What is Permaculture?

What is Permaculture?

To put it simply: Permaculture is a framework that allows you to take all of the most cutting edge environmental and social solutions and weave them together into something that is guaranteed to work long term.

To put it more technically: Permaculture is a design system for shelter, energy, waste, water and food production and provides concepts, tools, techniques and strategies that empower individuals to create human environments that are not only sustainable, but regenerative. It is a design system based in science & guided by ethics.

Some background information & additional resources:

In the mid 1970s, Australian University Professor Bill Mollison and his grad student David Holmgren started to develop ideas about stable agricultural systems. This was in response to the rapid growth of destructive industrial-agricultural methods. They saw that these methods were poisoning the land and water, reducing biodiversity, and removing billions of tons of topsoil from previously fertile landscapes. They announced their “permaculture” approach with the publication of Permaculture One in 1978.

The term permaculture initially meant “permanent agriculture” but was quickly expanded to also stand for “permanent culture” as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system. To find out about the roots of Permaculture, get hold of a copy of Permaculture One, Mollison and Holmgren, 1978.

There have since been numerous other authors who have tackled the subject. Some of our favourite books include:

  • Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, Bill Mollison, 1988
  • Introduction to Permaculture, Bill Mollision, 1991
  • Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, Rosemary Morrow, 1994
  • The Basics of Permaculture Design, Ross Mars, 1996
  • Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, Toby Hemenway, 2000
  • Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability, David Holmgren, 2003