So what is permaculture?
You’ll see this word appearing around our website and you’ll often hear us talking about it: permaculture. But what is it exactly and why is it so important to us? According to the dictionary definition permaculture is the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient. But it's much more than that.
The principles of permaculture, when correctly applied, have the potential to guide every aspect of our lives and our communities. Combining a focus on sustainability and self-sufficiency with wisdom, passion and the unity of a community will strengthen those bonds and relationships. Self-sufficiency turns into community sufficiency, people helping one another in their efforts to be conscious of our impact on the environment and focus on sustainability.
Permaculture really describes a process of observing the environment to reconnect with people and nature in practical and pragmatic ways. Most importantly, it enables us to engage with the natural world in rural or urban environments. That is what Greener Growth is all about.
So here are three permaculture ideas you can get started on, without the need for a garden.
Provided your roof area has a slight pitch for drainage, which most will for rainwater anyway, then you can create a garden roof. Before getting started do make sure your rafters are load-bearing, even for a small amount of soil. Then you can go ahead and create your growing area with battens and edging board, remembering to allow for draining. You’ll need pond membrane on top of the boards before adding a growing medium. For a lighter weight medium mix soil with compost as that’ll ease the load on your roof rafters. The final steps are to plant drought-resistant plants and watch them grow!
Just as windowsills are great places for growing, so too are balconies. Looking at it as a 3D area, not just the floor space, there is plenty of planting potential. You can grow in containers on the floor, up the walls and even hanging from the ceiling and railings – provided they’re strong enough to support the weight. From blueberries and strawberries to garlic, salads and various mushrooms, there is plenty of choice for growing your own produce on a balcony.
Tending to an allotment can seem like a big commitment, even half an allotment. Community allotments have come to the rescue of those who want to get involved without having such a big commitment on their hands. They let people share the work and produce of an allotment, with some even adding ponds, compost toilets and washing-up facilities. Some community allotments are even used for educational visits, giving children the chance to see how different ecosystems function and inspiring them to get involved.