echinacia 3Permaculture is a system of ecological design specific to a place and directed towards building regenerative and prosperous human communities. It is design based on observations of natural systems, including patterns, resources, energy flows, and the diversity of relationships among discrete members of those systems. Permaculture design is guided by the ethical principles: care for the earth, care for people, and sharing the surplus.

Useful Landscapes are gardens that optimize the relationships among a diversity of species including: humans, animals, mushrooms, and food, fiber and medicinal plants to yield abundance. This type of gardening is foremost a way to put healthy and nutritious food on the table, especially those foods we enjoy seasonally, such as blueberries, strawberries, and tomatoes, and oyster mushrooms. Growing food organically is also a way to demonstrate ecological responsibility to the land on which we live and respect to those with whom we share our place. Gardening allows us to connect to the earth by nurturing healthy soil, which supports healthy plants, and connects us with the web of microbes, fungi, insects, critters and the relationships that result from this good work.


Reclaiming democracy in food production implies reclaiming the rights of all species to their share of nutrition and, through this ecological step, reclaiming the right of all people to food rights, including future generations. A food democracy that is thus inclusive is the highest form of equity and democracy. Such a democracy can feed us abundantly because other species do not feed themselves at their cost; they feed us while they feed themselves.

~Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest, 2000