permaculture gardening and health
Posted in: Homesteaders, Organic Gardening

Permaculture Gardening: What You Need to Know

Do you know about the health benefits of permaculture? Here is what you need to know to grow food with permaculture gardening principles.

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Eco-friendly and sustainable living has become increasingly important in our modern world of overconsumption, pollution, and climate change. Permaculture gardening uses the principles of permaculture to create sustainable spaces that reduce waste and improve your self-reliance. This guide will teach you the basics of permaculture gardening and show you how to put it into practice on your own homestead or in your community garden, so you can start growing more of your own food with permaculture techniques!

This post is all about growing food in a sustainable way with permaculture gardening principles.

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What You Need to Know to Start a Permaculture Garden

With permaculture gardening principles, you can grow your own food in an organic and sustainable way. What are permaculture principles? Find out here!

permaculture gardening

What is Permaculture Gardening?

Permaculture uses principles of ecology to create sustainable, regenerative systems that can be used in everything from home gardens to large farms.

The permaculture design process focuses on building healthy, interdependent relationships between plants, animals, and people while using only renewable resources so nothing is wasted.

Therefore, using permaculture principles in your garden, you can grow delicious food and beautiful flowers without polluting the land or depleting its resources.

Gardeners who are interested in eco-friendly and sustainable living often gravitate towards permaculture. In fact, many refer to their gardens as permanent or permaculture gardens.

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What is permaculture, though? How can it change your gardening approach?

Well, permaculture is essentially a design science that was developed in Australia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978.

Proponents of permaculture promote growing food and products in a sustainable way. Gardeners can use a number of permaculture techniques to grow plants that thrive naturally in their environment.

As an added bonus, plants grown through permaculture are more nutritious than their non-permaculture counterparts. For instance, creating habitat for wildlife is another benefit that comes from incorporating permaculture into your gardening practices.

When you create healthy living habitats, animals are less likely to destroy crops or your garden as they’re returning valuable nutrients to the soil and spreading organic matter where it belongs.

These are great resources for learning how to create natural habitats with native plants.- Tara

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Integrated pest management is yet another part of permaculture; it involves using natural methods like insects and birds to combat pests that might invade your garden space without harming nearby wildlife or beneficial insects.

permaculture gardening

Permaculture Principles

Permaculture is not gardening. It’s a way of thinking about—and designing—agricultural systems. The focus is not on growing plants, but on growing relationships.

With this in mind, permaculture is a concept in regenerative agriculture that focuses on creating ecosystems that are designed to be self-sustaining.

So, permaculture is based on ecological principles like self-sufficiency and sustainability.

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For us, learning about organic gardening and permaculture is half the fun. We highly recommend this course from Local Harvest. They are zone 7 gardeners that use permaculture principles to maximize soil health and outputs. Check it out here!

Permaculture is the practice of designing systems that inspire nature.

Growing food is an important part of sustainable living, but it can be challenging if you don’t have access to the right resources. Fortunately, there are ways to grow food at home using permaculture techniques and principles so that your gardening efforts are more eco-friendly and sustainable than ever before. So, read on to find out how to start gardening with permaculture techniques today!

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How to Apply Permaculture Principles in the Garden

  1. Understand nature through observations and interaction. Develop an awareness of how natural systems work will help you understand how to mimic them in your garden.
  2. Find ways to capture energy that can be reused such as producing food with solar energy and collected rainwater.
  3. Obtain a yield from the systems created with permaculture. In this case, fresh produce and herbs.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback. Listen to your garden. What is working or not working, and how can you improve?
  5. Use renewable resources for a self-sustained garden: Redirect rainwater, no dig gardens, create your own soil with compost, mulch with grass clippings to fertilize the soil, and plant companion plants together to avoid chemical pesticides.
  6. Create zero waste by maximizing and repurposing resources. Rabbits make a great addition to the garden for ready-to-use fertilizer, and they will eat produce scraps.
  7. Design your garden to work with nature instead of against it. From patterns to details, think protection from winds, planting on a hill for good drainage, and beds designed to maximize water use.
  8. Diversity is key! Nature tends to thrive in ecosystems rich in plant species. It is rare to see an ecosystem of one plant like soybeans, for instance. Replace your row-by-row garden with a diversified, species-rich system that makes your work easy.
  9. Baby steps are the way to go when making changes in the landscape. Taking small steps is the key to sustainable change!
  10. Plant a variety of things that bring value to your garden. For instance, plant a fruit tree that provides some shade to the berries below, and herbs and garlic to keep grass away from the berries. Diversity and value are a top priority in the garden.
  11. Maximize your space and use whatever nooks and crannies that are available to you for planting.
  12. Be creative and embrace change. Sit back, and let nature have control while your garden flourishes.
  13. The term permaculture is derived from permanent agriculture and describes an agricultural design system that mimics natural ecosystems.

The most important permaculture principles are threefold:

Care for the earth; take full responsibility for your actions; and give as much as you receive.

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Why is Permaculture Gardening Important?

Permaculture gives you access to renewable and sustainable resources, even in urban environments. By following permaculture principles and planting in a way that works with nature instead of against it, you can grow all sorts of food in your own backyard—even if you live in an apartment building.

Similarly, this is especially important for those living in densely populated areas where food options are limited, or for anyone who wants to grow a little extra something on their property.

Permaculture is a growing field, and for good reason. In today’s world, we’re trying to find ways to live more sustainably—from carbon footprints to water conservation, reducing waste and energy use, permaculture has a lot to offer.

Hence, permaculture gardening techniques can help you grow organic food without chemical pesticides or fertilizers; most importantly, permaculture systems can be set up so that you don’t need much time each day or season to keep your garden running.

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Permaculture Gardening is Sustainable

If you’re trying to be as eco-friendly, zero-waste, and sustainable as possible, it might make sense to build your garden or homestead with permaculture principles. For this reason, one way to do that is by adding new-to-you heirloom varieties of fruit and vegetables to your diet.

Heirlooms are prized food-producing plants that have been saved around for a very long time. Their seeds are collected and saved to protect the future availability of the plant.

Using permaculture techniques, you can grow all sorts of different fruits and veggies. And, it can even save you money!

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permaculture gardening and health

Permaculture Gardening and Your Health

One overlooked principle in healthy living is the health of our environments. This is true on every level from your garden’s ecosystem to your personal health. Every system needs nutrients and balance to be healthy. 

In order for your garden to thrive in a sustainable and organic way, it needs balance within its system. The soil needs nutrients that depend in part on its microbiome: the microorganisms and worms that work together to enrich the soil.

Permaculture gardening methods promote health within the garden ecosystem by working with nature instead of against it. 

The produce sourced from a permaculture garden provides the most nutrient-dense foods. Thus, incorporating these foods into your diet offers innumerable benefits.

A nutrient-dense diet fuels your body with everything it needs to fight off illnesses. Therefore, a diet produced with permaculture principles could prevent chronic diseases like cancer and slow aging. 

Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you, but their nutrition depends on many factors. The freshness, how long ago was it picked and how far did it have to travel to get to you?

How was it grown? What chemicals were used? What about the soil quality?

Gardening with permaculture eliminates these questions. When produce is grown on a small scale, it can be in its natural form and remain close to what nature intended.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides can be avoided, so you get all of those healthy nutrients in their purest form – straight from nature!

Every meal is an opportunity to support your body so it can do all the amazing things to keep you healthy. Therefore, raising your own food with permaculture gardening principles is an ideal way to put good food on your plate without worry.

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Benefits of Permaculture Gardening

A permaculture garden can create food self-sufficiency regardless of your living situation—in town or out; urban or rural; tight budget or luxury accommodations.

If you’re into gardening but wish there was a better way to do it, or if you want to live more sustainably, permaculture has an answer for you.

This eco-friendly method combines organic gardening with landscape design and a respect for nature in order to maximize growth and efficiency.

The result is a garden that requires less care, less water, and less fuel (meaning fewer emissions) than your average plot of land.

Thankfully, the world is seeing a growing trend in eco-friendly and sustainable living. Choosing to grow your own food instead of purchasing it has many benefits – you’re more likely to be exposed to fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll save money on grocery bills and you’ll have a great time learning how to garden!

The best part is that permaculture gardening techniques are simple and cost-effective. You will create the ideal gardening goal: Less work, more reward.

Easy Permaculture Garden Techniques

When most people think of permaculture, they picture a food forest filled with dozens upon dozens of species, from edible plants to medicinal herbs.

But that’s not how it works for everyone—and it doesn’t have to be. You can easily apply permaculture principles to your own garden and lifestyle in small, manageable ways, resulting in bigger rewards than you might think. 

How to Start a Garden with Permaculture

  1. Pick the best place. Observe and analyze for sun and shade exposure.
  2. Pick plants for your zone. Look for native species and research which plants will thrive. Look for perennials that produce foods like berries, fruit and nut trees, grape vines, rhubarb, asparagus, strawberries, and herbs. Don’t forget to include pretty flowers to attract pollinators!
  3. Design the layout with companion plants in mind! Use our free planner and guide to companion plants to save time.
  4. Build no-till raised garden beds. Use cardboard or paper straight over grass then fill your beds with compost soil.
  5. Build a no-waste drip irrigation watering system.
  6. Plant seeds or plants, and mulch open spaces with grass clippings, leaves, paper, or wood chips to keep the soil ecosystem protected.
  7. Create your own compost with vegetable scraps for use in the garden. Also, rabbit manure can be applied directly around plants.
  8. Keep growing and learning! Connect with other permaculture people, watch videos, and read more on the topic. Soon, you will be a pro!

Here are some easy permaculture garden techniques that anyone can implement in their own backyard or front yard.

Anyone can take advantage of permaculture gardening techniques, and once you learn them, you’ll start seeing results right away. I like to think that if there was a for dummies version of designing and growing a garden, these would be included in it. 

Permaculture principles make gardening EASIER!

More Ways to Bring Permaculture to Your Homestead Garden

It’s possible to utilize permaculture techniques in your homestead, not just for growing food, but for designing and constructing your home. A lot of people don’t know about permaculture as a design philosophy that can be applied to housing.

You can incorporate some simple permaculture principles into your own home construction, saving you time and money on-site preparation.


Every permaculture gardener knows that water is a limited resource. Watering can be difficult and it’s easy to waste a lot of water if you’re not careful.

To limit your watering time and make sure you don’t waste any, consider utilizing micro-irrigation or drip irrigation when growing plants on your homestead. Collect rainwater for your new watering system for even more sustainability.

By installing these systems around plants, especially during dry periods, you can deliver just enough water to keep them healthy while wasting less in run-off.


Although full-sun areas are sought-after conditions for most summer veggies, too much can be detrimental to certain plants. Planting vines, dwarf fruit trees and berry bushes can serve as vertical elements that can really increase the efficiency in your garden.

You can grow greens and herbs around the base of the shading plants to extend their production. In return, your plant choices can provide weed control, nitrogen uptake, and attract beneficial insects to those trees or vines.

This post was all about putting permaculture principles to use in your garden. Now that you’ve learned about some of our favorite permaculture gardening techniques, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice!


Learn About Sustainability

Knowing your food and taking responsibility for how it is produced is the best way to make a positive ecological impact.

You are reducing waste and resources while relying less on conventional agriculture and its use of pesticides and herbicides like glyphosate.

Most importantly, you will be eating the healthiest way possible!

Find out how to be more self-sufficient by gardening for sustainability.

Are you on a journey to be more self-sufficient?

Have you checked these essential gardening components off the list, yet? I would love to hear how it is going! Let me know about how gardening for self-sufficiency is working for you and your tribe by commenting below.

Improve your gardening skills, learn new ones, and find the best gardening inspiration!

Gardening is a great way to become healthier, more sustainable, and self-sufficient!

Discover amazing ideas you cannot live without! Whether you are an aspiring gardener, a beginner, or well-seasoned, you will find some awesome inspiration below.

Just how important is learning how to grow your own food? Read why Staying healthy depends on whether we take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle or not.

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