What is Permaculture?

Vegetable BasketPermaculture is all about living harmoniously with our natural environment. Centred on growing food that is native and beneficial to the local area, permaculture also includes everything from sustainable building and renewable energy, to entertainment and waste management.

Self-sufficiency

The visitors' centre at Long Wood
The visitors’ centre at Long Wood

Living a strict permaculture lifestyle would mean achieving total self-sufficiency, but there is plenty about the permaculture way of living that everyone can take something from.

Permaculture means thinking about the impact of what we do on the world around us. This means that the foods we plant should be able to grow in the local climate without too much fussing or watering, and that they should be of practical use as well as looking lovely as they grow. Energy is sourced from the wind, sea, or sun, and buildings are built with wood, hay, lime, and other natural materials to keep processing to a minimum and environmental harm as low as possible. Even homes built of less ecologically sound materials can be made more environmentally friendly using natural insulation, natural paints, rainwater conservation systems, and energy saving measures.

Global Ideas

Leafy gardenPermaculture and Transition Towns are based on ideas of people from all over the world. Drawing on modern technologies as much as local knowledge, the ethos behind the movement is that we can all learn something from everyone which can help us to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Community

HarvestingThe permaculture way of living is often based around a strong community of like-minded people with similar environmental goals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean having to live in a field in the middle of nowhere. Any community can get its own permaculture movement up and running and Transition Towns are popping up all over the country. From west Wales to Hackney, people have come together with shared aims to make a positive change in their area. Growing fruits and vegetables at a local allotment with some friends is a great way to start, or you can grow your own permaculture garden.

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