so booda, what IS permaculture?

in my own words: permaculture is planning your space and lifestyle, whether in a city or a field, using as little energy and resources as possible to achieve your aims, and being imaginative in order to turn problems into something positive – all the time being aware of the effect that your plan has on the health of the planet, on other people, and always considering whether you are working within your fair share of the world’s resources.

does that sound familiar? yes, it turns out that boodaville is permaculture. why didn’t I realise this before??? thanks alfred (there’s a ton of information out there with more definitions and details of what I’ve tried to summarise above)

diary of a permaculture weekend (partly in a heatwave)

during the first two hours of workshops in a serious chunk of shade, we were given some of the key “principles of permaculture” such as:

1) look for beneficial relationships within a systemand make the most of them

2) find the way to have the greatest effect by the least effort/change (mulching!!!)

3) seek, use and encourage diveristy (don’t put all your eggs in one basket)

4) use living systems – bacteria can clean our water just as well as energy guzzling machines, if we re-think it a bit.

(but the great thing is that permaculture is just an umbrella term for many different ways of applying these principles, and there are many more that weren’t mentioned. I mean it basically seems to mean thinking about what you are doing!

after a beans brunch I showed off my parsley forest (demonstrating principle 1) and we took ourselves and a picnic over to the swimming hole.

can you imagine us sitting in the shade by the river, in the peace and quiet, planning the self-sustaining lush utopia that boodaville will be? well it wasn’t quite like that for the last hour when we were joined by a huge shouting family, 4 loud locals – who, to my surprise got naked, and just up the river was the dutch contingent. permaculture is not all about gardening, but our conversations did go in that direction – we covered composting in great detail, and a bit of organic farming and then food forests. the next step is to identify plants and shrubs which grow with little water and incorporate them in to the plan.

on sunday morning alfred left us, but we are very proud to present the compost box, complete with lift up plastic condensation catching lid, and a well mulched veg patch which are fruits of our labour that day:

eco-rating for the weekend = better than the improve weekend in October, but not perfect!

  • the food was from Eco d’aqui (organic veg barcelona) Eco-Sol organic shop in Mora d’Ebre, Gustavo’s new Eco shop in plaza españa in Calaceite, the butcher’s in Calaceite that sell eggs from happy chickens, and lamb from their farm. only the milk and coucous and beer was bought from a “normal” shop – but my local shop and NOTHING was bought from a supermarket. the lamb tagine for dinner on saturday was an all-out hit, delicious.
  • as usual the diesel used to get around has the most negative environmental impact, and the water still comes from the drinking fountain in the next village- it’ll be a long time before that one is sorted!
  • we generated some rubbish – which will hopefully be recycled, but also managed to use all the leftover bits of wood from the party to make useful things.

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