Since 2014 Macquarie University Sustainability has been working on creating an onsite sustainable garden that incorporates permaculture gardening design principles.
Permaculture is essentially an amalgamation of the words “Permanent Agriculture”. It combines landscape architecture with sustainable agriculture and ecological principles to provide for human needs (food, shelter, fibres, medicines, etc.) in a genuinely regenerative way.
Permaculture designs incorporate natural elements such as sun, landscape, wind, rainfall, and climate, with the aim of maximising benefits to people and planet. This involves strategic placement of beds and plants to maximise taste, nutrients and yield whilst minimising effort, inputs and disease. Living in this way also benefits the local environment by enhancing habitat and biodiversity, and minimising water and energy consumption.
Permaculture addresses a number of major environmental issues – climate can be stabilised by creating microclimates; biodiversity is enhanced with increase flora and fauna; food security is addressed by time-staging crops, productive animals and by incorporating perennial plants; water scarcity can be overcome by stopping, spreading and soaking water through the use of swales and water catchment; etc. Growing your own food is like printing money. Let’s print a new system!
What they are doing at Macquarie Sustainability is promoting sustainable use of space by using small-scale permaculture gardening principles. They use the space for hosting permaculture workshops, working bees, and harvesting the literal fruits of our labour!