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Permaculture

  • Permaculture is a word that was coined in the 1970s; the Oxford English Dictionary recently added it to the dictionary as a new word. Permaculture is a portmanteau. Portmanteaus are words constructed from the blending of two existing words. English is a living language, which means it changes over time. New words are constantly entering the language, evidenced by the Oxford English Dictionary’s policy of adding English words to its lexicon quarterly. There are many avenues for a word to enter into use. New words may be coined from existing words. Compound words are words constructed from two existing words that when put together, form a new meaning. We will examine the definition of the word permaculture, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.



     

    Permaculture is a system of design principles that mimics the natural world and calls upon appropriate technology to provide a self-sustaining, resilient, and holistic ecological system. Permaculture encourages biodiversity, renewable resources, conservation, ecologically sound food production, and sustainable living. Ponds, irrigation, use of greywater, and rainwater harvesting are facets of water management used in permaculture principles. Forest gardening or agroforestry mimics food production in a wild woodland. Composting and mulching organic matter, especially manure, builds nutrients in soils and promotes fertility. Rotational grazing of livestock keeps grasses and soil healthy. The cultivation of the ecosystem found in a given area where a permaculture farm is located leads to a sustaining ecological design that produces higher yields and controls insects or pests in a less toxic manner. Sustainable agriculture or permaculture can be used in food production such as small-scale farming, aquaculture, greenhouse farming, cash crops, orchards of fruit trees, or even in home gardening. Urban agriculture in the suburbs or the backyard benefits from the ideas of permaculture. Bill Mollison, a University of Tasmania professor, conceived the idea of permaculture and coined the portmanteau in the 1970s by combining two words: permanent and agriculture. The Oxford English Dictionary added the word permaculture to its list in 2019.

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    Examples

    Mollison, an ecologist and university professor, defined permaculture as “the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.” (Modern Farmer Magazine)

    If you want to dive in and work towards becoming a permaculture gardener then check in regularly with each decision by asking: Is this caring for the earth, the people and consuming fairly. (Central Coast Community News)

    Brower, 65, the DeLeon Springs business owner, permaculture designer and farm operator with a grassroots and social media campaign, received 57.6% of the vote, easily besting 66-year-old rival and current Councilwoman Deb Denys, who had 42.4% of the vote. (The Daytona Beach News-Journal)


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