The rise in fuel prices has seen greater awareness and a wider concern for what life will be like when the oil runs out. This has seen interest in less chemical dependant farming methods bringing permaculture to the forefront of discussion and debate.
A handful of farms in the UK have been using permaculture for many years as a systematic way of designing, developing and maintaining their various enterprises. These early adopters, with the help of the UK’s permaculture charity, the Permaculture Association, began designing and experimenting long before peak oil and climate change were widely recognised.
As these farms evolved, their original designs developed and morphed. Their evolution has created systems that have helped to inspire others creating a catalyst for change. Farmers and smallholders are beginning to recognise that applying the ethics and principles of permaculture can create resilient multi-yielding systems that in turn build livelihoods and strengthen local communities.
As coordinator for the LAND project1 I have visited several established farms using the ethics and principles of permaculture. Below are three examples that have been practising permaculture and experimenting with different ways of growing food for many years.