In harmony with nature

Updated: Jun 16, 2020, 11:14 IST | Prachi Sibal | Mumbai

In a theoretical workshop, learn about the permaculture movement, its place in ecosystems and hacks for your garden

Permaculture demands observation of natural surroundings
Permaculture demands observation of natural surroundings

Coined in 1978, the term permaculture is a philosophy that draws from natural ecosystems and working with them for cultivation. The sustainable design practice demands observation of natural surroundings and use of renewable energy resources. Now, you can get a first-hand understanding of these concepts through a beginner's course in permaculture design by Panchgani-based farm, The Odd Gumnut.

Instructor Laura Christie Khanna has always worked in the food industry, donning many hats as chef, activist and finally, permaculture expert. The two-hour long session takes participants through the basic concepts behind the movement through a class that is primarily theoretical. "This one is meant for everyone, but targets beginners, essentially people who have heard about the concept but want to learn more. We go over all the main concepts; what is the movement, where it comes from and all of the design concepts, rather than how to plant a seed and other such practical solutions. It comes with some practical ideas though," explains Khanna.

Laura Christie Khanna
Laura Christie Khanna

Having conducted several such workshops in the past on the farm in Panchgani, Khanna decided to take these courses online during the pandemic. "The biggest difference is that on the farm, we use real examples, but here we are restricted to images. It is the same but without the touch, feel and smell," she says, admitting that for a participant the knowledge absorbed at the end of a session remains the same.

It begins with an introduction to the origins of the philosophy in Australia and the ethics and principles of it. "Water and soil take up two big sections and then we go into integrated pest management, orchards and garden bed designs. We also cover different zones of permaculture and areas of energy efficiency and touch upon urban permaculture too. We also talk about natural building techniques," Khanna says about the flow of the session, adding that queries specific to regions and farms are also addressed in a Q&A session.

On June 18, 3.30 pm
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cost Rs 499

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