What is Permaculture?
Permaculture was originally developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s; they created the term “permaculture” which is the contraction of the phrase “Permanent Culture” or “Permanent agriculture”, in 1978. Both the mentor (Mollison) and the student (Holmgren) developed concepts that can help humans to create enduring agriculture systems. Since then it has been constantly developed by a huge range of people in many different countries and it is now a worldwide phenomenon with a multitude of different strands and approaches.
- Permaculture is an innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living.
- It is a practical method of developing ecologically harmonious, efficient and productive systems that can be used by anyone, anywhere.
By thinking carefully about the way we use our resources – food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs – it is possible to get much more out of life by using less. We can be more productive for less effort, reaping benefits for our environment and ourselves, for now and for generations to come.
Permaculture encourages us to be resourceful and self-reliant. It is not a dogma or a religion but an ecological design system which helps us to find solutions to the many problems facing us – both locally and globally.
This is the essence of permaculture – the design of an ecologically sound way of living – in our households, gardens, communities and businesses. It is created by cooperating with nature and caring for the earth and its people.
Permaculture is based on 3 Ethics and 12 Design Principles.
12 Design Principles:
4. Apply Self Regulation & Accept Feedback – “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the seventh generation”. We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
7. Design From Patterns To Details – “Can’t see the forest for the trees”. By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
9. Use Small & Slow Solutions – “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” “Slow and steady wins the race.” Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
10. Use & Value Diversity – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
11. Use Edges & Value The Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”. The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
12. Creatively Use & Respond To Change – “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”. We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.
For more info on the Ethics & Principles click here