- The Permaculture Club -
The Permaculture Club
There are no rigid or absolute rules to permaculture.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
Observe & Interacts
It is guided by 3 ethics and 12 principles, serving as a framework for ecological design. In permaculture, we understand and mimic the principles that exist in nature to design systems that are self-sustaining, self-regulating, and beyond sustainable to regenerative.
The 12 principles are outlined throughout this article as images.
"Make hay while the sun shines"
Catch & Store Energy
These systems can be anything from a small garden to a large farm. They can be a forest, a watershed, an ecosystem, a house, an organization, a town, or a community.
How is permaculture different from other environmentalist efforts?
"You can't work on an empty stomach"
Obtain a yeild
Permaculture places equal importance on humans and nature. It recognizes that we are a part of nature. It doesn’t believe that nature should be preserved by keeping it untouched, but instead promotes the creation of sustainable systems in which humans and nature can coexist and interact to enhance one another. By considering both traditional and recent scientific knowledge, permaculture provides us with the tools to find concrete and long-term solutions to the environmental and humanitarian crises we are currently facing.
Our club is a branch of the global permaculture movement: Our 3 goals
1) Community: To act as a hub for students who are curious, interested, and/or passionate about permaculture, and to build a community around permaculture where students can share ideas and information.
"The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation."
Apply self regulation & accept feedback
2) Awareness and education: To increase awareness and understanding of permaculture in the student population, and to show students the benefits of permaculture to inspire them to create a better future.
"Let nature take its course"
Use &Value renewable resources & services
3) Action: Over the summer of 2017, the Macdonald Showcase Permaculture Garden was created at the Farm Center. This garden showcases many of the key permaculture concepts and serves as a tool for hands-on learning about permaculture projects and design.
We’ll be happy to see you at our events! All our events are open to the general public!
Bring people together to discuss different ideas in permaculture and meet others with similar interests. Permaculture Socials take the form of a social permaculture activity, a group discussion around a predetermined topic related to permaculture and a potluck.
2) Permaculture activities and workshops
"A stitch in time saves nince"/ "Waste not , Want not"
Produce no waste
Throughout the year, we organize many awareness and educational activities, from speaker presentations and film screenings to hands-on workshops. All are great opportunities to learn more about permaculture and to acquire the resources to get more involved in the movement.
Come to the garden anytime you want to enjoy nature, watch the bees buzzing, and relax under the pergola!
"Many hands make light work"
Intergrate rather than segregate
The Macdonald Showcase Permaculture Garden was started in spring 2017 by Chris Wrobel and Audrey Constance Wagner and was initially made possible due to funding from the Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF). It is located on a quarter acre of land at the Macdonald Farm Center on McGill’s Mac Campus. The garden showcases many of the most common permaculture concepts and techniques—such as swales, food forests, herb spirals, companion planting, canopy layers, wildlife habitat, no-till, and sheet mulching—while, of course, producing food for Mac Campus students. The garden is a place where students and faculty members can do applied ecological research on topics such as soil, biodiversity, integrated water management, and ecological agriculture.
"Can't see the forest for the trees"
Design from patterns to details
Permaculture design topics showcased in the garden :
"Don't think you are on the right track just because it's well-beaten path"
Use edges & value the marmarginal
"the bigger they are, the harder they fall"/"Slow and steady wins the race"
Use small & slow solutions
Herb spirals are structures that optimize space. The spiral shape leads to small variations in sunlight and moisture that create ‘microclimates,' vastly different growing conditions within a small area. This increases the diversity of plants that can be grown in a confined area.
Succession is the way a plant community naturally changes over time. Permaculture can mimic this by moving from herbaceous annuals to woody perennials.
- In our permaculture garden designs, we favour perennials because they require less maintenance and human inputs than annuals. Indeed, their roots reach deep into the soil to access nutrients and water that annuals cannot.
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket"
Use & value diversity
Swales are level trenches dug on contour and covered with plants. They are a method of landscape shaping to catch water and allow it to infiltrate into the soil. This prevents soil erosion and increases the resilience of a system to floods and droughts.
"Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be"
Creatively use &repond to change
Companion plants are essentially best friends. Certain plant species just do better when they are planted next to other ones. They benefit the growth of one another by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, and providing nutrients, shade, or support. In nature, plants grow in diverse communities, not monocultures.
Sheet mulching is used to prepare the soil to grow plants without tilling or digging. Instead, we use layers of compost, grass clippings, cardboard, straw, and bark chips to mimic the leaves on the forest floor. Sheet mulching allows us to build a healthy soil that sequesters a lot of carbon. It therefore fights climate change.
The food forest is an edible ecosystem that is resilient and self-sufficient over time. Aside from producing food, it also provides habitat and shelter for wildlife, and protects and builds soil.
Food forests are achieved by incorporating canopy layers (tall trees, smaller trees, large shrubs, herbaceous layer, groundcover, and vines) and different categories of plants (pollinator attractors, insect pest repellers, mulch producers, nitrogen fixers, and dynamic accumulators).