Permaculture Design/Natural Farming and Organic Farming

Farmers, Households, Policymakers

There’s has been a small shift towards food production methods that have low impact on our surroundings. These methods promote biodiversity, minimise pollution and result in healthier food.

Permaculture Design. Early recorded practices of permaculture methods were practiced in the late 1940’s by Masanobu Fukuoka and by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer in the 1960s, but permaculture as a design method was scientifically developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. The word itself is a combination of “permanent “and “agriculture. Masanobu Fukuoka used the term “natural farming”, for a similar method of food production and management.

Permaculture has three core ethics; earth care, people care and fair share. It is a design model used to create sustainable systems that provide food, with minimum energy requirements while bolstering community and respecting biodiversity.

Organic farming. For the purposes of this document refers to certified organic food production. Organic certification is an excellent tool for informing consumers how food has been produced. But it must be recognised that this does not necessarily mean that “organic” it is the most sustainable or the most natural way to produce food. It is possible to get organic certification using non-organic seeds if a variety is unavailable in organic form. Mono cropping is also acceptable for organic certification. In fishing the term organic is used in for methods that are far from natural or sustainable. That being said, organic certification is a much more viable than industrial methods that use chemical fertilisers and genetically modified seed. Also the word “organic” has been hijacked to by marketing and advertising agencies to categorise heavily processed foods as organic. This further warrants the need for certification and regulation.
Hannah Mole, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon
Carraig Dúlra Organic and Permaculture Farm, Glenealy, Co. Wicklow

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