Permaculture is the study and practice of the sustainable design of human habitats and food production systems. It is a land-use and community building movement which strives for the integration of architecture, gardens, plants, animals, soils, and water into enduring, productive environments.

Permaculture is, in part, the design of ecologically sustainable landscapes that produce food. This is a style of cultivation which emphasizes organic growing techniques and the use of a diverse mix of plants. Many different plant types are used, so that cropping is spread out over the course of a growing season. Permaculture’s proponents regard it as an environmentally sound way of utilizing the earth. More so than the monoculture system practiced by much of modern farming.

Gauging Productivity

The productivity of agriculture is usually assessed as the yield per unit area. Though the yield per unit area from any particular species is likely to lower in a permaculture eco-system than in a monoculture system, it is argued by many that the sum of the yields from a permaculture system will be greater. This is because one crop can never use all the available energy and nutrients. However, the economies of scale for planting, harvesting and marketing will be greater in a monoculture system.

TrellisPermaculture is a land use and community building movement which strives for the harmonious integration of human dwellings, microclimate, plants, animals, soil, and water into stable, productive environments. The focus is not on these individual components, but on their relationships to one another.

Though an emphasis is placed on multi-use plants, and cultural practices such as sheet mulching and trellising, permaculture includes many issues. Energy-efficiency, waste water treatment, recycling, and ecological land use are also essential to permaculture. More recently, permaculture has begun to include economic and social structures that support the development of stable communities, such as co-housing.

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