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Permaculture: Farms for the Future

Posts: 23
Location: Monmouth County, New Jersey
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Have you guys seen this jewel of a video?

Talk about hope and inspiration 

I really don't know much about sustainable gardening or farming whatsoever, but these types of videos have attracted me so much more to gardening, permaculture, and the like.

Permaculture: Farms for the Future

Does anyone know the difference between Biointensive Gardening and Permaculture?  Do they share any similar qualities?  Are they virtually the same or completely different?

What I gather is that Permaculture is a way of gardening accomplished in a "cheap and lazy" manner, in that one's design allows nature to do the majority of the work rather than oneself.  Permaculture is achieved once all of nature's pieces combine to form a kind of perfect and harmonious system, that is nature itself!

My one ultimate question is:

Can permaculture be achieved in a suburban landscape?  My instinct tells me no; although, I would want to believe or be naive enough to think that if one has an acre or two of open land surrounded by wooded areas then that person would at least have a shot of growing his or her own family's food + more in a sustainable fashion.

Any thoughts?
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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That video was already linked here on the forum somewhere else not too long ago.  Good video.

Bio-intensive gardening is a method of gardening that could be compatible with the zone 1 gardens in a permaculture design.  Permaculture is actually much bigger than just a garden though.  Permaculture is more about system design that can include the people.

Actually, permaculture is many things and can be huge or small.

If you listen to Bill Mollison, you can do permaculture on a balcony or in a sunny window.  There is a family of 5 adults in California some where growing a huge portion of their own food on an urban lot so on a suburban lot I expect it could be possible for a family to grow much of their own food. 

I live on a suburban lot of about 1/3rd of an acre.  We have some chickens and ducks as well as an aquaponics system growing catfish and veggies and lots of garden beds and I am now working on getting plants to turn my lot into more of a food forest so I don't have to put as much energy into digging the beds and planting annual veggies and then weeding etc.  I don't expect that we will ever be completely self sufficient on 1/3rd of an acre as long as easy food is available at the grocery store, however, we do now produce enough food right here to make an impact.  Some times it is as simple as making use of something that is there.  For instance, many people in Florida have some citrus trees in their yards but most people don't bother much with them, the fruit drops and rots before they get around to eating it and they bag it up and haul it to the curb to be collected with the other yard waste.  While we have started to pick and juice what ever citrus would otherwise be going to waste.  There is so much of it that I have to concentrate what I put in the freezer just to make room in the freezer for other stuff.  We also slice and dehydrate things like thin skin tangerines which make great snacks skin and all.  The sour oranges which most people are not interested in, I've been juicing and using like lemon juice. 
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I'd say design concepts like Permaculture are most needed in urban and sub-urban settings.  It is the hunger of these dense human communities that drives the degradation of the earth.
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