Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC)
Permaculture (PC) is the conscious design of sustainable human habitats, modelled on natural ecosystems, traditional land-use models, and modern scientific and technical knowledge. Its aims are of working with, rather than against nature, and of protracted observation rather than thoughtless action. Permaculture utilises the naturally inherent qualities of plants and animals (including humans), combined with the natural characteristics of landscape and structures, to produce a stable, low maintenance and productive agriculture for city and country using the least possible area. Not just restricted to land use and farming, permaculture also helps create resilient, harmonious social structures and economies. Permaculture is a way of life that can be adopted in both rural and urban situations. Its ultimate goal is ecological stability and diversity of systems for conservation of soil, water, biodiversity, energy, and all other natural and human-made resources.
"Rolling Permaculture" is the implementation of Permaculture systems which do not displace traditional agricultural and social practices but merely enhance them and allow them to flourish. For example, the use of green manures as an intercrop increases soil fertility by growing biomass - an agricultural resource - in between rotations of traditional grain crops. Such resources can thus be increased on-farm and without displacing traditional yields. This is also achieved by planting suitable tree species on bare and unproductive land, by improved seed selection and storage, and by the planting of live fences which also produce fodder, fuelwood, bee forage, etc. as well as barriers, Such systems increase the biomass needed to support agriculture - fodder and leaf litter for compost production close to the farm, without decreasing land under staple food production. Further, such systems can raise production without the need to increase land under agriculture, thus taking pressure off the forest which farmers would otherwise exploit to create new farmland.
For more information about Permaculture visit http://www.permaculture.org.uk/ (for UK and International links) or try googling the word !