The Sprout recently completed his Permaculture Design Certificate through Oregon State University! Despite his back injury over a year ago, Jesse has used this time to seek knowledge about how to be a steward of the earth. It’s been fun to watch him learn this new language and fall even harder for the practice it describes. When you can’t stop talking about something, it’s a pretty good sign that you’re in love with it.
What is permaculture? Jesse would tell you it’s a design process and methodology for creating human settlements and agricultural efforts to work with nature, not against it. If you’re interested, here are some permaculture definitions by people in the field. If you’d like some keywords, think harmony, sustainability, resiliency, creativity, diversity, and balance.
As far as I can tell, this permaculture thing is not just for hippies. It’s a practice that has measurable benefits. It offers solutions to this no small matter of how to ensure the health of the human race while caring for the planet and the many beings that rely on its resources. It seems like a systematized way of describing what indigenous people have been practicing for generations. As I absorb the knowledge through osmosis, I’m beginning to see that it’s a way of living in abundance without harming our assets. It’s hope explained. It’s harmony described.
For his permaculture design project, Jesse chose a 20-acre piece of property we know and love and imagined his dream farm. It features food forests of fruit and nut trees, berries, herbs and mushrooms. Pigs, chickens and ducks would provide food and ensure the fertility of the land. Ponds across the property offer swimming areas for ducks, a place for fish to be raised, and water collection points. It looks dreamy, as you can see from the conceptual drawing below.