The leaves rustle in the wind, the gold and fire-red hues dance around and dazzle us before falling back to Earth, oh so delicately. Attention shifts from swimming and sun tanning to drinking mugs of hot tea after a day searching for the perfect carving pumpkin. Yes, this is the glorious season of Autumn. To the surprise of many, it’s also one of the most important times of year for the garden! If we are to manage the land (and our time) strategically, we must capture the benefits of rain and cold and time so we can work less during the rest of the year.
Permaculture: the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be
sustainable and self-sufficient.
I’d like to start out with a bit about myself for context: I’m young woman just beginning her lifelong path in food production. Most of my training in agriculture has been through WWOOFing and interning on permaculture farms, so in a sense, it’s mostly all I know. When I began to work on more conventional organic farms it was shocking for me to see how hard people were working just to keep things alive, when I’d previously seen beautiful, food producing systems largely maintaining themselves. This juxtaposition is where the importance of permaculture really hit me. Working with whole systems inspired me so much I decided to devote my entire life to them. Treating nature like a machine that could be broken down into separate parts, analyzed, and “fixed”, had the opposite effect. This drastic contrast between farming methods inspired an obsessive quest to answer this nagging question: “why do most people plant this way?” Continue reading