Column: The Wheelbarrow Gardener

Permaculture! What is that?

If you google permaculture, you will find a plethora of pages discussing this ecological design process, yet
when talking with friends and family very few know or understand what it is. David Holmgren, one of the
co-founders of permaculture defines it as: “Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and
relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.” 1

Now if you’re like me, you probably read that and said “Huh?” I didn’t understand it at first. It wasn’t until I started to do some research on Permaculture that it began to make sense. In very simple terms, it is people working with the land the way nature intended, observing the connectivity of plants, animals and
humans to live a life that regenerates the earth rather than depleting it.

Permaculture is based on three fundamental ethical principles and 12 design principles and strategies. People inspired by these principles and strategies are working both locally and globally by building an interdependent system of living. They are living not ON the land or OFF the land but WITH the land. By implementing the permaculture design principles, they create small local changes that are directly and indirectly influencing a wider global environment. The human race has managed to do a fine job of damaging
the earth; now we have a plan of action to repair it and thrive together vs. survive together.

Residents of Morinville and Sturgeon County will have an opportunity in March to learn about this design science that is inspired by nature from Kenton Zerbin, a permaculture designer, consultant and educator. I had the pleasure of attending one of Kenton’s workshops last spring. I came away with renewed hope, a desire to make a change in how I approached gardening and my sustainable living practices, and the practical
ideas and strategies to make things happen at home and within my community.

Kenton will be hosting two Introductions to Permaculture workshops that will inspire you to Repair Land, Grow Food and Build Community.

Kenton says this of his workshops:

“This is a perfect introduction for those who want to start growing their own food, those who want to improve their home or garden, and those who want to learn how humanity can be a regenerative force on this planet. Come and learn about this growing movement that has national governments, world renowned scientists and backyard gardeners alike optimistic and creating change on the ground.” Workshops are happening at the following places and times: Sunday, Mar. 22 from 1:00 p.m to 3 p.m. at the Morinville Community Library, and Friday, Mar. 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Morinville Farmer’s Market.

Reserve and ensure your spot today by registering on or take a chance and pay at the door (24 limited seats). Cost: You pay what you think it’s worth $20-$50 it’s up to you. Profits go towards creating ongoing educational opportunities.

The following websites are great resources to start understanding and learning more about permaculture.


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