What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems. It uses these principles in a growing number of fields from regenerative agriculture, rewilding, and community resilience. Wikipedia
- 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.
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 not exclusive - its principles and practice can be used by anyone, anywhere:
- City flats, yards and window boxes
- Suburban and country houses/garden
- Allotments and smallholdings
- Community spaces
- Farms and estates
- Countryside and conservation areas
- Commercial and industrial premises
- Educational establishments
- Waste ground
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 find solutions to the many problems facing us - both locally and globally.
Writer Emma Chapman defines it as: "Permaculture, originally 'Permanent Agriculture', is often viewed as a set of gardening techniques, but it has in fact developed into a whole design philosophy, and for some people a philosophy for life. Its central theme is the creation of human systems which provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainability."
Permaculture tackles how to grow food, build houses and create communities, and minimise environmental impact at the same time. Its principles are being constantly developed and refined by people throughout the world in very different climates and cultural circumstances.
Links to Permaculture Research and Organizations
The Permaculture Research Institute - integrating land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.
Permaculture United Kingdom - is working to radically and positively change the way we live in the UK and actively supports a worldwide movement. We're helping educate, network, support and redesign all aspects of our daily lives to transform ourselves, our communities and our landscapes.
Permaculture Australia - a creative design process based on whole-systems thinking informed by ethics and design principles. This approach guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature and can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics.
Permaculture Magazine - subscribe and become a part of a growing community of like-minded people and a positive key to the change we all wish to see being brought to this planet.