Saturday, September 21, 2013


Our Master Gardener meeting last week featured Bill & Wilson of Midwest Permaculture who introduced us to the work they've been doing in Stelle, Illinois.  The highlights of their presentation follow:

The goal of permaculture design 
is to support the transition of our society 
from a culture of consumption

into a culture of creation.


        Building the topsoil while growing healthy food
       Growing enough healthy food to feed the world
               Repairing devastated lands – Re-growing rainforest  
        Producing the energy we need                            
   Creating resilient communities and cities       
  Improving everyone’s overall quality of life 
                   And possibly even retarding/reversing global warming

Permaculture design is exemplified when there is a convergence of common sense, indigenous wisdom and appropriate technology. 
The objective is to design livable systems for people and planet that support and mimic nature’s own ability to create real abundance, with little work on our part.
Permaculture is grounded in a respectful approach to others, to all of life, and to future  generations–dedicated to leaving the planet in better condition than we found it.
Bill Wilson – Midwest Permaculture

Permanent agriculture is a science of sustainability.  Permaculture design moves from consideration of ethics to principles to methodolgy to techniques and specifications to development of design solutions.

The Ethics:

Earth Care

People Care

Share the Surplus

The 12 Principles, based on ecological patterns:

Within a Permaculture designed system:
• wastes become resources
• productivity and yields increase 
• work is minimized
• and the environment is restored

The purpose of the Center for Sustainable Community being developed Midwest Permaculture in Stelle, IL, is to create an agriculturally productive ecosystem that also builds topsoil each year, uses no herbicides or pesticides, and creates a safe habitat for a wide assortment of plants and animals.

While the tress and shrubs are in the early stages of growing (small) they will use the open space to grow some of our annual vegetables. They will also plant some nitrogen fixing ground covers and dynamic accumulators to help build the soil.

Open areas between the linear food forests allow for access to harvesting the crops, provide full sun penetration, and create an area for our annual gardening or small animal grazing. The nutrients from animal droppings are washed into the hugelkultured swales which in turn soak up the nutrients to fertilize the entire linear food forest.

The diagram above depicts how chickens, buildings, and forests might be designed to work together as a productive self-regulating system.

“Though the problems of the world are increasingly complex,
the solutions remain embarrassingly simple.”

Bill Mollison – Permaculture’s Co-founder - Australia

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