Assessing sustainability of permaculture farms (online)
The 'SMART' way of assessing the sustainability of English and Welsh farms
Immo and Alfréd blogged during their field work and you can find out what they got up to!
We assessed 21 different farming systems, mostly productive enterprises. The assessments entailed an in-depth interview with the farm manager and a farm walk. Farm performance was assessed holistically taking into account indicators related to ecologic, economic and social sustainability. Data analysis is still ongoing but from a first look we find that small-scale alternative (organic or permaculture) farms tend to score better within many dimensions of sustainability as opposed to conventional producers; farms committed to Permaculture principles tend to attain the highest scores. The entire project seems to us like a long-awaited pioneering start on putting figures to Permaculture's potential benefits and achievements using an integrated peer-reviewed assessment tool.