“Permanent agriculture” or “permanent culture,” describes a design system for creating human settlements that function in harmony with nature while meeting local needs with abundance. Through incorporating traditional knowledge, modern science, and the ecological patterns of the living world, permaculture design is applicable to farms, gardens, organizations, housing developments, towns and villages, or city neighborhoods.
The Benefits of Permaculture
The Prairie Landscape is dominated by agricultural production systems that have been criticized for having myriad adverse impacts, ecological, economic and social. Alternative agricultural and building systems exist that are more holistic in approach, increase yields and explicitly seek to provide a balance between environment, economy and society. Permaculture is one such approach that has been widely adopted in more temperate regions but has yet to be systematically adapted to the Prairie context.
Harvest Moon and Permaculture
HMS and the Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative are currently working on a series of workshops and projects we call “Prairie Culture” that apply permaculture theory and practices to the prairies in a meaningful way. Through this, a three acre demonstration permaculture site will be developed at the Harvest Moon Learning Centre in Clearwater as the location for an ongoing program of permaculture and sustainable agriculture training. The aim is to educate members of the community in permaculture design principles and practices, and to apply these to our specific prairie ecology and history.
Using locally-available knowledge resources, the demonstration and training aims to empower community members with the means of designing and implementing highly productive, sustainable, resilient and ecologically sound farming systems, in addition to the personal and social problem solving and organization skills to maximize the benefits to their community and the surrounding environment.
Big Sky Permaculture based out of Calgary, Alberta has a great site offering permaculture courses, resources on edible landscape design, and community planning.
Pacific Permaculture in British Colombia is a permaculture design consultant and educational organization. A short story on how the founders first got involved in permaculture is definitely worth reading.
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway