Permaculture, a word that is entering the common vocabulary, but there is still a lot of confusion as to what is meant by this term. It can be confused with synergistic garden, for example, and it is good to deepen the two practices.
To baptize a certain type of action, "permaculture", They were Bill Mollison and from David Holmgren: in the 1970s the idea of creating integrated and evolutionary systems of plant and animal species that were perennial or self-perpetuating, and also useful to man.
The right word had to be found to be able to make them evolve and become known, since they are the fruits of the union between'Sustainable agriculture and the ethical management of the land. Permaculture proved to be the best definition, in fact even today it is talked about, taught, promoted.
Permaculture: what it is
As a discipline, the Permaculture it can be understood as the synthesis of theory and practice able to systematize and develop elements deriving from ecological sciences different in order to allow man to explore new design horizons.
Even the very meaning of the term has evolved together with our society, reaching today to define one "Permanent culture", that is, permanent culture, the result of at least 40 years of work, studies, attempts, successes and changes in vision. From culture, we moved on to culture: agriculture, permanent or sustainable, has become a way of living and relating to the environment, at 360 degrees.
When with Permaculture it only concerned agriculture, it meant a series of lands designed specifically to reproduce the patterns and relationships present in nature. This made them capable of producing food, fiber and energy more than enough to feed the local community.
Today instead the Permaculture is also about people, buildings and society, not just plowed fields and orchards.
Permaculture and synergistic garden: differences
It is important to know how to distinguish the Permaculture from the synergistic garden, the latter is usually created with the purpose of cultivating excluding all negative impacts on the environment. This means that only methods that can be implemented without major efforts and in full respect of the plants and the soil are used. We talk about "Synergistic agriculture" and those who want to know more can learn more with our article "synergistic garden".
There Permaculture instead it is an integrated process of vision and design that allows us to live in a sustainable, balanced and also appreciable environment from an aesthetic point of view. This is possible only if it is possible to obtain and preserve productive ecosystems with diversity, stability and flexibility typical of natural ecosystems. This vision also influences the economy and society and therefore makes Permaculture an idea that positively contaminates ecology, geography, anthropology, sociology and design.
As mentioned, one cannot speak of Permaculture remaining anchored to the cultivated territory, it is necessary to think big and extend one's green vision by also embracing what concerns the planning of the territory as a whole. Including housing, roads and infrastructure also, and the structure of neighborhoods and human settlements that must be lasting, but not only. Also as similar as possible to natural ecosystems.
It is certainly not trivial to recreate the harmony that nature had before man put his hand in it, you can try it starting from recognition and harmonization of landscape components and making sure that the interactions between the environment and people are balanced. There Urban permaculture it asks us to abandon the logic of "prey" and "predator", promoting instead the one that leads to a productive and at the same time sustainable world over time, also reducing maintenance costs.
Permaculture in Italy: courses
If so far it may have all seemed "theoretical", almost utopian, now let's move on to practice. There are real courses of Permaculture that guide us. There School of sustainable practices in the year to come he proposes numerous, both basic and for those who already have clear ideas on the subject but want to do more.
At the disposal of those interested, there are numerous experts from permaculture united by ethical and ecological principles, which teach the various aspects of this discipline with teaching based on active learning and co-training.
In "School of Sustainable Practices in the South Milan Agricultural Park“Classroom lessons alternate with practical experiences and knowledge sharing activities.
For newbies there are events like the one on 21 and 22 January 2017, with the Basic Course of Organic and Regenerative Agriculture (AOR) which combines traditional cultivation practices with modern technical and scientific knowledge. From January 28 to December 10, however, you can follow the complete training course in Sustainable Practices with Permaculture Design which includes 10 meetings on weekends for a total of 165 hours, a commitment rewarded with an internationally recognized certificate.
For those who already know the Permaculture, there is the horticulture course that for three days, (18, 25 March and 1 April) in Cascina Santa Brera, in San Giuliano Milanese, teaches the good practices of the organic garden. Only for farmers, technicians in the sector or enthusiasts who have already passed the basic courses of the School, there is the course for improve the productivity and profitability of a modern organic farm.
To learn more about the School of Sustainable Practices we propose their official video:
Permaculture: books to learn more
To find out more, if undecided, or to present yourself to permaculture courses at least with a smattering of the subject, I recommend the book "Introduction to permaculture”Written by whoever gave it its name.
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