Permaculture is a design science that uses natural systems as models to create regenerative human habitats. Permaculture integrates food production, waste management, energy, architecture, urban and social planning, and ecology to create homes, farms, villages, and cities that are truly capable of being permanently occupied and permanently productive, and therefore of supporting a permanent culture. We say regenerative, not sustainable, because we do not want to sustain a severely degraded landscape. Rather, we intend to regenerate it.
The problems of rural poverty in the developing world can be solved. There are many different components to their solutions. We intend to address the issues of infertile land and drought through training and demonstration in three essential areas:
- Rainwater catchment
- Soil building
It is possible to simultaneously solve the problems of unsafe or inadequate drinking water, soil erosion leading to widespread hunger and malnutrition, and periodic drought. Large capital or technological inputs are not needed. What is needed is understanding, of traditional land stewardship systems, of the rules governing natural systems, of the resources inherent to a people and to the place where they live, and of good design practices. We train local people to recognize and use the resources available to them to build resilient food systems and communities.
One common cause of death among children in the developing world is contaminated water, causing chronic diarrhea leading to dehydration, and exacerbated by malnutrition. One major source of contamination is surface runoff during rains. Trees stop surface runoff and soil erosion, build organic topsoil which filters water and converts hazardous waste into non-toxic plant food, provide shade, and can be a long-term source of food, fuel, and income if they are well-managed.
The soil is the source of food. Food grown in healthy soil is more nutritious and keeps better than food grown in bare, eroded soils. When soil is intentionally built, fertility will increase year after year. When soil is neglected, eventually the land will lose the ability to support human habitation. In food production systems soil must be intentionally produced and protected, or it will be lost. With good water catchment systems, tree planting, and mulch gardening, we can increase food yields over time by building soil that will feed people for generations.
Using simple earthworks and easily constructed tools, it is possible to stop rainwater from running off, and store it in the soil, where crops need it. Over time, the water table will rise, transforming the landscape and recharging wells. With good design and maintenance of passive rainwater catchment systems, it is possible to ensure a good water supply for crop production without resorting to expensive irrigation technologies.
If you would like to learn more about Permaculture or are interested in partnering with the Oasis Revolution contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Permaculture Video 1
Permaculture Video 2
Permaculture Video 3