If you want to establish a property by working with nature in a sustainable way, permaculture can give you the techniques and frameworks you’ll need to get started. We wanted to start a small permaculture homestead (or tiny farm) and although we’re not one of those success stories who go viral online, we learn from our mistakes every year – and manage to grow some of our own food and enjoy life.
Permaculture is a collection of principles and techniques based on patterns and features we find in nature; it minimises the effort we have to make ourselves, by helping us work WITH nature (instead of trying to keep nature out of the equation, like traditional methods often do).
Permaculture is not just about gardening (although most applications of it will allow you to grow food) – the principles apply to other areas like architecture, engineering, keeping animals, catching rainwater, and even social situations.
One thing with permaculture: most of the examples you’ll find are in faraway places, different climates, and work with very different circumstances than our own.
Before we moved to our off-grid property in Spain, I took the time to get a Permaculture Design Certificate – thinking that would guarantee us a great start. In certain ways, it did; in other ways, we often felt useless anyway – as most of the practical examples I had seen when learning about permaculture needed thorough tweaking before they were applicable to our situation.
In this video, I show you how we used permaculture for our own property.
- Permaculture zoning – when designing your property
- How to make different elements work with each other
- How to use animals in permaculture
- Forest gardening: creating a forest that grows food
- Grounding elements and water management
I also cover what to keep in mind if you want to use permaculture in your own (micro)climate.
Note: the video was first recorded for my old website simplelivingspain.com in 2018, and move to sunnysimpleliving.com in 2022.