Permaculture is an excellent and, in my view, indispensable alternative to the widespread form of monoculture industrial agriculture. Already during the planning, a lot of value is placed on species richness, utilization of the many available plant levels, as well as the simplest possible management. The first few years, however, the workload is significantly higher than in monoculture, which has a dissuasive effect on many people. However, even the so-called agricultural experts must admit that yields generated by permaculture methods can match those of conventional industrial agriculture.
However, these experts cite the increased workload of staff as a counter-argument. Unfortunately, these experts forget to mention that permaculture does not require any heavy equipment and therefore the cost factor for environmentally harmful equipment compensates for the additional workforce. To make matters worse, that permaculture manages completely without artificial fertilizers or pesticides of any kind, which also makes up for a large part of the costs of conventional agriculture. Apart from the saving of contaminating pollutants one should add that permaculture according to their name permanently, durably get by without plowing of the soil, which significantly improves the storage capacity of the soil for moisture and does not compact the soil as in the processing of heavy tractors. Because the soil is permanently protected from direct sunlight, there are also significantly more microorganisms near the surface of the soil, which provides the flat-rooted plants with a better supply of nutrients.
In my opinion, the most outstanding advantage of permaculture is the soil. With many fungi, microbes, bacteria and microorganisms, it is considerably more fertile than conventional fields. Through the biodiversity, the most diverse plants and animals protect each other and keep the nature in a balance in which no species disadvantage each other. We see in nature the perfect example of cooperation. On an area where one single species predominates, the soil is leached out in such a short time that other species can’t hold anymore. Thus, a single so-called pest, a whole species in a wind-eaten large scale eradicate. The same “pest” may even be in a permaculture times a plant, but already five meters further the same plant can stand and is ignored by him, because there are other species between the two plants from which he keeps away. On the other hand, for example, the legumes (beans, clover, etc.) give nitrogen to the soil from which other plants benefit. There are numerous such functions. Of course, the complexity of a permaculture is much more challenging than sitting on a tractor and mowing a field, but in my eyes learnable.
Orientation to nature
Permaculture is strongly based on the model of nature. The observation of plants, animals and local conditions such as wind, water, temperature and light conditions, serves as a basis for planning. Because the diverse ecosystems of nature are unsurpassed in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Ecosystems of perennial and self-propagating annual plants and animal species are planned and implemented in a small space. In the process of implementation, the old knowledge of experience from different cultures is combined with the newer methods and techniques so that habitats can be designed that meet the basic human needs and are nevertheless ecologically sound. In a permaculture there is no waste that needs to be disposed of. Everything is 100% recycled. By combining plants that support each other, these plants not only grow faster, but also protect each other from unwanted influences such as the monkeys dreaded pests, which in my eyes are the beneficial kind that want to bring the ecosystem back into balance. Many of the so demonized “pests” are welcome in a permaculture and belong to the ecosystem. Nature had billions of years to develop. Let us take advantage of this experience and work with it instead of against nature.
The social and ecological aspect
We do not need to argue about the social benefits of permaculture. An ecological, nature-inspired environment is not only a place to stay, but also provides a healthy and soothing environment for anyone who knows you are not beating in the direction of wasps.
Experts criticize the increased ‘workload’ but forget that we have millions of people in the country and billions of people around the world who are currently out of work. By saving on the cost of heavy equipment and chemical products to increase productivity, it is possible to finance many jobs that increase the self-esteem of currently unemployed people, provide them with financial security, protect the environment and ensure that humanity is supplied with healthy food. Against the claim that a large-scale restructuring of conventional agriculture towards a permaculture would not be affordable, unfortunately too often we forget that the damage we have done so far with the nature of our agriculture isn’t considered with a penny in the cost/use analysis by the involved experts. If this were the case, the experts at their desks would also recognize that permaculture is the only meaningful way of producing food. From the aspect of the quality of the food produced without pesticides, we do not need to say another word at this point.
Unfortunately, the agricultural lobby sees it differently. Of course, cultivating some kind of food where Monsanto & Co generates less, or no revenue is, of course, a work of the devil that needs to be nipped in the bud. In this case, they then always pointed to the jobs in the relevant industries which would then be eliminated. And again, of course, there is no denying that many more new jobs are being created in permaculture that than are being lost in the industry. And while I can only speak for myself now, I would rather work for 12 hours with other nature-loving people in permaculture than stand in protective clothing 8 hours behind a control panel and press buttons. But everyone must decide for himself.
Of course, there is much more to this topic than it is possible to bring up here, and this article only provides a rough insight into the context of permaculture.
We have the opportunity to make the world a better place. Together, we are able to live the change we want to see for ourselves and to inspire others to work for a better future as well. Because one thing is already clear: the future will come … let’s do it better!
If you like what I do and if you want to support me check this out too