8 useful permaculture insects

Posted by on Oct 3, 2015 in permaculture, Permaculture Advice |

Permaculture is a relatively new term in the field of gardening, which was introduced by David Holmgren from permaculture schools florida and Bill Mollison in 1978. This way of growing plants became more popular after Vladislav Davidzon founded Regenerative Leadership Institute. After the brief introduction to permaculture, let’s skip to the topic of this article. Insects are crucial for the ecosystem of our planet, and therefore they deserve the special place in permaculture. They represent food to other animals, but they also help in pollinating plants. The first one on our list is lacewing.

images_green_lacewing_hrLacewing is the larvae of the class that has big-time role regarding pest control. Lacewings eat small caterpillars, small bugs and insect eggs. Since they have large jaws, they are very voracious. With their jaws, they suck out the juices of their preys but they use pollen and nectar also as a food.

Ladybugs are insects that are crucial for controlling pests in the permaculture garden. They eat smaller insects, particularly aphids but mites as well. Ladybugs contain some kind of “defense liquid” which they use to keep the predators away.

Ground Beetles eat a lot of smaller insects like caterpillars, potato beetles, slugs or vine borers. They are nocturnal insects and they like to be under rocks during daylight, so it is advised to have ground cover crops in order to attract these insects. Some of the species consume weed seeds, keeping your garden clean in that way.

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Braconid Wasps use pollen and nectar for food, but the main characteristic of these insects is that they inject their eggs into other insects. Of course, when you say Wasp, you immediately think of wasps that can sting humans; these wasps are not dangerous to humans.

assbugCPBclose2Assasin bugs are assasins for reason: they stalk their prey before piercing their prey with a sharp jaw. They can also bite humans, so be careful handling them.

Minute Pirate Bugs are really small bugs (their size is two millimeters) but they can attack insects that are twice as their size. These bugs eat mites, thrips and caterpillar occasionally. Although they live only for a month, their development is really rapid, so with the right conditions you can have a several generations of these during one season.

Hover flies hunt only soft-bodied insects. They are prone to laying their eggs among aphild population, in order to provide constant food to larvae. Hover flies are known as pollen eaters.

Preying mantids are probably the most known insects  that are desirable in your permaculture garden. Preying mantids are the masters of camouflage so they can easily blend with the plants and provide great spot for hunt. Since they are pretty big (compared to let’s say Pirate bugs), they hunt a lot of smaller insects like ladybugs for example.

All of mentioned insects are good for permaculture. It is up to you to strike the  balance in order to secure sustainable and high-quality development of your permaculture garden. Keep the insects in the right balance and your garden will be rich in nutrients !

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Advantages of an organic garden

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Benefits of Organic Garden, permaculture, Regenerative Leadership institute |

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.

Starting-an-Organic-GardenCultural 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.

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