In Herrin, about half an hour drive from Lille in northern France, you can find the pedagogic and experimental permaculture farm L’air des Pichoulis (dialect for “Air -or area- of Dandelions”).
There Jean and I were honoured to make friends with the kind couple Audrey and Valentin as well as their family. Thank you so much for your generous hospitality!
At the farm I have learned a lot about growing organic food using permaculture principles, and as usual, I’ve brought my camera along. Check out the bottom of the article to see photos. Click on a photo to open up a slideshow with captions.
What is permaculture?
“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; (…) and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system.”
– Bill Mollison
In more technical terms: Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centred on simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.
It has many branches that include but are not limited to ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modelled from natural ecosystems.
Read more about permaculture on Wikipedia, permacultureprinciples.com, Permaculture Research Institute and Permaculture Institute. Or better yet, listen to Formidable Vegetable Sound System’s great album Permaculture: A Rhymer’s Manual!
L’air des Pichoulis