Are you struggling to figure out how to garden in your less-than-perfect backyard? Consider permaculture. Permaculture ideas are popping up everywhere as more families turn to growing their own food. Learn about permaculture design principles and basics. Then visit these permaculture blogs for beginners.
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What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is an ethical gardening method that mimics patterns found in nature. This is called biomimicry. People who follow permaculture basics also try to harm the earth as little as possible. If it's doable, permaculture activities should actually improve the earth. This is in keeping with the basic permaculture ideals of earth care, people care, and fair share.
What is a Microclimate?
Permaculture depends heavily on making use of microclimates. It's quite different from the idea of carefully planned and landscaped kitchen gardens. A microclimate creates pockets of weather conditions not typical of your area. And these microclimates let you grow things which surprise you.
For example, we live very far north. This means we face the unique challenges of northern gardening. Our gardening zone is 0A. Yes, there really is a "zero" gardening zone. (FYI, we are at about 62 degrees north, in Canada's Northwest Territories.)
We have one acre of land overlooking a lake. Our property is a mixture of bedrock, with clay and sandy soil. Yet with our ongoing family composting efforts we've improved the soil quality over the years. And we've even had topsoil trucked in for an added boost.
We're experimenting with several microclimates on the property. Large bedrock and almost-24-hour sunlight in June and July make "hot spots" for typical warm-weather crops like watermelons. And birch trees offer shade for veggies like chard and potatoes.
Permaculture is a Long-Term Commitment
Today, there's growing interest in low-maintenance backyard gardens. And more people want to learn how to start homesteading as well. This offers a great opportunity to practice permaculture. However, be warned. Permaculture takes years to really work well. Prepare to make some planting errors and vegetable garden harvesting mistakes. So you need to commit to your gardening activities - and your property.
Permaculture is a long-term commitment. It may take years to build up nutrients in the soil. And it's hard work to create garden features like swales or berms). Yet permaculture design principles need these features. They're natural barriers that encourage natural growth.
The result? A high-yield, low-maintenance vegetable garden.
Permaculture Design Principles: Best Blogs for Beginners
The Urban Farmer
The Urban Farmer page offers a simple permaculture overview. It also discusses the history and development of permaculture design principles for beginners.
At Permaculture Principles you can see a video with David Holmgren, one of the founders of permaculture. And the site also includes ideas on how to use permaculture design principles to your suburban home and yard.
The Family Food Garden
This site has all sorts of useful gardening information for aspiring homesteaders and gardeners. In addition, The Family Food Garden includes a post on permaculture design layouts with several clear backyard design diagrams.
One of the rules of permaculture design is to mimic natural growth patterns in your part of the world. At Neverending Food, learn how permaculture design principles inform gardening efforts in the dry and difficult environment of Malawi in southeast Africa.
Deep Green Permaculture
This site includes a ton of information for budding permaculturists. Look through Deep Green Permaculture for detailed DIY posts on plant stacking, edge effects, and water gardens for beginners.
Temperate Climate Permaculture
Dr. Axe Permaculture
Use the Dr. Axe Permaculture site to explain permaculture to your kids. They'll enjoy the simple explanations, colorful diagrams, and basic projects. And this could be a good time to also take a look at our Composting With Kids, Easiest Vegetables for Kids to Grow, and How to Use Foraging to Teach Your Kids posts as well.
Natural Living Ideas
Many people become interested in permaculture while living in cities. The Natural Living Ideas site shares many urban permaculture ideas. Find advice on container gardening, vertical planting and balcony gardens.
Think of this UK-based site as a news site with the latest trends. This is the site for the print and digital magazine Permaculture. It lets visitors subscribe to the magazine format of their choice, or buy back issues. It also has a handy article on hugelkultur. Hugelkultur is the art of gardening in a specially crafted "no-dig" raised bed.
Oregon State Open Text Books
Are you looking for some textbook-style information on permaculture? Visit the Oregon State Open Text Books site. It includes a free downloadable PDF version of Andrew Millson's 28 chapter Introduction to Permaculture textbook. And it even links to a couple of permaculture YouTube videos.
The Permaculture Apprentice
William Horvath's The Permaculture Apprentice site is chock full of useful information for permaculture newbies. Check out the resources page. It's a gold mine of valuable ebooks, print book listings, videos, and online permaculture courses.
This is the site of Australia's Permaculture Research Institute. It's an excellent source of current news and events in the global permaculture world. Look for updates on the latest workshops, courses, and worldwide permaculture research.
High Sierra Permaculture
Looking for a free online course on Permaculture for Beginners? The folks over at High Sierra Permaculture offer just what you need. And if you want to go further, they also offer accredited Permaculture Training.
What's your favorite permaculture website? We're looking to add to our list in 2020!