Permaculture for Beginners

6 easy ways to get started with permaculture, designing a more ecological home, garden, and life!
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Partial video transcript

Hi, folks, it’s me, Heather Jo Flores, and I just want to talk to you a little bit about getting started with permaculture because a lot of people ask me this question. So we talk about what is permaculture? Permaculture is a design system for sustainable living, it’s a way to bring your ethics into alignment with your daily actions. The set of tools and techniques that permaculture uses can be employed for designs on every scale and in every project that they are employed, even if it doesn’t become a completely closed loop system, that system definitely becomes more ecological, sometimes with very little effort.

One of the things that really inspires me about the permaculture practice is that the more you do it, the better thinker you become and the more you call in an awareness to the natural world around you and to the non-human species and to their needs and contributions, the more adept you become at creating a synergistic life for yourself. And that applies across the board. So whether you’re doing business, or you’re gardening, or you’re raising your children, or you’re just cooking a meal, once you start to employ these ideas and to use these tools, they become second nature to you and you just kind of become healthier and happier. And if we go on a big scale, if we look at the garden is a microcosm and if you look at the macrocosm of our global culture and the experience that we’re having as humans on the planet, we can see that a lot of the behaviors that we’ve been engaged in, a lot of the patterns that we’ve created, are not working. They’re killing off species. They’re killing off the planet. And ultimately, we’re next on the list.

So the idea is to reverse these effects by taking some different types of actions when it comes to our relationship with ourselves, with each other, with our neighbors, with the structures in which we live, with the plants and animals in which we interact and so forth. This is why we’re geeked out on permaculture. It’s lots and lots of fun to try things and to experiment and to just live with this idea that we’re working with nature rather than against it. But a lot of the beginner conversations sort of stop there.

Not enough time is spent on the practical hands on how to of how to actually get started. I’d like to focus on a handful of actions that you can take, whether you’re a renter or you own your home or whether you live in the city or you live in the country, whether you have a lot of money or you have no money at all. These are just some basic actions that you can take to start to employ permaculture ideas and to start to become a systems thinker and create the exponential effects of the permaculture journey. So getting started with Permaculture. Tip number one is enroll in a permaculture course, whether it’s online or locally or both. I recommend taking as many as you can and reading as many of the most recommended permaculture books you can get your hands on. I do recommend doing a little bit of research about the teachers and the writers. There are a lot of different resources out there, a huge diversity of resources available to you. So look for stuff that you feel like you can relate to your local bioregion.

Even though permaculture is not just about learning how to garden in your climate, it’s about learning how to garden in any climate, and learning how to build structures that work in any climate, it’s about learning how to design, how to observe and design. And so if it doesn’t seem like that’s what somebody is teaching, then perhaps continue to look. Remember that it’s a design system, it’s not just about gardening.

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