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What is Permaculture?

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What is Permaculture Farming?

 

Permaculture farming is an agricultural system that uses natural practices to keep soil fertile, crop and livestock healthy while protecting the environment and enhancing genetic diversity.

 

An essential aspect of permaculture farming is its dependence upon nutrients in recycled organic matter. The permaculture farmer makes every effort to keep land productive using materials found on the farm.

 

Permaculture principles recognize that the whole growing environment is more than the some of its parts and that all living things are interrelated and interdependent.  Soil is made up of solid particles and millions of microorganisms, which rely on plants to survive and in return release plant nutrients into the soil to help plants to grow.

 

Permaculture farming involves;

  • Treating the soil and growing environment as a resource to be husbanded for future generations, rather than mined for short term gains.
  • Providing plant life in the soil with a balanced food supply, by feeding the many creations that live in the soil with compost, manure and other organic materials.
  • Choosing renewable resources thereby creating a sustainable future.
  • Reducing pollution in the environment, by recycling garden, household and other organic wastes.
  • Combating pest and disease without using synthetic pesticides which have been proven to be harmful to human health and the environment.
  • Encouraging wildlife habitats by creating suitable habitats that do not use chemosynthetic pesticides.
  • The holistic approach whereby, garden-flowers, trees, shrubs and lawns, as well as vegetable fruits and herbs are regarded as mutually supportive.
  • Creating an environment that is safe and pleasant in which to work and to play.
  • Having an open mind-set and being able to look at and take into account new scientific discoveries and ideas when applicable and sustainable, as well as being open to the best traditional knowledge practices that are also sustainable.
  • Using good horticultural practices
  • Recognizing the importance of genetic diversity and the preservation of threatened plant varieties
  • The use of locally adapted varieties
  • Reduction of nutrient losses from the soil.
  • The use of locally available organic material and green manuring.
  • A wide crop rotation system.
  • Fostering natural balances
  • Mechanical and manure weed control
  • Preventive pest and disease management
  • Natural botanical pest and disease control.

 THE RESULTS FROM AGRICUAL SYSTEMS ARE:

  •  No need for synthetic agro-chemical input
  • Healthy food and sound environment
  • Balanced ecology and genetic diversity

Permaculture farming does not use, nor encourage the use of man-made chemo-synthetic fertilizers, hazardous pesticides and weed killers; which stay in the soil for long periods of time and builds up into the bodies of humans and animals. Burning of trash before sowing is not entertained by permaculture farming (except in exceptional circumstances), burning of crop residues after harvesting is regarded as a ‘sin’ by permaculture principles.

COMBINED TECHNIQUES

 

On the permaculture farm each technique is not usually used in isolation. The farmer will use a wide range of permaculture methods and at the same time allow all methods to work together towards a maximum benefit of parts.  For example, the use of green manure and careful cultivation, together provide better control of weeds than if they were used separatedly.  

 

WHY PERMACULTURE FARMING?

 

The fact that modern farming is systematically becoming agro-chemically dependant cannot be denied. People who increasingly use chemical fertilizers, insecticides, vaccines, animal feeds and medicines in their quest to increase or to sustain their output (yield). These external inputs have gradually succeeded in making farming very expensive, at least to the ordinary farmer, because of their high cost. This has resulted in a situation in Ghana today where many people are discouraged from engaging in farming, because they cannot afford to buy the chemicals which to them, are the pre-requisite for successful farming. One can also think of the health and environmental hazards posed by the use of fertilizers and harmful insecticides on food crops such as vegetables. Apart from the unwanted destruction of beneficial insects and the pollution of natural water systems the farmer doing the spraying can also be harmed as well as the consumer of the produce.

 

There is also the problem of pest becoming immune to the chemical application resulting from either heavy crop loss or excessive costs to controlling pests. Besides, the increasing demands of consumers for healthy agricultural produce serves as an impetus to the farmer to consider permaculture principles for potential economic gain.

 

Modern, intensive agriculture cause many problems.

 

  • The soil becomes poor.
  • More chemical fertilizer is needed every year to grow the same amount of crops.
  • Pest and diseases become more difficult to control.
  • Rivers and lakes are polluted with chemicals and soil is washed from the land.
  • Many of the pesticides are very poisonous to animals and people.
  • Money is needed to buy farm chemicals and machinery.

PERMACULTURE FARMING DOES NOT CAUSE THESE PROBLEMS

  • It makes the soil more fertile.
  • Controls pests and diseases without harm to people of wildlife.
  • It makes sure that the water stays pure.
  • This is all done using resources, which the farmer already has, so the farmer needs less money to buy farm inputs.

Permaculture farming protects the environment and at the same time produces nutritious food, feed for animals and high quality crops to sell at a good price.

 

It is against this background that the permacultur network has taken the challenge to encourage and to promote permacultue practices among farmers in the world at a suitable and affordable alternative to the prevailing conventional methods to ensure sustainability in our agricultural systems.

 

PERMACULTURE NETWORK SERVICES AND TRAINING

 

Permaculture network offers a huge variety of services in all aspects of permaculture consultation and training to a wide range of people and organizations.

 

Examples of what we can offer are listed below;

 

Meeting training needs

Permacultue network specializes in the deliver of innovative training programs to rural and urban communities in Ghana and the developing world.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS

 

We also provide services in environmental maintenance to communities, mining industry, companies and organizations on:

 

  • Swales, growing surface cover to control erosion
  • Creating wind breaks to protect land and urban buildings
  • To grow trees along river banks to protect rivers from drying out.
  • Indigenous forestation, reforestation to present erratic rainfall and savanna encroachment.
  • Domestication of wild species.

We provide consultation services, design and education services for rural and urban settlements for above points listed.

 

WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP          

The Permaculture Network seeks to support and teach communities and individuals to create permaculture systems that suit their local environment. By taking the course individuals become teachers and designers of permaculture systems that fit their own culture, economy, and ecology. The Permaculture Network is available to train individuals and communities in permaculture design anywhere in the world.

 

The Permaculture Network also works to encourage and assist communities to establish their own SEED BANKS and can also work with communities to rehabilitate mine sites or to establish sustainable forestry and food security systems.

 

DESIGN AND CONSULTATION

We provide services to the following:

  • Urban housing estate development
  • Industrial sector
  • Governments
  • Aid agencies
  • Communities
  • Philanthropist and civil society organizations

PRE-PURCHASE URBAN & RURAL SITE ASSESSMENT

Don’t buy the wrong property. We can save you thousands of dollars, usually in the first site visit. Let us view and read your landscape and advise you on what is a good site and after your purchase a site plan.

 

What can best be implemented on your landscape?

Which system will best suit your land and you?

 

Examples

Road(s)?

Water harvesting?

Yield?

Tree species?

Organic food production

Soil improvement

Animals

Income development

Fire risk

House sites

Dams

 

These are just a few questions you may need answers to. A proper site design will save you time and money.

 

For more information contact:

The President

Paul Yeboah

Permaculture Network/International Permaculture Series

Email address:  yeboahpaul70@yahoo.com


"Our pathway must be up through the soil,
up through swamps,
up through forests,
up through streams and rocks,
up through commerce, education, and religion!
In my opinion, we cannot begin at the top to build a house.  
If we try to do this, we shall reap in the end the fruits of our folly".

Booker T. Washington

Respond to Adjoa Linda at:  Email belrivers@gmail.com