Permaculture is a sustainable approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that prioritize working with nature rather than against it. One of the guiding principles of permaculture is "produce no waste," which encourages us to use resources efficiently and minimize waste in our systems. In this blog post, we'll explore the 6th permaculture principle, "Produce no waste," and discuss how we can honor it in our urban food systems.
The "Produce no waste" principle is a call to minimize waste and use resources efficiently in our systems. This includes designing systems that recycle and reuse materials, conserving energy, and minimizing the use of non-renewable resources. In an urban food system, there are many ways to honor this principle and create a more sustainable and resilient system.
Our chickens enjoy eating the bulk of our organic waste from the garden, while kitchen scraps and community composting partners compost goes in the worm composting bin or the static compost pile.
One way to produce no waste in an urban food system is through composting. Composting is the process of breaking down organic materials into nutrient-rich soil that can be used to grow plants. By composting food scraps and other organic waste, we can reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and create a valuable resource for our gardens and farms.
Another way to honor the "Produce no waste" principle in an urban food system is through rainwater harvesting. Collecting rainwater in barrels or tanks can provide a free source of water for plants and reduce the demand on municipal water systems. By using rainwater to irrigate our gardens and farms, we can conserve water and reduce the need for energy-intensive irrigation systems.
Upcycling is the process of repurposing materials that would otherwise be thrown away into new products. In an urban food system, we can upcycle materials like pallets, old tires, and plastic containers into planters, raised beds, and other gardening structures. By upcycling materials, we can reduce waste and create functional and attractive garden features.
Community composting is a way to produce no waste on a larger scale in an urban food system. By creating a community composting program, we can collect and compost food scraps and other organic waste from households and businesses in the community. The resulting compost can be used to support local agriculture and gardening projects, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers and supporting local food systems.
While I haven't been successful at dehydrating tomatoes, it is a great way to preserve the food being produced.
Preserving food is another way to produce no waste in an urban food system. By canning, freezing, or dehydrating excess produce, we can prevent food waste and have a supply of nutritious food throughout the year. Food preservation can also be a way to support local agriculture by preserving excess produce that might otherwise go to waste.
Perennial food systems
Perennial food systems are another way to honor the "Produce no waste" principle in an urban food system. By planting perennial crops like fruit trees, berries, and perennial vegetables, we can create a low-maintenance and resilient food system that requires less energy and resources than annual crops. Perennial food systems also provide habitat for wildlife and can support biodiversity in urban environments.
In conclusion, the "Produce no waste" principle of permaculture encourages us to use resources efficiently and minimize waste in our systems. In an urban food system, there are many ways to honor this principle, including composting, rainwater harvesting, upcycling, community composting, food preservation, and perennial food systems. By implementing these practices, we can create more sustainable and resilient food systems that support our communities and the environment.
Help Us Grow!
At Rusty Top Farms, we're dedicated to supporting our veterans and helping them experience the healing power of gardening. We're currently raising funds to build garden crates for veterans who may not have access to a garden or who may need extra support to get started.
Each garden crate costs us $300 to build, and we rely on donations from our community to make this project possible.
If you'd like to support our mission and help us build garden crates for veterans, please consider making a donation through our fiscal sponsor at https://www.rustytopfarm.com/donate .
Every donation counts and makes a difference in the lives of our veterans.
Thank you for your support and let's continue to work together to support our veterans and build a more resilient community!
Farmer John (First Sergeant US Army, Retired)