Using his own yard as a living example, N.C. State Professor Will Hooker outlines the theory and practice of permaculture, what he calls “a system of systems.” From the N&O:
It’s important, if we’re going to live more sustainably, for us to understand the component parts of the system,” Hooker said. Permaculture combines human needs with natural processes, maximizing house, garden and yard for efficiency, for food production and for livability. “It’s the combination of both of those that make it go. You’re trying to create a conscious ecosystem that mimics the natural ecosystem.
Hooker has taken a plot of land less than half an acre and transformed it into a small-scale food production system that brings together fruit, herbs and chickens in a carefully balanced harmony:
Permaculture originated in Australia in the ’70s as a sustainability-oriented philosophy and design method. Yard, garden and house are maximized for energy efficiency and food production by creating ecosystems within what is often a small area – in Hooker’s case, a third of an acre – and by understanding the interdependence among plants, animals and natural forces like wind, sunlight and rain.
Read more from the N&O here.
Learn about the urban permaculture model here, or watch a short video about the house and garden at 610 Kirby:
N.C. State offers a free distance learning course in permaculture featuring Professor Hooker. You can learn more here.