What Is Permaculture?
- Permaculture was coined as a term in the 1970s by David Holmren and Bill Mollison, two Australians dedicated to the sustainable use of land.
- Permaculture is a term used to describe an intentional system of agriculture and settlement that aims to reflect the interrelationships and sustainability of natural ecosystems.
- Permaculture can be seen in contrast to intensive agriculture, which eventually leaves land unfit for farming, gradually reducing the amount of land suitable for human habitation.
- Permaculture is an attempt to best use land so that generations in the future can continue to make use of the land in productive manners, allowing for personal subsistence.
- It draws from several disciplines including organic farming, agroforestry, integrated farming, sustainable development, and applied ecology.
- Permaculture lies on three ethics: care for the earth, care for people and fair share.
Principles of permaculture as described by David Holmgren
- Observe and interact – by taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation
- Catch and store energy – by developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need
- Obtain a yield – ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing
- Apply self regulation and accept feedback – we need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well
- Use and value renewable resources and services – make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources
- Produce no waste – by valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste
- Integrate rather than segregate – by putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other
- Use and value diversity – diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides