What is Permaculture? 45

permacultureA Brief Introduction

A book I recently read, ‘Ecovillages: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities’ by Jan Martin Bang provides a concise and complete explanation of the concept:

“Permaculture looks for the patterns embedded in our natural world as inspirations for designing solutions to the many challenges we are presented with today. Permaculture encourages individuals to be resourceful and self-reliant and to become a conscious part of the solution to the many problems which face us both locally and globally. Permaculture means thinking carefully about our environment, our use of resources and how we supply our needs. It aims to create systems that will sustain not only for the present, but also for future generations. The idea is one of co-operation with nature and each other, of caring for the earth and its people.” [‘Ecovillages: A Practical Guide to Sustainable Communities’ by Jan Martin Bang]

“Permaculture is a system of design that provides all the needs of humanity in a way that benefits the environment. ” Geoff Lawton

It is a holistic method of designing your life that works with, rather than against, nature to support life and allow it to thrive, ultimately regenerating the Earth to reverse the damage we have inflicted upon it.

There are three over-arching principles in Permaculture that guide the design process:

1. Care for the Earth

2. Care for the people

3. Share the surplus

History of Permaculture

Known as the ‘Father of Permaculture’, Bill Mollison first conceptualised Permaculture in his book ‘Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual’. In the mid-seventies Bill Mollison was teaching Ecology at the University of Tasmania where he, along with his student David Holmgren, first formulated the idea of Permaculture. Mollison called Permaculture ‘a complete agricultural ecosystem’ in his book Permaculture one. The concept of Permaculture gained much interest, especially in the western alternative worlds.

The need for a sustainable earth-regenerating lifestyle is paramount to the future of humankind. The Earth is increasingly giving us warning signs in response to the abuse we have inflicted upon it and we must adopt a new way of living. If each one of us makes an effort to incorporate some of the ideas of Permaculture in our lives, regardless to what scale, we can help to regenerate our only home. As Bill Mollison said: “As the world’s problems are growing ever more complicated, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple”.

If you are interested in learning more about Permaculture, The Strange Two recommend the following:

Free Resources

Permaculture Design 101 (pdf ebook)

Essence_of Permaculture (pdf ebook)

Intro to Permaculture – Larry Korn (ppt)

Recommended Books

The Permaculture Way – Graham Bell

Permaculture Design – Aranya

The Earth Care Manual – Patrick Whitefield

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