Can we Live From Nature Without Exploiting it? (Part 1/4)

Is Permaculture esoteric Garden Feng Shui? Not at all! Permaculture provides many advantages – some old varieties and stable ecosystems are only two of them. Marion Buley, permaculture representative of lehmann natur, explains how this works. Part 1 of the Permaculture series.

Can we live from nature without exploiting it? Fresh blueberries

Mrs Buley, how can a complete ecosystem be established with permaculture?

Permaculture is recreating the principles of ecosystems in order to build the most stable, sustainable agriculture possible. Permaculture therefore focuses on the diversity of cultivated plants and mixed cultivation. A typical example is the so-called forest garden, in which various fruit trees, bushes, wild fruit and vegetable perennials as well as herbs are mix-planted. The area is thus used very intensively on several floors. Plant diseases and pests can spread less due to diversity and mixed cultivation. Mixed cultivation is also used in the field, e.g. by planting corn together with beans. The beans can collect nitrogen from the air with their nodule bacteria at the roots, which is then also available to the corn. By planting hedges we create additional habitats for birds, insects and small animals. This brings the birdsong back into our empty landscapes.

What are the advantages of fruits and vegetables from permacultures?

Fruits and vegetables from permaculture are original and as created by nature - meaning that there can be small feeding spots or even only optically relevant spots. This is due to the fact that at lehmann natur in permaculture we largely dispense with spraying agents approved for organic farming. In some cases, old or wild varieties are cultivated. They have an incomparable aroma. In the case of apples, old scattered fruit varieties often contain considerably more health-promoting secondary plant substances such as polyphenols than new varieties. This makes our apples turn brown again when they are cut - which we regard as a special quality feature.

Personally, I think it is great to experience the course of the year on the plate too

Marion Buley

Permaculture means concentration on seasonal fruits and vegetables - does this not restrict us as consumers?

That depends on how you look at it. Many consumers certainly need to rethink. Personally, I think it's great to experience the course of the year on the plate. In addition, strawberries from the region usually have a better taste during the season. After the strawberries, I look forward to the raspberries and so on. Thus the individual fruits become something special. Permaculture also offers such a wide variety of fruits and vegetables - unfortunately not all of which are currently available on the market - that it never gets boring.



With a growing world population we have to ask the question: Can permaculture also feed many people? Answers to this question are given by Marion Buley in part 2 of the series, which will be released on MPULSE on August 3.


In the WWF study "The big throw-away" from 2015, losses of 30 to 40 percent from the field to the plate are assumed worldwide.

More information: Das große Wegschmeissen


"Do not trust the place where no weeds grow."   - this proverb also defines the definition for permaculture, which today affects not only agriculture but also energy supply, landscape planning and the design of social infrastructures. According to Bill Mollison, Australian and co-founder of the philosophy, permaculture aims to create agriculturally productive ecosystems that possess the biodiversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. Mollison developed the idea as an alternative to industrialized agriculture in the mid-1970s. In 1978, he published "Permaculture One", his first book on the concept. In 1981, he was awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for his work.

About ... Marion Buley

Agricultural engineer and European economist Marion Buley

The agricultural engineer and European economist has built up organic farming projects in development cooperation in more than 20 countries over a period of 15 years. After working as a quality manager at an international certification body and as a corporate customer advisor for the organic food industry at a sustainability bank, since 2015 she has been active in the areas of value chain development and regional management as well as permaculture consulting for lehmann natur, Gesellschaft zur Erzeugung und zur Vertrieb ökologischer Produkte mbH. The Company supplies fruit and vegetables from permaculture to hypermarket chain Real throughout Germany.




All articles in our series about permaculture

Is permaculture at all suitable to feed large numbers of people?

Can we Live From Nature Without Exploiting it? (Part 2/4)

Permaculture brings the seasons back to the plates of consumers. But can we feed many people with produce from permaculture? Marion Buley, permaculture consultant of lehmann natur, gives us answers to this question in part 2 of the permaculture series.

A decisive factor is the soil - more precisely: the humus layer, which is carefully built up here.

Can we Live From Nature Without Exploiting it? (Part 3/4)

Permaculture is a form of organic farming that creates land without wasting resources or displacing habitats. Friedrich Lehmann von lehmann natur is convinced that this will be the way to feed the world population. Why, he explains in part 3 of our permaculture series.

Botanico - the restaurant in Berlin serves fruits and vegetables from Permaculture

Can we Live From Nature Without Exploiting it? (Part 4/4)

First there was the garden. Then the idea of utilising the surpluses. In his restaurant Botanico in Berlin Martin Höfft serves herbs, fruits and vegetables from permaculture. His credo: business becomes more successful if it is run in harmony with nature instead of against it. The last part of our 4-part series about permaculture.

Further articles