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.

Mrs Buley, is permaculture at all suitable to feed large numbers of people?

Yes, personally I believe that this is possible, because in permaculture in particular small-scale cultivation areas are used very intensively. Through a very precise site analysis, only crops that are optimally adapted to the site are cultivated. The aim is to use resources as efficiently as possible. In addition, in permaculture we rely on supporting mixed cultures (see Interview part 1). However, it is an indispensable prerequisite for global human nutrition through permaculture or organic farming that meat consumption must be reduced, as this requires many times more land and is responsible for rainforest deforestation, huge areas of soy cultivation in monoculture and the nitrate contamination of our waters. Food losses and waste must also be reduced. In the WWF study "The big throw-away" which was published in 2015, losses of 30% to 40% from the field to the plate are assumed worldwide. Due to trade classes and very high demands on the flawless appearance of fruit and vegetables, additionally a not insignificant part of the products isn't harvested in the first place.

Permaculture means working with nature: Is this the way to sustainable nutrition?

Working with nature is the only way to a sustainable and healthy diet. Permaculture produces a variety of products, many of which even belong to the so-called superfoods. For me, sustainable nutrition also means short distances and less packaging.



What makes fruit and vegetables from permaculture unique? Marion Buley explains the permaculture concept and its benefits for humans and the environment in part 1 of the MPULSE series.


"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.


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 info: Das grosse Wegschmeissen

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.