Last Updated on 31/03/2021 by Mandy
What is permaculture? Permaculture is a worldwide community education initiative that provides eco-literacy skills and tools designed to increase communities self-reliance & autonomy, attain food or energy security, and restore natural and cultivated ecosystems.
Permaculture is a science-backed design system that enables the creation or retrofit of sustainable human communities.
It was developed in the 70s by two Australians: B. Mollison & D. Holmgren. It is now a worldwide strategy to repair mistakes of the past and re-engineer the way society interacts with ecology.
Permaculture’s humble beginnings are rooted in agricultural landscape & social repair. However now, its principles are being to many interconnected fields:
- food production, including broadacre agriculture,
- family gardens and community gardens,
- water harvesting,
- soil reconstruction,
- energy production,
- organisational structures,
- finance & investment,
- social structures,
- medicine & retirement.
OBJECTIVES OF PERMACULTURE
Permaculture seeks to provide for basic human needs (water, food, shelter, heating) without damaging the planet or harming other species. In this way, permaculture can be applied to any site, regardless of size or purpose, be it a farm, a home, a flat, a neighbourhood, a city, etc..
FUNDAMENTAL ETHICAL BASIS OF PERMACULTURE
Caring for the environment (water, air, earth, plants, animals, microorganisms, etc.) so that all living systems can continue to exist. Humans depend on these living systems.
To ensure that every person has access to the resources needed for their own existence. Encourage cooperation, solidarity and sharing, and preserving the quality of social and economic ties.
Creating abundance and ensure that the limited resources of the planet are distributed fairly.
PRINCIPLES OF PERMACULTURE
Permaculture principles are “thinking tools”, that when used together, allow us to creatively re-design our environment and our behaviours in a world of less energy and resources.
- Observe and interact
- Capture and store energy
- Produce a yield
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
- Use and develop renewable resources and services
- Not to produce waste
- Design from pattern to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and enhance biodiversity
- Use borders and enhance the marginal
- Use and respond creatively to changes
These are principles outlined by D. Holmgren which since has seen another few sets appear from other permaculturists.
The Australian PA Yeomans introduced in the 1950s the concept of Keyline Design used to passively harvest water on a site and rehydrate the landscape. This approach to design strongly influenced the founders of permaculture.
From his work in natural farming, the rather progressive Japanese farmer Masanobu Fukuoka is recognized worldwide as a pioneer of permaculture. He worked on sustainable and autonomous agriculture and autonomous where human intervention is limited to mulching and sowing.
In the mid-70’s, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren developped the idea of a ‘permanent agriculture’ systems, which they called “permaculture” and which later formed a ‘permanent culture’ as the social / ethical ties seemed essential to ensure a sustainable system.
WHO IS THIS FOR?
It is for anyone seeking ethical, practical, do-able and sustainable solutions to current and future issues (food security, energy descent, destructive agricultural practices, loss of responsibility, society failure, climate change, etc.).
Permaculture provides hope and tools. For you. And for the future.
Absolutely no prior experience or prior skills are required.
- Whether you are a primary producer… or a consumer
- Whether you live in a rental property, an apartment, a house, on a farm or under a tent!
- Whether you have green thumbs… or not!
Where can I read more about permaculture? You might like one of these books: