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Homesteading isn’t just about taming nature. It’s about working with Mother Nature to create the most effective and eco-friendly solutions. That’s why all homesteaders should give permaculture a go, no matter the size of their homestead.

Permaculture basics

“What the heck is permaculture?”

That was the first thing out of my mouth when my husband suggested permaculture for our yard. We live in the city, but we’ve always been fans of urban homesteading hacks. And, as it turns out, permaculture is the answer for smart farming on small plots of land.

Permaculture is an agricultural practice that encourages diversity and harmony in your garden. It’s based on standards for eco-conscious design that also help us humans improve land use and crop yield.

For example, you wouldn’t find neat, single-file rows in permaculture. Instead, permaculture guides gardeners to use the natural symbiotic relationships we find with plants in the wild. This helps humans harvest in the most sustainable way possible while ensuring plant and soil health.

Permaculture and homesteading

That sounds great, but what does it mean to actually practice permaculture?

Zero waste
Nothing goes to waste in permaculture. This takes the form of fertilizing with livestock waste, composting, or using cover crops to provide nutrients into the soil. The goal is to turn any waste back into a resource for your crops.

Perennial planting
It’s a pain to plant seeds every year. Save yourself time and hassle while protecting the quality of your soil by opting for perennial plans. These will grow back year after year, providing a constant source of food with little upkeep.

Natural pest control
Pest control is a must for any homesteader. If you don’t want to spritz your trees with chemicals, use permaculture pairings to naturally ward off unwanted visitors. For example, you can plant understory plants, like beans or herbs, underneath your trees. These companion plantings make the most of your available growing space while keeping the bugs at bay.

Got chickens? Let them cluck around the garden. I guarantee your aphid problems will be a thing of the past.

The bottom line

Humans have been practicing permaculture for thousands of years. Think outside the garden rows and give it a try! You’ll reduce waste, maximize production, and improve your garden’s health.

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