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Permaculture is a permanent solution to our unsustainable agriculture system and our general way of living. To implement permaculture is to work with ecology in such a way that we leave the Earth more beautiful than when we found it. Read on to learn five things you may not already know about this technique:

  1. Look to nature
    Why do certain plants get along while others do not? Some plants work together to survive and this is a beautiful and brilliant method we can learn from and use when planting our gardens, farms or even working together as a community.Each plant has its own unique way of getting what it needs to survive, but it is not doing it on its own. Plants that work well together are called “guilds”. Perhaps one herb attracts certain pesky insects away from your crop. Plant different plants together and see how they grow! To learn more, simply browse the internet for your plant followed by the words “companion plant” and you will be in for some pretty exciting finds.
  2. Fail small!
    Not everything works for everybody and when trying out new plants, guilds, methods or even starting on a new piece of land, start small and see what happens. If it doesn’t work, you can move on and try something else without wasting a lot of resources in the process!
  3. It’s not just plants, it’s community
    Nature is not separate from humans, we are a part of it as well. Plants and other animals are not the only ones that work together to survive, humans do too!We need to look to and work in harmony with nature to forge lives and communities that are sustainable and thriving. Think community gardens, Eco-villages and renewable energy. Do the least amount of damage with the greatest positive impact.
  4. There is no “away”
    If there is no “away,” there is nothing that can be thrown away. Everything goes somewhere and with the tons and tons of trash that humans continuously and thoughtlessly throw “away” every day, we are running out of space.Our sewage water pours out into our oceans or goes to treatment plants while clean rainwater flows down into the same drains to be processed or lost. When these systems were set up we were a tenth of our current population and they were (perhaps unintentionally) a temporary solution to a now serious problem.We need to look at what we bring into our lives and what we dispose of carefully. Composting, water catchments and simply following the three “R’s”–reducing, reusing and recycling–are the ways of the future!
  5. Humans are not destructive
    Okay, that one you may disagree with because of the current state of the world… But we don’t have to be!We as a species are capable of so many incredible things. We’ve created art and music! We have the ability to express ourselves in complicated and beautiful ways. We move our bodies and dance, we love deeply and unconditionally, we have empathy for not only ourselves but for other species as well.We’ve gone to the moon! So why can’t we make our planet healthier than it was when we first arrived? Why can’t we look to Gaia, the great Mother Earth and learn from her wisdom? We are brilliant and our planet needs us now. So! Roll up your sleeves and start building a closer relationship to the planet from whence we came! Learn from her and begin the healing!

Taking Permaculture at MUM with eco-architect and Biosphere 2 legend Phil Hawes, as well as with the founder and director of the Center for an Ecology based Economy and co-creator of Moose Pond Arts and Ecology Scott Vlaun, was a life changing experience that set me up for my career path in Sustainable Living! You too can take the month long certificate course and learn more about the future of agriculture and the economy. Click here for more info.

Dana Phillips grew up outside Philadelphia in Chester County, PA. After working in a Waldorf community for children with disabilities she realized her passion for connection, nature and wildlife. She then decided to change her career and go back to school to focus on creating a healthy future for the planet and all its creatures. Dana is now studying Sustainable Living at MUM, where she is focusing on sustainable building and design.