On our church grounds, we have applied permaculture principles by reducing the amount of lawn we have to maintain and replacing some of it with native and drought-resistant plantings including bushes and trees that provide fruit or nuts for people and animals, flowers that attract pollinating insects, and milkweed for monarch caterpillars. These improvements have created wind barriers and/or shade, reduced sheet erosion on slopes, and enhanced the soil fertility.
The term “permaculture” is derived from the words “permanent agriculture.” Permaculture refers to a design system that incorporates natural principles and calls on us to live in harmony with the earth. The three ethics of permaculture are:
- Earth Care
- People Care
- Fair Share
Permaculture is based on 12 principles, first articulated by Robert Holmgren.
Many of these principles align with Unitarian Universalist values.
- 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 to Details
- Integrate Rather Than Segregate
- Use Small and Slow Solutions
- Use and Value Diversity
- Use Edges and Value the Marginal
- Creatively Use and Respond to Change