By Orna Izakson
Permaculturists have been searching for a sound-bite definition of their practice for years, and the process hasn’t turned up much that explains the concept well to the uninitiated. Jude Hobbs, a Permaculture instructor and landscape designer in Eugene, Ore., has a list with dozens of different attempts.
The concept is fundamentally about making everything fit, reassembling the pieces of life — food, community, animals, people — that have been shattered by the modern, industrial world. It’s about recreating a world that functions sustainably, recycles everything and works for people and the environment. It’s not just about gardening, but because food is a critical component of life, it’s therefore a critical component of a sustainable life.
Lofty as that sounds, permaculture is tremendously practical, dealing as it does with the basic stuff of living. It can be as simple as growing grapes above the hot tub so you can relax in shaded luxury while enjoying the fresh fruit of the vine. It can be planting herbs just outside the kitchen door to facilitate their fresh and medicinal uses in home-cooked cuisine. Continue reading “Permaculture, undefined”