Knowing Permaculture: Part 1

Permaculture is the system of working with the natural resources of a land to form a self-sustaining cycle of vegetation that not only yields food for humans but also helps the land to replenish all its nutrients. In short it is a sustainable form of agriculture. Let us say we want to grow a plant. We check on the basic elements we require growing a plant.

The soil mix and the setup

The soil is one of the elements depending on the choice of the plant one wants to grow. If one wants to grow the plant in a pot, one would prefer a light potting medium as this helps to move the plant, to place it in a location of choice. The potting mix must contain the required minerals for the plant to grow.

The size of the container is important if one wants to limit the size of the vegetation or, in general, prefers to have the plant in a pot. This will depend on the size of the plant and its roots how they grow into the soil as the plant matures.

The Water

Water is one of the most important requirement. Different plants require water in different amounts and during different times of the day.

Water acts as a medium to carry the minerals in the form of ions from the root to the leaves where they are utilised during photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis and microorganisms

Sunlight initiates photosynthesis in plants, they cannot live without it. Photosynthesis allows plants to synthesize glucose from water and carbon dioxide, with the release of oxygen. Plants are the only beings on the planet which are capable of utilizing inorganic minerals to convert them to organic form.

Since the plant cannot break down these minerals in their compound form, the necessary microorganisms must be present  to break these minerals down. The microorganisms break these minerals down into ions. Now the plants offer food for the microorganisms in the form of starch for their service to break down these minerals.

Thus, there exists a mutually dependent relationship between the plant and the microorganisms.

The plant is susceptible to pests and weeds owing to the deficiency of these minerals in the soil.

The self-sustaining cycle

Plants, therefore, are a part of a mutually dependent self-sustaining cycle, involving interactions  dependent on one another  for  feasibility and which are initiated due to the blend of conditions in space which form our planet. This unique blend is one amongst the million, billion or probably trillion blends in this vast space of which, our universe is a minuscule part.

By being a small part of an intelligent whole, we complete its definition!

Now say we want to grow a plant which yields a fruit,  say we grow this fruit on a large scale, leading to its mass production, which could help make a profit to sustain the efforts in the long term. Now growing this fruit on a large scale for a long term could end up disturbing the natural ecology of the region which would take the time to be restored which again, in the long run, might not generate profit to sustain the efforts. We would be wasting our time and effort reinventing the wheel.

Article continued...Knowing Permaculture: Part 2

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