16 April 2012

Open Source Permaculture

I know many of you have gardens or would love to have, even on their balconies. Imagine having all the resources you need to enhance the sustainability of your home or land. Anyone, yes anyone, could learn how to grow an incredibly productive backyard permaculture garden! When I wrote about making your own soil using the methods of permaculture last August little did I know that there was someone working on a FREE Open Source resource on Permaculture

Visit to Glovers St Permaculture Garden
Visit to Glovers St Permaculture Garden photo: Milkwooders

Permaculture is a revolutionary design system for creating sustainable human environments. It is about designing households and communities that are productive, sustaining and largely self reliant and have minimal impact on the environment. It aims to borrow from nature and apply to everyday life to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants.

It is a promising path to creating sustainable communities, founded on a system of ethics emphasizing the importance of shared values among people. The ethics embrace care for the Earth, care for the people, and sharing the excess. The gardening techniques draw from several other disciplines including natural and organic farming, agro-forestry, sustainable development, and applied ecology.

Open Source
I am a strong believer in the Open Source philosophy and that is why you can see the Creative Commons sign on my left sidebar. Open Source that promotes free redistribution and access to a product's design and implementation details. The open-source model includes the concept of concurrent yet different agendas and differing approaches in production, in contrast with more centralized models of development. 

A main principle and practice of open-source development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, and documentation available at no cost to the public. This method can be applied to all fields of endeavor.

ryde tafe permaculture garden
Ryde Tafe permaculture garden photo: Milkwooders

How they work together
Open Source Permaculture is a free online resource for anyone who wants to create a more sustainable world. The project that aims to fund the creation of an Urban Permaculture Guide eBook and the Open Source Permaculture Q&A Website + Wiki.

Open Source Permaculture intends to become the most comprehensive multimedia resource of free, quality materials for Permaculture education. It would empower people all over the world to easily learn sustainability skills on their own, opening the world to a whole new way of learning online.

Open Source Permaculture can heal broken communities with no money, and transform our cities into thriving ecological landscapes.

What you get
The aim of this project is the creation of an Open Source Urban Permaculture Guide – FREE eBook (circa 400 pages) and an Open Source Permaculture Q&A Website + Wiki.

The ebook will be the first freely available, comprehensive guide teaching the use of permaculture in urban spaces! You will find easy to understand DIY tips that can be applied in your flat, tiny backyard, rooftop or community garden, including topics like:
  • Indoor and Balcony Gardening – Permaculture Style
  • Vertical Gardens
  • Tree Crops and Edible Forests
  • Guerilla Gardening
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • Mushroom log cultivation
  • Spiral Herb Gardens & Medicinal Herbs
  • Composting and Vermi-composting
  • Rainwater collection
  • Micro-livestock
  • Wind and Solar Energy
  • Transportation, etc.

On the website and wiki, you will have access to an expansive database of  resources and permaculture experts, to help resolve any gardening and landscaping problems. It doesn't matter if you're just growing a tiny container garden or if you're running a full-fledge urban farm business. Whatever your project is, Open Source Permaculture aims to provide a real, working solution.

What you give
To have all this, the creator of Open Source Permaculture Sophia Novack needs your help! Your generous donation will support free, global access to an online database of comprehensive Permaculture resources, so that anyone with the passion to do so can create sustainability in their own homes and gardens. Together we can help each other, that is what Open Source is about. Please, consider making a small donation. Even just $1 would be so appreciated!

Further reading: 

What do you think of this project? How can you put it to practical use?


  1. sounds interesting and exciting! I would love to see how I can put these principles in practice - I've been thinking for quite a while about cultivating some spices "balcony style"

    1. I am sure you can apply permaculture to a balcony garden! The more I read about it, the more ways I see!

  2. I've been doing a lot of research on permaculture design courses. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You are welcome. Even though the project is still in the making, it already offers so much information.

  3. We really were on the same page today! It looks like a great resource, and I'll definitely be checking it out.

  4. This is a fascinating and wonderful project! I had never heard of it before. Thank you again for brining these wonderful resources to our attention!

  5. what a BEAUTIFUL garden!! love the post so much!!

  6. I love the permaculture project. It takes the " community garden" to a new level! We are planning a small community garden in our beach community this year as well. It's a great way to use wasted space in a yard, and bring people together for food, flowers and FUN!