What Is Permaculture?

Permaculture has yet to become a household name, and far too many people have never heard the term, and if they have, do not know how to describe it. The definition of permaculture does not appear to be carved in stone, but we can rely on the descriptions by great permaculture pioneers, as well as our own experience.

The term permaculture originally referred to “permanent agriculture”, but sustainable systems require social integration so the term expanded into “permanent culture”. Wikipedia defines permaculture as “ 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”. In essence, permaculture is the dynamic collaboration between the human culture and the natural environment.

Bill Mollison is considered to be the father of permaculture. He states that the goal of permaculture is “ to create systems that are ecologically sound and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not exploit or pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term”. Mollison confirms that permaculture is both a design science and a philosophy rooted in our working with natural laws and patterns rather than working against them. Geoff Lawton, another great permaculture mind, supports permaculture as a design science and states that “it is a system that supplies all the needs of humanity in a way that also benefits the environment”. At its core, permaculture is an ecological mindset that sustains our personal responsibility in caring for the Earth, and from which both humanity and the planet benefit.

In the grand scheme, permaculture is a natural way of life that harmonizes with our planet’s sustainable, sentient wisdom. It is the spirit of the Earth that sustains our lives as body, mind and spirit beings. Our courage to care for the soil, water and air manifests healthier bodies; our courage to cooperate with nature’s wisdom provides our correct truth and knowledge; and our courage to feel compassion for all living creatures supports our spiritual path forward. Permaculture is a holistic road that leads to our creative fit upon the planet, and restores our lost sensibility for a sacred ecology. It is all of us, willing to participate in a correction to heal ourselves, one another and the planet, and thereby receive all of her abundant gifts.

The principles of permaculture will give you new eyes with which to see your land, whether that be only one acre or a hundred acres. The permaculture zones will give you the knowledge and confidence of how and where to begin. Together the principles and the zones will enhance your vision for garden design in which edible gardens and food forests will provide steady and reliable food abundance.

Permaculture allows us to see and feel the world with a tangible experience, which inevitably leads us to a higher understanding of life and the world in which we live. Our connection to the natural environment recognizes the animals, birds, bees and all the wildlife with whom we share this earthly terrain. Thus, our permaculture design includes a zone for wild spaces wherein wildlife can find food, shelter and places to thrive. Our wisdom grows as we witness our interconnection with and our influence upon all living things. Our role as design stewards of the land rewards us with a peaceful understanding that stretches far out into the mystery of the cosmos and the stars. The permaculture way of life becomes an evolutionary path rooted in the ethical and impeccable respect for this divine creation and our true place within it.

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The Creation Of Fabulous Food Forests

October 5th, 2022|0 Comments

The permaculture term, “food forests”, seems to be gaining notoriety across the world wide web and in local conversations. As one of the key permaculture zones, food forests are simply food gardens in a forest [...]

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Permaculture Principles For The Farm And Garden

August 8th, 2022|0 Comments

Permaculture is an ecological system that incorporates 12 permaculture principles to use on the farm and in the garden. The beauty of these principles is that they align with the laws we find at work [...]

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The Permaculture Way Of Helping And Sharing

May 4th, 2019|0 Comments

My permaculture teacher refers to this gardening methodology as a way of life. The permaculture way of life is ultimately about community wherein we balance receiving help from others, and by giving and sharing our [...]