What is Permaculture?• An ecological design system for the creation of regenerative human habitats.• Biologically based, whole systems approaches to meet human needs from the landscapes in our care• Using local resources, plants, and animals• To assemble productive cultivated ecosystems.• Food and nutrition is at the core of Permaculture- designed systems.
Food Insecurity• Global Food Security Challenges: – Global competition for a seemingly limited resource – Declining soil quality and productivity – Increasing food and transportation costs – Corporate control of the food supply – Reduced food diversity = vulnerability – Climate instability – Declining nutrition content of available foods
Local Food Insecurity• Results of a 2011 Gallup survey on Food Insecurity in 100 US metropolitan areas: – 2010 Survey: Asheville metropolitan area(Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison Counties) - 7th worst in the nation! – 2011 survey - 3rd worst !! – One in 5 people (approx 106,000 People) in WNC is food insecure!!!! – NC 1st in local food insecurity in USA – 1 in 4 kids hungry in NC, 1 in 3 obese! – We source less than 5% of our food locally!
The Good News!• We can reclaim control over our local food supply. Local self reliance is achievable.• Liberation through Abundance. Nature is fecund.• We can grow what we need.• We have access to the information, plants, and materials we need.• Gardens and small farms are more efficient and grow healthier food than large scale agriculture.• Thriving vs. Surviving: a community endeavor
What do we eat?• Vegetables• Herbs and spices• Root Crops• Grains• Animals and animal products• Oils• Nuts• Fruits and berries• Mushrooms• Products of the above: ferments, sauces, canned and dried goods
Antioxidant Super Foods Blackberries Asparagus Raspberries Yellow pepper Strawberries Green grapes Apples Black eye peas Plums Cooked tomatoes Cherries Red CabbageFRUITS Peaches Red-leaf lettuceElderberry Red grapes BroccoliAronia berry Prunes BeetsSea Buckthorn Black Currants Tea CamelliaMulberryServiceberry VEGGIESMuscadine Grape Collards/KaleHardy Kiwi PotatoesBlueberries Kidney beansCranberries Pinto beans
Regional Staples– Sweet Potatoes– Potatoes– Onions– Beans– Corn– Pumpkin and Squash– Cabbage and greens– Eggs– Fruit, nuts, and berries– Wild Plants and Game– Small and large Livestock
Plugging the local nutritional food gaps• Oils: Nuts, Seeds, Animal Fats• Minerals: soil remineralization• Grains• Staples• Cultivate more specialized farm/orchard enterprises to close the loop/ fill the niches.
Strategies for meeting our Nutritional needsGrow what you need: Begin in the GardenCultivate the local community food shed. Neighborhood Town Local area Bioregion Region
In the Permaculture Garden• Build soil, plant plants, tend animals• Begin at the kitchen door and work outward on a controlled front.• Overcoming limiting factors.• Optimize use of space, fill the niches, stacking and packing.• Select for optimum nutrition: varietal selection• The art of placement: right plant, right place• Mixed perennial, annual, and animal production systems for creating food poly-cultures.• Diverse yields over time. Year round production.• A place for animals and fish.
Permaculture Garden Strategies• Vegetables to the center; nuts, fruits, and berries on the edges• For limited spaces, grow trees as shrubs• Speed succession.• Increase the productive edges.• Alley cropping• Use vertical space – Grow up, not out!• Use shady spaces• Use slopes to advantage
Cultivate the local community food shed.• Food Activism. The time is now!• Re-skilling: Learning the art of growing food• Cultivating interdependence: cooperation, a survival value• Neighborhood/Community gardens• Neighborhood/Community orchards, vineyards, berry patches, and medicine gardens• Wild Foods• Food and Medicine Forests.• Restore the commons – abandoned, abused, and neglected lands.• Support more local small and organic Farms.• Regionally source our needs.
Nutrition and Local Economics• Putting our money where our values lie; the myth of cheaper foods• Fresh food is nutritious food• Food miles vs. food feet• Vote with your dollars: Investing in local farms and allied businesses• Encourage farmers to grow what we need, then buy it.• Incredible Edible Todmorden
Have fun. Savor the journeytoward an abundant future. CHUCK MARSH firstname.lastname@example.org www.usefulplants.org wwwlivingsystemsdesign.net