What is permaculture?
“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.” Bill Mollison
The word permaculture itself originally came from a blend of the words 'permanent' and 'agriculture', but as permaculture design has progressed and developed over the years from being a predominantly land based application to one that has been applied to personal, social and cultural projects, it has come to be more accepted as a blend of the words 'permanent' and 'culture'.
Look after self, family and community. If people’s needs are met in compassionate and simple ways, the environment surrounding them will prosper. The icon of the two people together, represents the need for companionship and collaborative efforts to affect change. People Care begins with ourselves and expands to include our families, neighbours and wider communities. The challenge is to grow through self-reliance and personal responsibility. Self-reliance becomes more feasible when we focus on non-material well-being, taking care of ourselves and others without producing or consuming unnecessary material resources. By accepting personal responsibility for our situation as far as possible, rather than blaming others, we empower ourselves. If we can recognise that a greater wisdom lies within a group of people, we can work with others to bring about the best outcomes for all involved. The permaculture approach is to focus on the positives, the opportunities that exist rather than the obstacles, even in the most desperate situations.
By using a combination of these ethics, principles and a wide range of permaculture design methods and tools, our design work can begin. Over the past few years I have come to understand how permaculture design can be applied to anything under the sun, from tiny balconies to huge landscapes, spiritual development to relationships, business plans to community structures, house plans to finding your life purpose. All with balanced, thoughtful, holistically beneficial, progressive and inspiring results. Through the exploration into finding new and better ways to live as a modern culture upon our degrading planet, permaculture can lead us into a whole world of incredible topics - natural building, alternative technologies, regenerative farming, non violent communication, holistic management and so much more. Permaculture is very much a grassroots movement, as an ever growing number of people come to it from all walks of life and all over the world, as it's benefits can be felt in every type of environment.