Year Published:
Resource Type:
Technical Guidance

The Permagarden Technical Manual Third Edition explains the key concepts and techniques necessary to create permagarden growing systems. It then explains how these techniques can be incorporated into emergency and nonemergency programs that support home gardens, using a farmer-led process of observation and design. The manual includes an explanation of the purpose and theory behind the Permagarden Approach, which recognizes the important role of soil health, water management, and biodiversity in improving crop production. It outlines the most commonly used practices for developing a permagarden, such as double digging, biointensive planting, intercropping, tree planting, and water harvesting, and provides detailed instructions on how to implement the different practices throughout the home compound. It also discusses how program staff can engage farmers in learning about permagardens and their benefits, and how these same concepts and practices can also be applied to increase the production and resilience of their field crops.

Since the Permagarden Technical Manual Second Edition was published under the TOPS Program in 2017, the Permagarden Approach has been further refined to extend beyond a kitchen garden to include guidance on integrating permagarden techniques throughout the compound. With a compound-level approach, farmers can harvest and bank more water and expand their production to include an even greater diversity of annual and perennial crops, with the goal of turning the compound into a food forest that builds household resilience in the face of environmental and economic shocks and stresses. This edition also includes updates to reflect the latest best practices and lessons learned since the Permagarden Approach was originally developed.