In my reading I have come across the word permaculture, not sure what it meant exactly I read with interest. Though it is a concept developed by Australian naturalist and scientist Bill Mollison and his student David Holmgren in the 1970s the practice is ancient. Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen say in their book The Urban Homestead:
"The name reflects the intertwined concepts of permanent agriculture and permanent (human) culture. Permaculture seeks to imitate nature by creating interconnected and useful systems with each component complementing each other, forming feedback loops that enhance the heath and functionality of the system as a whole."It's a way of thinking about balance and sustainability. Growing our own food, catching rain water, companion and diverse planting. I like this sentence from the book:
"Pests love monoculture, planting acres of a single plant is like ringing the dinner bell for bugs"That is why in our area we have always planted marigolds and zinnas in the garden. It's why we plant onions by our tomatoes and radish with the carrots. Listen to the older ones in your area that have been gardening for years, they know the tricks and time tested techniques.
I have also been reading The Vegetable Gardener's Bible. Very good tips on preparing soil, building raised beds, companion planting, and natural pest control. Author Edward C. Smith cautions us to stick close to home:
"Although a seed company may or may not have grown its seeds in the same area the company is located, it usually carries only seeds that will grow well in that region."I have learned to buy the majority of my plants and seeds from a local nursery, they produce better and are healthier.
Spring may be a ways off for some of us, but now is our time to plan and dream of soil under our fingernails.