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12 Ways of Looking at a Garden

Permaculture in an Age of Change

Jamie Runnells

“Here are 12 permaculture principles to begin with, gathered from permaculturists of the land, of the house, and of the mind.”

When the stay-at-home order for the crisis-that-shall-not-be-named rolled across our little island, I had a sudden urge to plant some food. This was highly unusual for me, as until now I have only been mildly garden-curious. But when I got to the garden store, I was greeted with empty shelves where there once had been packets and packets of vegetable seeds. I carried the last packet of peas and an unusual cucumber variety to the cash register. “Ah, the veggies,” said the woman behind the counter. She wore a medical mask, but her eyes were smiling. “Everyone wants to be able to feed themselves.” It feels like not that much of a stretch to say that everyone wants to garden this year, partly out of a desire to be resilient and self-sufficient, partly to make something beautiful and nourishing. But it wasn’t just gardening. The neighborhood community group organized a cleanup for Earth Day, and with clearer schedules, we joined in for the first time. I told an acquaintance about my strange leanings over Zoom, and he said, with a twinkle in his eye, “Sounds like you’re becoming a permaculturist.” Perma-w …

About the Author

Lavonne Leong

Lavonne Leong divides her time between small, yoga-centric islands in Canada and the U.S., where she writes, hikes, and raises...

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