We are all aware that our current lifestyle needs to change in order for us to continue the existence of our planet and to preserve life. Even small changes that we make individually can lead to significant improvement at the end of the day. Permaculture, the name of which we have started to hear often, seems to be a beacon of hope at this stage.
What is Permaculture (Sustainable Agriculture)?
Permaculture; It is known as a land management approach developed for a sustainable, holistic lifestyle. More simply, it is possible to define permaculture as a practice that integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies. Permaculture, which also means permanent agriculture or permanent culture, is actually modeled on systems that operate as a cycle in nature.
This model has a wide application area ranging from small settlements to large cities. In short, permaculture; A holistic system that combines agriculture, forestry, natural resources and waste systems appears as an approach that adopts the principle of cooperating with nature instead of being against it. In the continuation of our article, we will try to give more detailed answers to questions such as "what is sustainable agriculture and how to apply it".
What are Permaculture Methods and Applications?
Permaculture practices and principles have a richness that can be applied in all areas of life. It is possible to apply the permaculture approach in many structures such as residences, gardens, window frames, suburban and country houses, community areas, farms, commercial and industrial facilities, educational institutions. In general terms, permaculture applications can be listed as follows:
One of the most well-known permaculture practices is agroforestry. Also known as permaculture gardens, this practice is inspired by natural forests. In this design, it is aimed to increase productivity with entrepreneurship in agriculture by combining the technologies used in agriculture and forestry. Thus, more efficient and sustainable land systems can be obtained by taking diversity and productivity to the next level.
Suburban and Urban Permaculture
This application is known as an application based on efficient use of space. In urban permaculture, the goal is to maximize space for food production and keep idle space to a minimum. In an exemplary suburban permaculture area; There are regulations such as rainwater harvesting, edible landscaping, removal of asphalt roads, conversion of a garage into living space, conversion of the south facade patio to passive solar energy.
Hugel culture, known as the process of making a raised garden bed with rotten or unused wood waste, increases the water retention rate and productivity of the soil. In this application, the porous structure of the wood buried under the soil acts as a sponge while rotting underground. Buried pieces of wood that absorb enough water during the rainy season provide sufficient resources to sustain crops during the dry season. This technique, which is more efficient in the long run as it requires less maintenance and less irrigation, is a traditional practice that has been adopted recently.
Vermicomposting, another common practice, uses worms to break down green and brown waste. Worms produce worm castings, which are used to fertilize the garden organically, thereby increasing plant growth and reducing the presence of heavy metals in the soil.
Permaculture Activities in Turkey
Offering effective solutions for a more livable world, permaculture attracts attention in Turkey as well. There are 12 permaculture farms located in important areas of the coastline such as Kocaeli, Sakarya, Çanakkale, İzmir and Muğla. In addition to the registered farms, there are many different permaculture applications whose projects are still in progress.
The Permaculture Research Institute organizes numerous courses and workshops to implement more practices and transfer existing knowledge and experience. At the same time, many plans are being prepared to design models suitable for the ecosystem, to develop sustainable methods in agriculture, forestry and natural resources.
Permaculture; It is a multifaceted and broad subject, although it has simplicity and low-impact approaches at its core. Also, there is no absolute one way to practice permaculture. For this reason, it may not always be easy to implement applications fully. Instead, you could, for example, devise a plan for creating a farmhouse and add to that design each time.