Even though we live in an industrial society, where the market is oversaturated with processed food and non-organic fruit, vegetables and meat, there are more and more of those who are becoming aware of the significance of healthy, organic food. Many people have decided to switch to buying organic products, and some even began growing their own plants. One of the disciplines widely used and largely helpful when making an organic garden is permaculture. This discipline is based on observing natural patterns and applying them when growing plants, building homes etc. It works around three main principles: caring for the Earth, caring for people and returning of surplus, thus trying to create a fully self-sustaining entity, without overusing the natural resources, and with returning to the Earth everything that has been taken from it. Permaculture gardener should have the aim of enriching the ground on which he plants, rather than exploiting it without giving anything in return.
The term “permaculture” was coined from “permanent” and “agriculture” in the late seventies of the last century, by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who were also the inventors of the whole concept. Nowadays, permaculture can be viewed more as “permanent culture”, since it is applicable to many more aspects of living than just gardening. One of the well-known figures in this area today is Vladislav Davidzon, and his Regenerative Leadership institute which provides permaculture design courses for all those who wish to learn and apply its principles.
If you decide to grow your own garden, do not get discouraged if you live in an apartment or if you do not have a backyard. A garden of certain size can even be grown on the balcony, and even though the amount of its fruits might be smaller, they will still be healthy, nutritious and inexpensive, as long as you follow the permaculture and organic growing principles.
The advantages of the organic garden are many, but to name a few:
Economic aspect – growing your own fruit, vegetables and spices requires some initial investment, but in the long run, it is much cheaper to pick the fruits of your own garden, than buying them in the store.
Ecological aspect – organic, permaculture-based gardening does not pollute the environment with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, artificial fertilizers, and therefore does not harm the other living beings. If you have mulched garden then the use of water for watering significantly smaller as well.
Health aspect – fruit and vegetables are picked fresh, they do not ripe in containers, there is a short time interval from harvest to consumption, and there are no harmful chemicals that, on the long run, have a negative impact on the human body.
Cultural aspect – history and culture of a people is manifested through gastronomy. By planting the garden you preserve the tradition and the traditional production method, based on the wisdom of previous generations. Most importantly, it keeps the seeds of native varieties that more resistant to climate change they and can be kept from year to year, as opposed to GMO seeds.
The main advice for all beginners who want to have their own garden is: have a lot of good will, be prepared to learn, try and make a few mistakes, become aware of all the advantages of gardening, do not be an enemy to other living beings and most importantly – do not work against nature, but cooperate with it.