Garden Permaculture Benefits, Principles in India
Today, we learn the topic of “Garden Permaculture Benefits”. Permaculture is a gardening movement that is spreading into modern agriculture. It is made up of two words – permanent and agriculture. We tend to think of agriculture, farming, and gardening as backbreaking labor that wrestles the fruits of the earth from the clutches of plant disease, infertile earth, and a multitude of different problems that can threaten our crops and risk yields.
Permaculture was developed with sustainability in mind. In a way, it sounds too good to be true – it’s a way of gardening that doesn’t pollute, feeds into itself, and doesn’t let anything go to waste. It is a relatively new method, conceived in Australia in the 1970s.
The major benefit is that it excludes outside fertilizers that can eventually harm the soil and pollute the land around the fields. This is because it mimics the natural ecosystem, and aims to recreate natural dependence and codependence based relationships that clearly work very well without human interference.
We are only beginning to understand the fact that some chemicals used in industrial agriculture as well as small garden farming, can have a long-lasting effect on the ecosystem, and us, our neighbors and our families for generations to come.
A hallmark of a permaculture garden is actually doing less work. Farmers and gardeners depend on natural processes so much that most of the work that their modern counterparts do like weeding and control management is made null and void. One should know garden permaculture benefits as more interesting things are happing in this field.
The Principals of Permaculture
There are many principals of permaculture – some people say it’s three, some say there’s as many as twelve. But the main principles will always be renewability, integration, recycling, responding to changes.
Seeing the garden as a living thing that goes through cycles, and affects everything around it is key to understanding permaculture. Although gardening is the most popular form of starting permaculture, it’s worth it to look at the role greenhouses can play in permaculture in order to yield more crops and extend the growing period. Greenhouse gardening can be adjusted to reflect your needs as a gardener, and they introduce a great opportunity for control without pesticides, herbicides, and dangers that come with hail, flooding or larger pests.
How to Run a Permaculture Greenhouse
- Greenhouses are tricky because they are closed environments. While permaculture mostly deals with an open natural environment, operating a greenhouse with permaculture principles is entirely possible.
- Solar Energy – the process of irrigation, cooling, and any other processes that require electricity should be powered by sustainable energy sources.
- Compost inside – in large greenhouses, bringing the composting inside not only feeds the crops with renewable nutrient-rich material but let’s not forget that composting generates heat. This will actually help to keep a greenhouse hot and help with managing resources.
- Bring in the farm animals – sometimes livestock like chickens are brought into a greenhouse in order to generate CO2 for the plants as well as a valuable fertilizer. In fact, the Polydome, a new concept urban greenhouse in the Netherlands brings in bees, chickens, fish, decomposers like mushrooms, over 50 different crops all together into a sustainable package of crops. Their goal is to show how cities can meet all their food needs while growing food inside their borders.
- Mix it up – one of the most important principles of permaculture is that monoculture is bad and depletes the soil very quickly. It also puts farmers at risk of one crop failure and being unable to use their resources later on. Like stated above, diversity is key to the success of permaculture.
- Using bees for pollination – bumblebees can be introduced to a large greenhouse in special boxes. They are less aggressive than honeybees and tend to work better with their human colleagues. The crops pollinated by them will be healthier, look better and yield more. Of course, if introduced properly, honeybees can also work great and produce harvestable honey as well.
- Think about your community – does your community need 3,000 tonnes of cucumbers? Tomatoes? Whatever single crop that commercial greenhouses grow? If not, maybe it’s time to rethink the concept of who you are benefiting and concentrate on community – permaculture gardens and farms tend to be the main source of all vegetables and a wide variety of resources for their local communities – especially if put in an urban setting.
- Water management – using as much water from rain collection as you can is good for plants. Managing it well is another secret – instead of traditional irrigation, special high beds can be made that supply water from the bottom – that way nothing is lost to evaporation.
Successful Large Scale Permaculture in India
The Dangers of Green Revolution
Permaculture gardens are successful in countries like the United States, Costa Rica, South Africa, Australia, Netherlands – everywhere in the world.
The idea of permaculture was first introduced in India in the late 1980s by India is an agricultural giant. However, small farmers often struggle and are preyed upon large corporations who control seeds, crops (such as potatoes) and are simply bad for small communities and community scale farming.
Even with monoculture farming and large agribusiness becoming bigger and bigger, India is in a unique position in the word to steer in a different direction and be financially smarter than countries that have bet their economies on products like soybeans, corn, potatoes and other large monoculture crops that are owned by large scale corporations and were part of the “Green Revolution” movement that got started in the 1960s and 1970s.
Of course, the “Green Revolution” helped India to become a grain exporter and adopted “modern” methods of farming from the US, like chemical farming and using large scale irrigation. But all signs point to the fact that it is not sustainable in the long run.
The incessant need for too much water makes farmers look for water deep underground – an expensive endeavor, which sometimes taps into deep salty water and makes the soil unusable for years and years. Because the soil is becoming poorer in nutrients, higher amounts of fertilizers are needed to sustain it – also a steadily rising cost to the farmers.
Concentrating on Community
Indian farming is mostly compromised of small farms, and the idea of permaculture mostly centers around small farmers.
Today, there are many small farms that are starting to practice and experiment with permaculture. “Agriculture is not just agriculture – it’s a social responsibility,” says Narsanna Koppula, who is a well known Indian permaculturist.
Their elimination of gigantic farms and agribusinesses in favor of small sustainable farms seems almost unimaginable now, but as the climate changes and the demand for community-centered farms continues to grow, it can be beneficial to think about small steps to take in order to make these changes happen.
We don’t have to switch overnight, but living more in tune with the nature that surrounds us and learns how we can live in tune with natural systems that already exist will help us plant a wide variety of crops the whole community can use.
That’s all folks about Garden Permaculture Benefits. Keep growing.