AIR Mosaic Feedback Mail
Mail sent from AIR Mosaic (16-bit) version 3.07.04.02
Hello, my name is Sunny, I am the director of a non-profit called La
Tierra. We would like to post an announcement of a Permaculture
Certification Course that will be taught by Permaculture founder, Bill
Mollison and his associate Scott Pittman. The course is being held May
20-June 3, 1995 in northern CA. This will be Bills only teaching
engagement in the western U.S. this year. For more information contact
Sunny, e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or Call (707) 829-8191. Any help you
can give us in posting this event will be greatly appreciated.
From: email@example.com (Steve Diver)
Subject: Re: Small scale permaculture sources (fwd)
Date: 16 Feb 1994 00:18:38 -0500
Organization: sustag-public mailing list
> Can anyone suggest good sources of information on permaculture
> that are usable for people with large yards or small farms?
> Also information that is aimed at either southerners or
> midwesterners in the US? The only thing I have ever seen was
> aimed at people on another continent and while the concepts
> were helpful, the specifics weren't.
Permaculture, like sustainable agriculture, is a concept
that strives for a goal of ecological land management and
food production. It is more specific in its set of ethics
and principles by which to design these systems, however.
In practice, permaculture adopts alternative farming systems
that are regionally adapted. Thus, in the United States,
some of the best examples of permaculture systems are in
In Missouri, UMC people have perfected alleycropping row crops
and forages between black walnuts spaced 10' x 40'. A
permaculturist would use that as a base design and increase
the density of perennials and annuals in the black walnut
tree row. Leaving the middles open for mechanical planting,
cultivation, and harvest is a necessity for commercial production.
This is but one example of how permaculture is definitely
adapted to temperate U.S. Permaculture is by definition adapted
all anywhere in the world. The principles of ecology are
the same, it is we humans who must strive to understand and
apply these principles where we live.
Forst Gardening is a famous book that goes a long way
towards enhanced understanding of a food garden based on
a mix of perennials and annuals.
In Nepal, a lady villager had a field with three row crop
strip rotation--buckwheat, mustard, and [damn I forget]--that was
surrounded by a berm. This berm was essentially a "forest
garden." By this I mean a highly intercropped polyculture of
short, medium, and tall trees and shrubs with annual herbs and
This scene could be replicated in any cropping system in
any state in the U.S. Highly diverse, strip crops in fields
laid out for mechanical agriculture (using the best organic-
sustainable farming practices, of course), surrounded by
hedgerows of incredible food diversity. Increase diversity,
increase productivity, increase natural ecosystem effects.
Emmulate natural patterns as seen in nature, especially forest
eco-systems. Take advantage of the "edge" effect and layer
plants. Plant "apparent disorder" by studying chaos in
nature and fractals on computers. Study aerial photos of
any river system in the world, especially deltas. Or, study
Another commercial ag example:
In Arkansas, Eric Ardapple Kindberg adapted the Keyline
Chisel Plow system to commercial, organic vegetable production.
In "Permaculture One", see the Wallace Plow. The Yeoman plow
as it used to be called, is very similar. These are all
based on para-plow points on the end of a subsoiler shank.
These systems cut deep slots through the soil, thus enabling
roots of cover crops to penetrate deeper, bring subsoil
nutrient to the surface, and depositing organic matter deeper
down. Eventually soils worked by this system are higher
in organic matter, have good tilth, and more fertile.
Eric says that periodic subsoiling results in "micro-bursts,"
a term used to describe the well-known microbial population
explosions that result when you incorporate organic matter
(i.e., green manure, etc.) into the soil. Microbes secrete
gluey slime that hold soil particles together and cause soil
aggregation and good crumb structure. Eric operates Fertility
Implements in Bass, AR.
Permaculture as an agricultural science is largely
unexplored in the U.S. land-grant system but one
that has enormous potential. In fact, permaculture
has great potential in the core curricula of our
colleges and high schools.
It's not just for farmers and gardeners either. Cities
are black holes for the earth's resources and cess pools of
pollution. Get people thinking along the lines of permaculture
and the planet will see a change for the better.
Think about it, we can't have a sustainable agriculture
without a sustainable city-culture.
Permaculture=permanent agriculture + permanent culture
[Hailing from the land of the oldest and largest agroforestry
system in the U.S., the Pecan Belt;; native pecans reaching
120 ft high into the blue Oklahoma sky, grass-legume mix, and
cattle or sheep inter-grazing in the shade of the trees;; what
better way to spend 100+ degree F. days, eh?]
A Definition of Permaculture
Dr. Lee Barnes
"The Permaculture Connections: Southeastern Permaculture Network News"
P.O. Box 1303
Waynesville, N.C., 28786
$10.00/year, 8 page Quarterly
Permaculture ("Perm"anent "agri"culture and "Perma"nent "culture")
is a sustainable design system stressing the harmonious interrelationship
of humans, plants, animals and the Earth. To paraphrase the founder of
Permaculture, designer Bill Mollison:
"Permaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale
intensive systems which are labor efficient and which use biological
resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections
and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design
and the working relationships and connections between all things. Each
component in a system performs multiple functions, and each function is
supported by many elements. Key to efficient design is observation and
replication of natural ecosystems, where designers maximize diversity
with polycultures, stress efficient energy planning for houses and
settlement, using and accelerating natural plant succession, and
increasing the highly productive "edge-zones" within the system."
Permaculture designs have been successfully and widely implemented in
third-world countries, but there is current need to expand these
principles in temperate climates, and especially urban areas to create
more enjoyable and sustainable human habitats.