Welcome. Thank you for stopping by. My name is Jenny Nazak, and I’m a permaculture designer and educator.
What is permaculture? you ask.
Permaculture is a deep-green approach to using resources in our homes, workplaces, and other spaces. It’s also a toolkit for designing such spaces. By “deep-green,” I mean something beyond just recycling, buying “green” products, and so on. I mean something beyond conserving fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint (although those are good things in and of themselves).
By deep-green I mean that we, everyday people, can actually have a POSITIVE impact on the environment, while also creating a healthy economy and ensuring good living conditions for all.
Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s a natural result of common-sense practices that are based on observing and imitating nature. And that’s what permaculture is all about.
Some hallmarks of permaculture are 1) imitating and accelerating beneficial natural patterns; 2) turning problems into resources; 3) obtaining multiple benefits.
Let’s take one simple example: compost. The compost bin is a human invention that imitates and accelerates the beneficial natural process that takes place on a forest floor: the breaking down of leaves and other organic matter into soil-enriching humus. By composting — by turning what we have come to call “garbage” (food scraps, cardboard, and other organic matter) into a resource — we can derive multiple benefits. We can save money, reduce work, and keep our trash cans neater while also making a positive impact on the environment (by building the soil, sequestering carbon, and feeding plants).
The definition of permaculture coined by its founders is “a design system for creating sustainable human environments.” Another definition I like is “meeting human needs while improving ecosystem health.”
For something to be sustainable (whether that “something” is a garden, a building, a business, an event, or what have you), it needs to be not only ecologically sustainable but also sustainable economically and in human terms (it must be good for all the people who are affected by it). The permaculture definition of “sustainable” goes beyond just achieving a net-zero impact. A good permaculture design is regenerative, which means it actually gives a net benefit to the environment, the economy, and people.
Permaculture was founded in the late 1970s by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren.
What can permaculture do for you?
You can use permaculture design principles to save time and money, simplify your life, find your right livelihood, make your home and community more livable, grow healthy food in tiny spaces, launch a small business (or improve one), cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with “difficult” people, build community … the list goes on and on! The permaculture design principles are universally applicable and are limited only by your own imagination. I offer classes, permaculture parties, and other educational services to help you get started.