Permaculture is a discipline of systemic thought that designs areas of land in a sustainable way. For farms, whether on a small or large scale, this involves integrating plants, animals, landscapes, buildings, technologies, water, energy and human settlements using harmonious and symbiotic systems. It improves diversity in order to achieve the stability and resilience of ecosystems, and to promote greater potential for long-term economic sustainability. The systems, based on the principles of permaculture, improve performance, reduce the use of external materials, improve soil quality and protect biodiversity. It integrates forest gardens with fertilizer trees, that help the condition of the soil by recycling nutrients as well as improving water usage for crops. The principles on which this process is governed is caring for the land, caring for people and the equitable distribution of resources.
The design of a farm requires a holistic management of a site. A site can be designed to incorporate all the needs and objectives of the elements involved.
A farm based on permaculture principals:
– Reduces the consumption of water (low water footprint) and energy (improved energy efficiency with a high energy conversion)
– Is a Mitigation Model (it increases the sources of carbon sequestration reducing greenhouse gas -GHG) and adaptation (resistance and resilience) to climate change).
– Improves the Nutraceutical value of food. (extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods)
– Provide a higher level self-sufficiency, achieving a higher level of productivity with lower costs.
– Promotes the protection and restauration of biodiversity.
– Collaborates in expanding the lifecycle of products (cradle to cradle design)
– Helps a higher level of agro-ecological resilience.
– Improves the agricultural landscape of forests and provides edible gardens.
– Contributes to the reclamation of abandoned and degraded crops.
– Avoids desertification.
– Does not use synthetic chemicals, in fact, it requires minimal ecological management
– It raises environmental awareness and promotes environmental education.