Our GardenPlanting

Is your garden organic, biodynamic or permaculture?


There are so many forms of working your garden today. The most popular are organic, biodynamic and permaculture.

Have you ever stopped to think about the difference between each one? What are you practicing? And which is best for your green space?

Below is an overall view of each method. We present the information in a simple manner, so your kids can read with you. We hope you enjoy the article!

The organic garden

In general, organic gardening is a method of planting and growing alternative to the traditional one. In fact, it uses only fertilizers of organic origin (e.g. compost) to feed the soil. Techniques such as companion planting and crop rotation keep the soil healthy and facilitate pollination. It only allows for all-natural solutions and substances to treat pests and other common issues, rather than man-made ones. It includes both the biodynamic and permaculture methods.

The biodynamic garden

Here too, there is no use of chemicals on soil or plants. Animals, crops, soil and gardener are all part of a single system that complements and sustains itself. In fact, a biodynamic system produces its own inputs, from seeds to compost to pest control solutions. The gardener keeps a check on weeds by following a specific calendar – the rhythm of Nature – to plant and mulch by.

The permaculture garden

This is a garden that uses a design based on the patterns and features of natural ecosystems. The center of the system is the home. Around it, “zones” organize elements depending on human, plant or animal needs. Elements of frequent use are closer to the home, whilst those of less use are further away. The entire system relies on common practices such as rainwater harvesting, little or no pruning and foraging. On-site building is performed only with natural, reusable and recycled resources.

Which system is best for you?

In our garden’s case, we adopt the organic method. We do, however, include a few practices from the other two methods. In fact, we are self-sufficient in terms of producing and reusing our own seeds. We take care of weeds and pests with homemade remedies, generally based on homegrown herb brews. We try to create most of our structures – like staking arrangements or “bird hotels” – with branches and fallen leaves.

You, too, are most probably already doing the same. And if you are, you see that it is the garden itself who makes the choice of what is best for it, rather than the other way around. And it has chosen you to make it all come together. You – we –  are the ones who help it all happen, by providing the love to make it all grow, by deciding to bring its goodness into the world and share it.

And, at the end of the day, that is probably the only method that really counts.

Michelle Calcatelli

Michelle Calcatelli

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I'm an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here - with your help - where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.

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