Dipping Our Toes into the Permaculture Pond

One of the many amazing works from the Lexicon of Sustainability project. Learn more here: http://www.lexiconofsustainability.com/

Back in college I took a course that touched just a little bit on permaculture. It took place at the Cal Poly Organic Farm where biointensive and permaculture concepts are explored. Permaculture is such a broad topic that it was barely touched upon but it did peak my interest. The problem, though, was that this huge topic seemed so unwieldy to me that I never really pursued it.

But the more I think about it the more I want to learn more. Last week I started to listening to the Homesteading and Permaculture podcast by Paul Wheaton. I also decided that we’re going to turn one of our big garden beds into a hugelkultur (pronounced: Hoogle-culture) bed. I want to reduce our water use while also creating a no-till bed. Seriously, I’m tired of double digging. And after seeing the success of Erica’s half-ass hugelkultur bed (even though she lives in a very different climate) I am convinced that I need to do this. If the one bed does well we’ll convert all of our beds to it. Did I mention I hate double digging? Yeah, like a lot.

So now I’m more interested in it, but how do I learn more about it? There are intensive workshops, including one being held at my friend’s urban farm, but unfortunately I don’t have the time or money to attend one of those. I could purchase books and read them but I’d like something a bit more structured that sort of forces me to move forward. I’m notorious for having a stack of shame – books that I intend to read but I never quite get to them or only read half of them because I have to read other books for blog reviews (and for some reason I choose to review the really long ones and insist on reading them cover to cover).

You can imagine my excitement when Erica posted on her Facebook page about this permaculture study group!  More structured, like an online class, but free. Well, except for the text book, but even that is free online. It’s a 6 month study group, requiring 3-4 hours a week of work. Are you interested in permaculture? You should check it out!


  1. Yay hugels! Your place would be ideal for HK I would think, I look forward to seeing how it works out for you. What I really like is Less Inputs! We spend $$$ on compost, hoping to cut down on that with more PC type techniques. If you haven’t, check this video out: http://youtu.be/oF6-xh34ovA

    • I’ll definitely check out the video! Thanks for sharing! That’s the one benefit about having livestock is that we no longer have to buy compost, though we probably will to top off the HK beds. Fortunately we can get compost for less than $4/truckload from our local recycler, which really helps.

  2. I was just saying the other day that I needed to take some kind of class. I think I might do this. Will definitely help get me back into the swing of things. I was certified in Permaculture Design many many years ago by Dave Jacke and still have my manual so won’t need to buy the book!

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