A food forest is basically an agricultural system or method that integrates people with natural surroundings via highly efficient self-sustaining ecosystems.
When you grow your own food, you take control of what you consume.
By cultivating your own crops, you become the master of your food choices, ensuring that you and your family consume healthy, nutrient-rich produce without harmful additives or pesticides.
Permaculture is a way of designing and managing systems, like gardens or farms, that mimics natural ecosystems. It focuses on creating sustainable and resilient environments while working with nature rather than against it.
Basically, it’s about self-reliance.
Permaculture is neither a fad nor a new concept.
It dates back to indigenous practices and traditional farming methods centuries ago. But the word “permaculture” combines the terms “permanent” and “agriculture” and coined in the 1970s.
One of the key principles is decentralisation, which means small-scale and localised farming. Instead of relying on large monocultural agricultural systems (mega-farming), permaculture promotes the idea of many small, interconnected systems.
It reduces the need for long-distance transportation of food. It minimises the use of chemicals like fertilisers and pesticides. It fosters biodiversity and abundance.
Permaculture is not just about farming; it’s a holistic approach that considers the entire ecosystem. Individuals and communities can produce their own food, energy, and other resources, reducing their dependence on centralised sources.
Plus, growing your own food encourages cooperation and sharing among neighbours and communities. People work together to create community gardens, share knowledge and skills, and collectively address challenges. This collaborative aspect of permaculture strengthens social bonds, builds resilience, and promotes a sense of belonging and interconnectedness.
Jim Gale heads up Food Forest Abundance, which is a company centred around helping people set up permaculture ecosystems in and around their homes.