Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.
Origins of Permaculture:
In the mid 1970’s two Australians – Bill Mollison and David Holmgren – started to develop ideas that they hoped could be used to create sustainable agricultural systems. This was in response to the energy crisis and rapidly growing use of destructive industrial agricultural methods that were poisoning the land and water, reducing biodiversity and removing billions of tonnes of soil from previously fertile landscapes. A design approach called ‘permaculture’ was the result.
Principles of Permaculture
The principles provide a set of universally applicable guidelines that can be used when designing sustainable systems. These principles can be used in any climate and at any scale. They come from the thoughtful observations of nature; can be applied to create productive ecosystems from the human-use standpoint or to help degraded ecosystems recover health and wildness.
can be applied in any ecosystem, no matter how degraded.
values and validates traditional knowledge and experience.
incorporates sustainable agriculture practices and land management techniques and strategies from around the world.
is a bridge between traditional cultures and emergent earth-tuned cultures.
promotes organic agriculture which does not use pesticides to pollute the environment.
aims to maximize symbiotic and synergistic relationships between site components.
is urban planning as well as rural land design.
design is site specific, client specific, and culture specific.
Ethics of Permaculture:
Permaculture is unusual in that is has an agreed ethical framework. They were created after researching different worldviews and then building on the common ground.
CARE OF EARTH Provision of all life systems to continue and multiply
CARE OF PEOPLE: Provision of people to access those resources necessary to their existence
SETTING LIMITS TO POPULATION AND CONSUMPTION: By governing our own needs, we can set resources aside to further the above priciples