There’s been a lot of talk about permaculture in the last few years and even longer. The concept sounds solid and good. At the same time it also seems (to me anyway) trendy, fashionable, like the cultural concept of the week. I know the idea’s been around for ages, but I associate it with eco-enthusiasts and sometimes outright zealots. That’s not me.
But then it’s hard to change when you’re deeply routine in your thinking and ways, like me.
I might be more likely to embrace the term and the concept of permanent mulch. Not so socially-encompassing. It, too has been around for ages. Ruth Stout was its champion, and it’s very simple; you put what you have directly on the garden and leave it to decay in place. It creates an undisturbed system that mimics how nature generates life and death, and I’m absolutely certain it would be better for the garden. Not to mention easier.
But it’s hard for me to make this jump.
I love to mess with the soil. I like to see it black and tilled. I enjoy collecting stuff to compost and creating the witch’s brew piles that heat up in the middle to blistering temperatures. I like to see the dirt.
Right now I’m considering the change. A permanent mulch that continually decomposes right on the garden. No compost bins. No tilling. Hmm. At the very least, it gives me something to obsess about next to the wood stove while the snow flies.