Hout Bay High pupils do the Write thing - 17 April 2015

Here is the article they wrote:

Our permaculture school garden
For some background information on the garden, please watch the following video:
This is what we have experienced and done for our lives.
‘Permaculture’ comes from the words ‘permanent’ and
‘agriculture’. So it can mean agriculture that lasts, or culture that
lasts. It is about how to take practical action to improve our lives
and environment. It is about producing the things we need
ourselves and supporting ourselves and our communities from the
grassroots up.
Permaculture is a system of natural farming and gardening that
cooperates with nature. It’s about caring for the environment,
so that the gardening environment can care for us. We look at our resources (at school, at
our homes, at our churches or clinics in the surrounding community) and then work out
how we can design a better environment. ‘Designing’ means joining the different resources
and elements (water, soil, plants, animals, man-made structures and buildings) of the
environment together like a puzzle so that they can work better for us and produce a foodrich
environment. It means making our environment able to support us forever – this is what
we call ‘sustainable development’.
Permaculture looks at things in a completely new way. It turns problems into solutions that
work for us. It helps us gain a better standard of living. In permaculture we look at how
things work in nature so that we can copy nature to keep the land healthy. Modern farming
often uses strong artificial chemicals which work against nature. In permaculture there are
no ‘weeds’ and no ‘pests’. Everything can help us, even things that we would normally
throw away can be useful, if we just open our eyes to see how permaculture lets nature do a
lot of the work for us. Earthworms are a good example of this – if you put down lots of
leaves and kitchen scraps certain earthworms eat these and in turn feed and improve the soil
without any human effort.
Permaculture can do many things to make our lives better, like improving us [so that we
can] improve our communities and environment, improve water supplies and keeping soil
and land healthy, helping us grow fresh, local and organic food, providing us [with]
firewood, fodder, building materials, herbs and other resources. It also provides us with a
way to save and earn money.
Permaculture is environmentally beneficial, eating and growing locally reduces global
warming and preserves fossil fuels as we don’t need so much for transport or refrigeration
during long journeys.
Health benefits: the physical activity of gardening keeps people fit and healthy.
Economic benefits: organic farming leads to higher employment, and buying locally grown
produce supports local economies by retaining value within the community with every
transaction. Increasing farm income means more money can be spent locally by the grower
to run their business and home.
Social benefits: producing and consuming locally grown food increases and enhances
communication between rural and urban populations. Speaking increases both the
understanding about the food you eat and enhances the overall food experience.
Permaculture is the way!

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