What is permaculture?
Permaculture is for people who are looking for another way to live. It’s about creating great projects and livelihoods that are truly sustainable. Sustainability is a word that has been overused and possibly lost some of it’s impact, it essentially means to avoid depleting our natural resources, whilst maintaining a healthy ecological balance. Are we doing that- collectively or individually?
On so many levels our local, regional and global environments are suffering. As humans we have not paid enough respect to our natural resources and we have been living beyond our means. Permaculture answers the question of ‘how can we live well and heal nature at the same time?’.
It gives us the thinking skills to see things more holistically and to make the most out of what we have by understanding how nature works. It helps us create self supporting ecosystems that are healthy, for example, in a garden we might always plant nitrogen fixers and plants that encourage pollinators. Or in a business we might only support farmers that are not using harmful chemicals. It is a way of organising our world so that we are thinking ahead for the generations of all species that come after us- it is a long-term vision of how our society can relate to our natural environments in a better way than we have been. It is a recognition that our status quo has resulted in multidimensional environmental crisis and it is about taking responsibility in any small way to start to repair the damage.
It sounds serious, but it is in fact fun and empowering- it is the feeling of taking back the control of our lives and going on an adventure….
What is a Permaculture Design?
In permaculture we design everything first before doing things! We would rather make mistakes on paper than in the real world. A permaculture design aims to create elegant solutions that are highly effective and simple. A typical permaculture solution seeks to solve several problems at once. In a design you will take time to notice how things relate, (as an analogy) is not creating a garden, but about creating a long term ecosystem. You can apply this way of thinking to anything– it is about being more permanent- in the way we treat nature and in our cultural practices.
By carrying a set of ecological principles in mind when designing our projects and learning about lots of tried and tested permaculture tools and techniques we become aware of a kind of checklist of things to think about when approaching living in more sustainable ways. After a first stage of surveying what you have around you and thinking clearly about what you would like to achieve then you can start designing your project.
Anna’s frequently delivered ‘How to do a Permaculture Design’ workshops are all about learning the basic skills and mindset to get going on your own. It is a beginners introduction course to designing and it doesn’t have to be about landscape or gardens! This Spring we have an enjoyable weekend workshop lined up, based at Mallydam’s Wood RSPCA Education Center and a very special permaculture farm nearby.
Meet Anna Locke
Anna Locke is a fully qualified permaculture designer and teacher based in and around Hastings, East Sussex. Anna regularly gives workshops about ‘How to Plant a Forage Garden’, ‘Permaculture for Allotments’, ‘How to Grow Organic Food from Seed’ and many other topics- just ask.
Anna can help you to come up with a plan, either by doing one for you or by working with you. Co-designing can take place in 1:2:1 sessions or by doing a group workshop, whatever suits your situation. Or you can come on a ‘How to do a Permaculture Design’ workshop and bring your project ideas with you.
Forest Garden Design
A Forest Garden is a brilliant way to grow food, either in a garden or a larger site situation. It is about establishing a low maintenance long-term eco-system, that you can eat. It is best thought of as a ‘forage’ garden, somewhere you can seasonally pass through and gain some tasty yields.
Talks & Workshops
Anna regularly gives workshops about ‘How to Plant a Forage Garden’, ‘Permaculture for Allotments’, ‘How to Grow Organic Food from Seed’ and many other topics- just ask.The main way to start a permaculture journey is to attend an Introduction Course.