WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?

The word Permaculture is starting to get used more and more every day. It’s a word that for some reason everyone seems to resonate with even if they have no clue what it is. Some people I’ve met recently are really starting to embody the permaculture way, which I must credit as inspiration for me to explore a more sustainable, integral existence. 

Permaculture as a systematic method was first practised by Austrian farmer Sepp Holzer in the 1960s and then scientifically developed by AustraliansBill Mollison and David Holmgren and their associates during the 1970s in a series of publications. While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture has developed a large international following. This “permaculture community” continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications, permaculture gardens,intentional communities, training programs, and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become a form of architecture of nature and ecology as well as an informal institution of alternative social ideals.

To procure the definition of permaculture one must draw from the words of one of the original formulator’s himself, Bill Mollison:

“Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.

Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms.

The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    permadude said,

    That was a very detailed description of permaculture. Thanks for sharing, I learned a great deal. Recently, I too wrote about Sepp Holzer. Have you seen the video about his farm?


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