What is Permaculture?
By Janis Norton,
General Manager – The Urban Farm
General Manager – The Urban Farm
Greg Peterson loves to ask some of our podcast guests “What is your definition of Permaculture?” He asked me the same question, so I wrote this down the other day.
Permaculture is a way of life that emulates, intersects, and cooperates with the perpetual regenerative systems of nature.–Janis Norton
Breaking that down a little bit to help explain
With literally eons to develop, perfect, and refine itself, nature has developed an immeasurable network of systems that regenerate and sustain life. The current human tendency towards consumption and consumerism is destructive. The results of which put our future generations at risk for basic survival.
Learning how some of nature’s cooperative systems work, and how to implement them into our own space, we become part of that very system. Becoming in tune with nature we can benefit in many ways. I believe that if every human on earth started implementing even just one permaculture practice every couple of years, the change on our planet would be transformative and visible from space within a decade.
So what is a Permaculture Design Course?
To me a Permaculture Design Course is the most effective way to overcome a lifetime of human-centric education, and begin to understand the cooperative systems of nature.
The course is full of hands-on experience and group projects. These allow for the de-programming of singular purpose and single-use concepts. Gaining an understanding of the circular character of natural systems can inspire creativity and allow for design possibilities that serve a multitude of functions using the same energy. In other words, we use nature as an example of how to get more done with less effort, in a process that supports or repeats itself.
By engaging in the extended learning course of a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) the participant is introduced to amazingly simple yet wonderfully multidimensional concepts. By doing the exercises, homework, and group projects included in this 72 hour/10-day course, these concepts become the groundwork for new lifestyle practices.
Implementing these practices in landscape design will reinforce time-tested methods for optimal land use to the benefit of both the user and the land itself. Implementing the practices in daily life will decrease the consumption of limited resources and provide many mental, physical, and emotional benefits associated with better connections with nature.
What is special about the Phoenix Course?
The PDC in Phoenix focuses on dryland and southwest ecosystems in urban or semi-urban settings. Let’s be real – Phoenix is not like any Midwest, northeast, or coastal cities. Our landscapes and our climates are vastly different than Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, or Miami. We have unique challenges to creating a sustainable landscape, let alone a regenerative one.
The PDC in Phoenix will apply all the required teachings from a standard Permaculture Course with the experience of those who use permaculture in their personal and professional lives. All participants will get the chance to do projects and examine systems that directly relate to THIS climate zone.
If you are interested in taking a PDC course that relates to the challenges we face here in the southwest arid climate, then please go to www.urbanfarm.org/pdc
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