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Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services, Permaculture Principle 5 of 12

Permaculture is a sustainable design approach that promotes working harmoniously with nature to create thriving ecosystems. Each of the twelve permaculture principles guides us in making ethical, sustainable, and efficient choices. In this blog post, we will explore Permaculture Principle 5, "Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services," and its application to urban agriculture and community-supported food systems.

Permaculture Principle 5: Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services

The fifth principle of permaculture encourages the use of renewable resources and services to reduce our dependence on non-renewable resources. By tapping into the power of natural systems and cycles, we can create self-sustaining systems that provide for our needs while minimizing environmental impact. This principle is particularly relevant to urban agriculture and community-supported food systems, which prioritize local, renewable resources.

Urban Agriculture: Harnessing the Power of Renewable Resources

Urban agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas. By utilizing renewable resources and services, urban agriculture has the potential to make cities more sustainable and self-sufficient. Here's how Principle 5 comes into play:

  1. Solar energy: Urban agriculture can harness the power of the sun through techniques like vertical gardening and rooftop gardens. By maximizing sunlight exposure, these spaces can increase crop yields while minimizing the urban heat island effect.

  2. Rainwater harvesting: Collecting and storing rainwater is a simple yet effective way to reduce dependence on municipal water supplies. Urban agriculture practitioners can use this resource for irrigation, reducing both water consumption and the associated environmental impact.

  3. Waste recycling: Urban agriculture can contribute to waste reduction by turning organic waste into valuable resources, such as compost for soil enrichment or biogas for energy production.

Community Supported Food Systems: Strengthening Local Economies and Ecosystems

Community-supported food systems (CSFS) are collaborative models that bring together consumers, producers, and other stakeholders to create a more sustainable and localized food system. Permaculture Principle 5 is deeply embedded in CSFS through the following approaches:

  1. Localized production: By sourcing food locally, CSFS reduce the need for long-distance transportation and the associated environmental costs. Localized production also supports regional biodiversity and encourages the use of native and adapted plant varieties.

  2. Shared resources: CSFS promote the sharing of resources and knowledge among community members. This can include shared tools, seeds, and educational resources, leading to a more resilient and self-sufficient community.

  3. Community involvement: CSFS foster a sense of community ownership and responsibility for local food systems. By engaging community members in the production and distribution of food, CSFS promote awareness and appreciation for renewable resources and the need to protect them.


Permaculture Principle 5, "Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services," is a guiding force in the development of urban agriculture and community-supported food systems. By emphasizing the use of renewable resources and services, these practices contribute to more resilient and sustainable cities. Furthermore, they foster a sense of community responsibility for the health of our ecosystems, ensuring that we continue to value and protect the natural resources that sustain us.


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 . 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!

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