Most people passionate about living sustainably and harmoniously with nature will eventually stumble upon the system of Permaculture, it’s hard not to, it’s a world-wide phenomenon and it’s growing!
If you’re reading this, then you’re one of these people! Some of you will eventually study Permaculture, and then, on graduating, go through what we term the “Permaculture Effect”, a sense of deep and profound inner change or realisation, and a passion that follows from there, to go out there and make a difference, to stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution!
So, then, where to begin?
The simple answer is, in your own back yard (if you have one!)
If you don’t have a backyard, a courtyard garden or even a balcony garden can be productive, and do still make a difference, every little effort towards helping the planet makes a difference, even of it just serves to maintain your connection to nature.
If you don’t even have a balcony, there is the possibility of taking part in a community garden, getting your own plot, and doing your gardening there. In some areas the waiting list for community gardens can be long, while in other areas, there’s surplus free space with no-one claiming it.
Another possibility is to volunteer to to design and maintain a friend’s backyard garden if they’re not interested in gardening and not using it for anything. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
One of the important things you learn in Permaculture is design, for Permaculture is ultimately a multidisciplinary design system.
If you’ve done the course, you should be able to handle a basic design, but that’s not where people get stuck. The biggest obstacles are taking the first step, believing in yourself, believing you can do it, trusting it will work!
In this article, I’ll assume you’re already familiar with the Permaculture design principles, and I’ll show you a systematic way to break down the whole design and construction process to something that’s manageable and not so frightening.
This approach was all learned from first-hand experience, diving head first into my garden project, a full-time three month solo effort that transformed an average Melbourne home backyard into a demonstration Permaculture garden that is a living proof of concept and thriving success, which has seen several garden tours and hundreds of people since it was first built two years ago.