Whenever Jaco goes to the permaculture garden on our South African farm Rooihoogte, he feels his heart race. He completely looks forward to the plants, the fruit and vegetables, the herbs and of course the cock Alphonso. Every day he comes by, watering, harvesting, feeding the cock and looking after things. A year ago, he learned everything about gardening in a permaculture garden in a workshop and then enthusiastically started to cultivate the beds on our farm.
Today Jaco is especially happy, because he’s getting a visitor. His colleague Griet de Bruyn and her team of 30 pickers have announced a visit. They would like to know what a Permaculture garden is. Jaco leads the group through the garden, which means that he actually jumps from one bed to another and encourages his visitors to grasp the garden with all their senses: smell herbs, hold fruits in their hand, listen to the bees humming. Jaco’s passion for nature is immediately carried over to the group. There’s really no one who doesn’t walk through the garden with an appreciative smile.
But what is a permaculture garden, anyway? Permaculture means working with nature and not against it.