Images: Cecilia Macaulay
An odd entry in a long list of Google searches piqued my curiosity. Intimate Permaculture. What can that be?, I wondered. Turns out it is a phrase coined by Cecilia Macaulay, a permaculture teacher and writer/illustrator, who divides her time between Australia and Japan. She has a particular fascination with balcony gardening, for growing food very close to where we live.
Permaculture is a very practical and functional form of eco-design that mimics nature, but Cecilia appears to enjoy fresh interpretations and injects the discipline with a hearty dose of whimsy. Her article on 'Permaculture For Keeping Cosy' should appeal to our northern hemisphere readers hunkering down in record cold conditions.Share the Surplus
The advice in her article might be captured in this little summary: "Three Permaculture ethics: care for the earth, care for people, share the surplus = the most human-friendly ways of heating are serendipitously the most earth-friendly.We are swimming in surplus heat — invite others in." Cecilia reckons the ultimate heat maximiser: is to add more people to your home. But read the dozen or so suggestions for staying warm with "tremendously seductive simplicity"(PDF) for detail on this and other ideas.
Solution Based Gardening
Those of you who have been following TreeHugger's love of permaculture (see links below) may recall the video link we posted of Geoff Lawton applying permaculture principles to a desert in Jordan with remarkable results. Cecilia also appears to be a fan of Geoff's work, quoting him as saying, "You can solve all the problems of the world in a garden. But people don't know that, and it makes them very insecure."
More of Cecilia's permaculture and balcony gardening articles can be found online at Living Now magazine.
More Permaculture from TreeHugger
• Permaculture Association UK
• Permaculture: Spreading the Green Gospel
• Permaculture Activist
• Permablitz: Near Instant Permaculture for the 'Burbs
• Talking Permaculture with Joe Polaischer of Rainbow Valley Farm - Part 2
• The TH Interview: David Holmgren, Co-Creator of Permaculture