Permaculture Principles at Work

Permaculture is a design science based on 3 simple ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and share the surplus. Erik Ohlsen from Permaculture Artisans teaches how to permaculture classes through Earth Activist Training (EAT). The goal of permaculture is to create sustainable systems that provide for human needs while regenerating the land around us. In a garden, plants use and deplete many nutrients from the soil. The permaculture solution to this is to grow nutrient rich plants that build and nourish the soil along side the plants that require those nutrients to grow. This approach ingeniously cuts back the need for fertilizers and increases the nutritional value and health of the plants. Permaculture also creates gardens that catch their own rainwater which really helps with forest gardening.

Erik’s garden permaculture designs serve more than just one function in this sustainable system. For example, not only does he plant flowers that look pretty, but they are edible and have medicinal uses as well. Erik also makes sure that his gardens obtain a nice yield. His designs have flowing patterns, diversity, and are always built in conjunction with nature. His holistic approach to gardening creates food forests based on many mutually beneficial plants that not only provide food for humans but also for the birds and bees.

 4 core principles that guide us in creating sustainable system abundance:

●  Nature is our model (a river teaches us how to design a path)
●  Design focused on relationships (freqently used herbs grown closer to house, catch water high in landscape to gravity feed down to rest of garden)
●  Biological resources over fossil fuels and chemicals (treating waste water with plants and algae)
●  Celebrate diversity (gives us resilience and true abundance)

In this video Erik gives a tour to garden permaculture students showing a garden of pine nutes, hazel nuts, walnuts, asian pear, apples, plums, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cherry trees, mulberries… all grown together. Also in the garden he shows them chickens and a composting system to complete his how-to permaculture class.

When we see ourselves as part of nature and when we work with nature, nature will work with us. Thank you Erik for being such a leader and an inspiration in the permaculture world.

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