Article from JustMeans
Vermont is a very small state, and it’s largest city, Burlington, is also very, very small. But for being such a tiny city, or perhaps even because of it’s small size, Burlington is a pretty progressive place, especially when it comes to sustainable, local food. Recently the neighborhoods have been abuzz with the concept of permaculture. Permaculture design classes are posted on public bulletin boards and broadcasted over the radio. Farmers and urban homesteaders chat over potlucks about Bill Mollison’s book and John Jeavon’s use of space. Word on the street is this permaculture thing is really taking off.
The idea of permaculture was developed in the 1960s by an Austrian, and then more fully fleshed-out by two Australian scientists, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the ’70s. The principles behind permaculture, which are largely borrowed from organic agriculture, sustainable land use, and indigenous land management techniques, differ in that they go beyond sustainable agriculture to encompass sustainable culture itself. But more than anything else, permaculture aims to mimic ecological design, viewing every aspect as part of a whole, connected system in which every part is inextricably related. Permaculture observes healthy, complete systems in nature and applies them to our broken agriculture systems. Hence there is no exact formula for creating a system based on permaculture design, for each natural area is assessed and approached given the specific, local natural systems that are operating in that specific place. Permaculture is hyper local and very much “in-tune” with a specific place.
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