Stacking Functions In The Permaculture Garden Homestead

Photo by Ayla Fazioli on

By Jannie Vaught

What is the definition of permaculture?

Originally the word “Permaculture” was the combination of two words “permanent and “agriculture”. Two Australian men named Bill Mollison and David Holmgren coined the term in the 1970’s. It is an agriculture philosophy that allows us to use the resources that we have around us to the fullest potential. The principles of permaculture are. Observe and interact, Catch and Store energy, Obtain a yield, Apply self-regulation and accept feedback, Use and Value renewable resources and services, Produce No Waste, Design from patterns and details in nature, Integrate rather than segregate, Use small slow solutions, Use and Value diversity, Use edges and Value the marginal. Creatively use and respond to change. One of Bill Mollison’s quotes is “The problem is the solution”. The application of these is a personal practice with the first step I see as the most useful is to Stand on your Ground and become quiet and Observe and listen. Nature will show you how the water drains off the land, which way the winds blow and the hottest and coolest part of the property. There is your basic design. Take some paper and pencil and draw it out. You have started your design. One item that for me is essential is Gratitude and respect.

A Thank You is always a plus!

Stacking Functions is just that, one element or job that connects to the next one. Such as preparing a meal from the garden. the pealing’s and left overs go the either the worm beds, the chickens, or the compost bin. The compost and manure then go onto the garden, The soil is renewed and the food plants grow abundant. The cycle continues. This reaches farther, I have too many large stones, I can use them for the edges of flower sections or even stack as art. If I have too many, I can give some to someone who could use some, same as extra building supplies, compost, seeds and plants. We are stacking one function to the next. And Mindfully considering how to best use and share. Someone wanted to know what to do about the caterpillars on her sunflower leaves. All of us responded, leave them alone they are the caterpillars of a specific butterfly, which you need to pollinate your garden. Next year plant a few more for them.

The problem is the solution.

Consider the long-term outcome before you hastily react. And the person asking the question didn’t get upset, they were glad to get a wholesome answer, and we were all brainstorming about other seeds to plant for the Butterflys. A loving response said in kind words can grow a Garden of Permaculture Friends. Yes, I planted corn and Red Kuri squash and Little sweet watermelon last week and with some luck and water we will be Stacking Functioning again!

Happy Summer and Planning for fall.

Growing Green With Jannie