Our company is in the process of maximizing our use of permaculture concepts. As a project manager here at Offshoots, I am responsible for the design and implementation of new productive landscape systems and strategies into our residential installations.  This has led me to the MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association) common ground education center to take a permaculture design certificate course.

For those who are not familiar with permaculture let me share one of my favorite definitions by two of the founding fathers of this design practice, Bill Mollison and Scott Pitman: Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have the diversity, stability & resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape, people & appropriate technologies, providing good, shelter, energy & other needs in a sustainable way. Permaculture is a philosophy and an approach to land use which works with natural rhythms & patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual & perennial plants, animals, water & soil management, & human needs into intricately connected & productive communities.

If you are interested in learning more I highly suggest you pick up a copy of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. You will gain a new love, appreciation, and perspective for our natural systems and resources, learning how to work with nature and not against it.

-Joe Shafner