For those of us out there who receive immeasurable joy and relaxation from gardening, you’ll agree there are few things as satisfying as the first pick of the season from a crop you’ve been tending and nurturing from sprout or seed. Nothing is sweeter than that pioneering snow pea or strawberry; no salad as special as one constructed entirely from your very own garden.
But for some, being a green thumb and dab hand at keeping things alive just isn’t enough. While many of us are content with our little green patches of self-sufficiency, others feel the desire to level up their gardening goals. Some turn to organic gardening methods, while others still are fascinated by imitating the systems found in nature. To not only encourage self-sustainability, but to also promote a functional relationship between all the natural elements, creating an innovative, efficient and self-sustaining garden environment which is not only more functional, but also highly ethical and good for the environment. This horticultural wizardry is known as permaculture.
Permaculture integrates the garden and home to create a lifestyle that impacts less on the environment, using biological resources and natural energies while observing the clever ways nature responds and adapts to itself. When working properly, nature naturally recycles, resulting in no waste. Permaculture design is mindful of our relationship with our environment. It focuses on closing nutrient and water loops by using waste and reducing reliance on external sources, creating healthier soil and naturally occurring bio-diversity. It creates a natural habitat and unlimited food source, not only for the growers, but also for an array of native fauna. This method also capitalises on and optimises natural energy sauces such as wind, dust, dropped leaves and droppings. In imitating nature, crop cycles grow and revolve effortlessly. Plants go to seed and are allowed to germinate, are integrated into the site and naturally propagated; for both pest-control and the natural ebb of seasonal produce. The inter-planting of a diverse array of crops encourages soil richness and endless ecosystems of helpful critters who nourish the earth and our gardens.
A permaculture site is likely to look more like a luscious, abundant food-forest with happy, rambling thickets of vines and bushes laden with fruit and veg, than the structured gardens guarded by scarecrows in Nan and Pop’s backyard. And if location permits – you get to have chooks! Now, if that isn’t a reason to start a permaculture garden, we don’t know what is!
In short, permaculture in its essence is the notion of returning to the natural order of things, and letting Mother Nature do her thing, with a little bit of support.
The Noosa Forest Retreat, Bellbunya and Change Markers are communities on the Sunshine Coast providing living example of a small group working together to develop sustainable, nutritious permaculture food systems in a shared natural environment. Each community is being developed to nourish mind, body and soul while looking after the greater body of the earth.
The communities offer permaculture courses for those interested in learning more about this sustainable artform. During their Permaculture Design Certificate course you will learn how to evaluate the soil, grow nutrient rich food, life changing bio-hacks to achieve peak health and vitality, gain valuable skills in landscape design, and much more. You will benefit from the collective community experience, inspiration and valuable knowledge delivered by specialist presenters on topics such as Urban Permaculture, Syntropic Farming, Governance & Community, Fungi, Mindfulness Training, Natural Movement, Food Preservation, Cell Grazing, Holistic Management… just to name a few! This permaculture course is situated within the stunning surrounds of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, where you will also be treated to daily yoga and meditation practice and all meals each day, prepared with healthy farm fresh organic and local ingredients by the community chef.
Follow this link to find out more about this exciting Permaculture Retreat opportunity on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. But hurry – a little bird just told us there’s only three spaces left! Missed out? Check out our ever-updating list of upcoming permaculture courses for exciting options.