The term was coined by the Australian ecologist Bill Mollison in the 70s. It derives from the English term “permanent agriculture” and is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. This means an economy following the example of nature, which is based on natural cycles and ecosystems and a conscious approach to natural resources, animal and plant life and ultimately to ourselves.

Nature wastes

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However, permaculture is a model that is not conclusively defined. The basic concept should be specifically adapted, researched, and shaped according to each situation. Neither is it a fundamentally new concept; it is rather rediscovered. The indigenous people of the Amazon, for example, already laid out their forest gardens thousands of years ago between fruit-bearing trees. In order to achieve high yields per hectare, well-thought-out polycultures, closed nutrient cycles through intelligent recycling of waste, and humus build-up was necessary. Today it is assumed that Amazonian civilizations were able to produce enough food with this agricultural system to supply medium-sized cities. Evidence for similar systems has been found worldwide in ancient advanced civilizations. These are signs that permaculture is economically viable.

Dark, warm, airy
and crumbly
- humus

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Terra Preta is a highly nutritious black humus soil. It was discovered in the Amazon lowlands mainly along rivers. Excavations have shown that more than 5000 years ago, indigenous succeeded in fertilizing the red infertile clay soil (Ferralsol) with their own Terra Preta and thus practicing successful agriculture.

In addition, Terra Preta prevents erosion during the intensive rainy season due to its highly water-absorbing properties and thus enables annual growth of the humus layer. During excavations in the jungle, layer thicknesses of unbelievable 1-2m were found. In Europe, the potential of the Terra Preta has also been discovered and the humus soil is already industrially produced and sold.

Vitality and well-being
is key

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The trend towards unhealthy nutrition is reaching most remote settlements in Amazonia along with the television. In Manaus, a young doctor confided to us: “We know that 90% of illnesses are the result of unhealthy nutrition.”

Even here in the jungle, despite the rich supply from nature, eating habits are dominated by international food companies! Sugar, fat and genetically modified ingredients dominate the “food” produced in factories. The access to natural products is lost and children can hardly distinguish an avocado from a cucumber.

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