OBJECTIVES OF PERMACULTURE
- Maximising stability and resilience of the system
An example of this is resistance to pest attack. This is achieved through the good placement and management of a diversity of individual components such as plants to support beneficial organisms, different crop types and varieties, shelterbelts and livestock.
- Maximising productivity
This does not necessarily mean maximising production. It is achieved through diversity and by making most efficient use of the potential of each site, including soil type, water supply, aspect, slope and other natural features. It includes a view to long-term productivity, using practices aimed at the sustainable use and development of natural resources. The protection and where desirable, development of soil and water resources is emphasised in this approach.
- Minimising inputs
Permaculture aims to minimise inputs required in the form of human involvement and energy to maintain the system. An example is the use of livestock or long-term mulch versus herbicides or repeated cultivation for weed management. A problem (weeds) may become a resource (animal products and manure) by good design and management.
- Minimising adverse environmental impact of the production system
This comes from maximising the efficiency with which any on-farm or off-farm resources are used, minimising the use of non-renewable resources and maximum recycling of nutrients and potential ‘wastes’. A function of the permaculture approach is to pull these and other relevant elements together so that the agricultural system and the broader environment in which it sits can be visualised, planned and managed in a holistic manner.
ONLINE BOOKS & DATABASES
Plants For A Future is a resource centre for rare and unusual plants, particularly those which have edible, medicinal or other uses.
PermaWiki, the free permaculture designers manual that anyone can edit