Permaculture in Norway

Permaculture in Norway

What role, if any, might permaculture play in designing nature’s futures?

I believe that permaculture plays a critical role in designing nature’s futures. As mentioned in the film we watched in class, permaculture is defined by not looking at our footprint as a negative consequence. Instead, we should focus on making a positive impact on planet Earth, helping ourselves and nature.

What I found surprising about permaculture is that it is not an elusive goal. This was illustrated on several occasions in the movie, including the playground garden in New York and the abandoned gas station turned into a rain garden. These examples made me curious if permaculture gardens could emerge in tough climates such as Norway.

This is indeed the case in Malvik, a small municipality located by Trondheim, Norway. Here, Stephen Barstow is managing a garden that can withstand minimal sunlight and temperatures of -23 degrees Celsius in the winter. Despite these harsh conditions, Barstow believes his garden has a significant upside. It is rarely too hot or dry, and the garden enjoys sunlight almost 24 hours a day during the summer. By exploiting these advantages, Barstow has successfully grown over 2000 different edibles (Mollestad, 2014).

Stephen Barstow in his garden in Malvik, Norway. Link:

Barstow’s garden and the cases shown in the movie exemplify how permaculture is not only achieved at seemingly impossible locations, but provides numerous benefits to both us and nature. As such, I believe that permaculture is a core idea in designing nature’s future, and we should change our mindset to healing the planet instead of sustaining it. Maybe we should even replace the name environmental sustainability with environmental healing?

Mollestad, Elin E. “Green Winter at 63 Degrees North (Norway)”. Permaculture Research Institute, 23 July 2014.

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