Bioshelter: The Ultimate Permaculture Greenhouse

I put my passive solar greenhouse in the category of a bioshelter. I also consider it the ultimate form in terms of what permaculture strives to achieve.

If you are coming to the ideas on this blog for the first time, it may be necessary to know a little about permaculture, to understand what a “permaculture greenhouse” can be.

Permaculture was synthesized by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in the 1970’s based on academic thinking they were doing at the time, regarding the potential for global economic collapse. With knowledge of models like those in “The Limits to Growth“, and learning Bill experienced working with indigenous communities as a field biologist, they came up with a body of principles and ethics they believed were missing from the discussion. They felt that just stopping our current destruction of the planet wasn’t enough. They instead asked questions like, how can we design regenerative, bountiful, healthy landscapes that produce the food and other material needs in community?

David and Bill produced the word Permaculture (or permanent agriculture borrowed from the book “Tree Crops: A permanent agriculture“, by J. Russell Smith). Permaculture embodies three core ethics of: EARTH CARE, PEOPLE CARE, and FAIR SHARE. And includes many important guiding design principles: work with nature, the problem is the solution, least change greatest effect, the yield of a system is unlimited, multiple functions… and there are more.

A design practice, an international network of people, with 40 years of history, Permaculture has already influenced millions of people who now live in ecologically positive ways. One example of how permaculture ideas have been applied to the community scale is the Transition Movement.

If permaculture can be a design technique for whole gardens and whole communities, shouldn’t we be able to apply permaculture principles to other elements within the designs we create? How about greenhouses? This blog is about such a “permaculture greenhouse”. We’d like to hear from you about these ideas and if you’ve applied them to greenhouses as well.


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