Author: The Forest Pixie Agricultural practices have been around for centuries, evolving and increasing the sophistication of technology. However, the current trend and global movement are aimed at ethically sound, conscious farming practices. This, however, does not apply to only small-scale farming, despite being the most feasible solution for our current food production and agricultural climate. Permaculture has become quite the buzzword over the past few years, but what exactly is it?
Permaculture is a way of farming which relies on the conscious design and maintenance of Agricultural production ecosystems. These ecosystems have a "checklist" of criteria; to function optimally, they need to have natural ecosystems strength, diversity and stability.

Nature is the perfect designer. Mimicking the structure of these natural systems through conscious system design is what permaculture is all about. There are 12 basic permaculture principles, which home in on the operations and systems needed to live a self-sustainable life. These principles deal with designing and integrating systems encompassing the permaculture way of life to the fullest.

The four ethical foundations of permaculture are integral to the core structure: care for the earth, and the people, share our resources and promote life. Living a permaculture life is not about theoretical jargon; it's a way of living according to a structure that honours sound ethical and moral values and respects the unit, not just the human element.
Solar energy is an excellent example of a permaculture system. The energy we get from sunlight is a natural, renewable resource available to us. Using solar power means storing power for future use (using a battery), and you can have immediate use. Using this resource is done by a system designed not to harm the earth or people in the process. A solar power system adheres to all four permaculture ethical values, and the 12 basic permaculture principles and, thus, is considered a successful system when designed correctly.

Nutritional Health and Development
South Africa's nutrition burden falls primarily on the under-five population due to developmental complications like stunting and wasting. A lack of nutrition and diet during critical stages of a child's development accounts for the prevalence of stunting in South Africa.
A healthy diet based on accessible and diverse foods can reduce rates of stunting and malnutrition among children nationwide. Using SEED permaculture, residents can access nutritious foods such as broccoli, carrots, and turnips. This reduces the risk of infection, improves the function of the immune system, and increases cognitive development, resulting in enhanced overall human health.

As a self-sustainable permaculturalist, I have learned that respect is essential should you consider embarking on a self-sustainability journey. Respect for the earth and respect for our resources are all necessary to understand the true value of nature. If respect is not instilled, a vital piece of the puzzle is missing, and the picture won’t be complete without it.
Permaculture is not a theory; it is not an abstract concept. It is a way of conscious living that doesn't damage the earth, or people, by using self-regulating and self-sustainable systems designed for eco-conscious self-sustainability.