What's the Difference Between Sustainable Gardening and Permaculture?

by Peter


What is the basic difference between permaculture, and sustainable gardening/farming?

Is one sort of more 'organic' than the other, and what is the main benefit of permaculture?

For those of us that have to toil away at a day job, is the establishment of a permaculture regime on our vast tract of land (just under 3 ac) going to be a massively time consuming task, and what can we expect to be the yield for our efforts?



PS Asking you is probably quicker than going through you whole website, and you should note that I did use the word 'basic' in the question. LOL.
(Just having a bit of a lazy morning, I am).

MEG: Hi Peter

Permaculture is a design system... Its about designing your production system to yield as much as possible with as little direct work as possible to run it (once it is set up!). That means putting the right element (be it chicken yard, plant, compost bin, wind turbine etc) in the right place to maximise the amount of work each does for you. Its about good old fashioned common sense. Starts with understanding the attributes of your land (slope, solar aspect, soil) and harnessing or diverting the forces acting on it (water, frost, wind, sun, fire) for greatest overall benefit. Organic gardening is usually incorporated into Permaculture systems as it optimises the biological activity (which thus works for the overal productivity), while minimising inputs (eg. chemicals). Also important is understanding the work each element can do for you (eg. chickens can weed, fertilise, make compost, provide eggs, meat) and providing what that element needs to thrive (chickens need food, shelter, water, other chickens).

Sustainable farming often incorporates Permaculture-like features (e.g. fodder shrubs for livestock, planted contour banks, windbreaks) but there is normally little attention to systems design, or overall efficiency, particularly with respect to operator energy.

Thats it in a nutshell


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Jun 13, 2016
You are very welcome
by: Dr Meg

Glad you found the info here useful :)

Jun 11, 2016
Permaculture vs. Sustainable
by: Anonymous

I am working on a project for a class in university and was looking for an answer to this same question. After searching for a while, I came across your answer which explained it very well. Thank you.

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