Permaculture and Edible Landscapes: The Gifts That Keep on Giving
Come on, you know you want to. I mean, everyone’s doing it… creating permaculture garden centers, that is.
Permaculture has become a buzz-word of sorts, permeating the English language but leaving people scratching their heads as to what it really is. The word itself is a portmanteau for the terms “permanent agriculture” and “permanent cultures.” Permaculture is a self-sustaining agricultural system which focuses on organic farming methods that keep the surrounding ecological system intact. The system was originally created by two Australians during the 1970s and has recently begun to gain momentum in the United States.
As Americans become more health conscious and develop a closer relationship with their food and its source, many have adopted different eating habits in order to avoid consuming pesticide-treated, genetically modified crops. Pesticides, GMO’s, growth hormones and antibiotics used in factory farming have been linked to a plethora of life threatening diseases and genetic disorders. As such, the trend towards self-sufficiency has increased.
In fact, consumers are much more conscious and tuned-in — thanks to social media platforms — than ever before, forcing brands to provide a level of transparency that many are reluctant to. Unsurprisingly, this has pushed many consumers farther and farther away from mainstream culture in search of a more holistic lifestyle, which is where permaculture comes into play.
Everyone thought the organic food movement was merely a trend or a marketing tactic that would soon be forgotten. It wasn’t until the agriculture and food industry as a whole was carefully examined that many consumers became mistrustful, if not disgusted, by how their food lands on their dinner table. Organic became more of a total lifestyle, rather than just the latest fad.
Permaculture is about much more than having a beautiful yard; it’s essentially edible landscaping, balancing the beauty of landscape design with the practicality of having a garden. Landscape design itself, even when permaculture is not involved, can save homeowners thousands in heating and cooling costs, as well as boost a property’s value come selling time.
Many modern landscape designers incorporate permaculture principles. The permaculture landscape design process focuses on creating a bountiful garden that not only seamlessly blends with the existing environment, but looks good doing it.
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