ancient and modern times; it shares wisdom from lessons learned in the past and how to build successfully in the future.

Permaculture is being practiced more frequently as its stable successes become more apparent. It has succeeded in providing long-term, holistic, and collaborative solutions to challenges facing societies all over the world, ranging from issues related to agriculture, leadership and governance, and city development.

How Is Many Rivers Permaculture Using Permaculture?

We are using Permaculture in a cascading fashion. That is, our tool set is continuously expanding, and more and more we are developing our ability to be holistic in both our actions and our designs.

We observe. In all situations – in life, in society, in video games, in everything – it is important to observe your surroundings. There are going to be inefficiencies in the system (potentially grown by our own biases) that might be able to be solved if certain aspects of the system are connected so that both benefit.

We are using certain principles of Permaculture in our agricultural designs and research. Examples of these principles include: Earthworks to create swales and work with the flows of rain water; Edible Forest Gardening to design healthy, regenerative food-producing systems; Participatory Engagement to involve and empower as many stakeholders as possible; and Self and Earth Care, which is remembering that we as individuals must take care of our health as well as the health of our community (including the Earth). Those are a few examples of how we apply Permaculture in our work.

But seriously, here you go, a Permaculture tool for your tool belt: The Chicken and The Human (Needs and Gives)

Draw a picture (or write a list) of all the things that a chicken gives (ie. feathers, eggs, heat, etc.) and all the things that a chicken needs (ie. food, shelter, soil to scratch, etc.). Next do the same for a human. Connect the Needs of a chicken with the Gives of a human and vice versa. You begin solving some challenges right there! Then you can add other variables and see where overlap occurs.

It’s fun, it’s easy and it can be applied to just about anything in your life! Have fun.

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Thanks and good eatin’!
-Many Rivers Permaculture