WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?
Permaculture is a sustainable design system that provides for human
needs while having positive effects on the surrounding environment.
Bill Mollison once said:
“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature;
of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted and
thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions,
rather than treating any area as a single-product system."
Permaculture is essentially a design system that attempts to mimic patterns and relationships found in nature, and use these to design a system that will provide the food, energy and shelter needs of people. Permaculture can be applied at any scale, from dense urban settlements to individual homes, to farms and to entire regions. It can be applied uniquely to different local systems using available knowledge and resources.
Care for the Earth: Recognising that the earth is the source of all life and our valuable home, and that we are part of it, not apart from it.
Care for People: Supporting and helping each other to change to ways of living that do not harm ourselves or the planet, and to develop healthy societies.
Fair Share: Ensuring that the earth? limited resources are used in ways that are equitable and wise.
“Permaculture is an integrated, evolving system of perennial and self-perpetuating plants and animal species useful to man.”
Bill Mollison and David Holmgren – 1st definition of Permaculture
“Permaculture is defined as consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for the provision of local needs…more precisely I see Permaculture as the use of systems thinking and design principles that provide the organising framework for implementing the above vision”
David Holmgren ‘Pathways to Sustainability’ 2004
“Observe Nature thoughrully rather than labour thoughtlessly”
Masanoby Fukuoka ‘One Straw Revolution’
“The only basic and comprehensive answer to the colossal harm that our present industrial system is causing to the global environment – harm that could lead to the extermination of all life on earth – is to replace it with a sustainable system – geared largely to the non-polluting, life-enhancing products of the living world”
Robert A de J Hart ‘Forest Gardening’
“Permaculture is that art of the possible”
Graham Bell ‘The Permaculture Garden”
“Permaculture is revolution disguised as organic gardening”
Graham Burnett ‘Permaculture – A Beginners Guide’
“Adopting permaculture in your garden could be the first step towards limiting your personal consumption and planning your life to become more creative as time goes by”
Graham Bell, ‘The Permaculture Garden’
“Is it all worth it? If we do our best to heal the Earth and make our place in her a sustainable one, is there a good chance that we will succeed?…to my mind that’s the wrong question. Even if we could answer it – and we can never know anything about the future for certain, it would beg the question How do I want to live my life? So my answer to the question..is that I want to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem”.
Patrick Whitefield ‘Earth Care Manual’
“It is time for all of us to make changes about how we live our lives and to follow a path of the heart. By following our intuition and inpiration we encourage our own acts of heartfelt genius and boldness. This makes us feel alive and vital, gives us a great purpose and harnesses parts of ourselves we may have neglected or didn’t even know we had. We no longer feel overwhelmed by the way the Earth’s resources are managed, but recognise that change is in our hands, yours and mine, the hands of extraordinary people who have made a leap of understanding and are determined to make a difference. We become part of the change by becoming part of the solution.”
Glennie Kindred ‘Earth Wisdom’
"Though the problems that face the world are increasingly complex, the solutions remain embarrassingly simple."
What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don't know what details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs that are doing that."
Dr. David Suzuki, geneticist, broadcaster and international environmental advocate
"Permaculture, a design system that reconciles human communities with the ecological imperatives of a living planet."
"Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments. The word itself is a contraction not only of permanent and agriculture but also of permanent culture, as cultures cannot survive for long without a sustainable agricultural base and landuse ethic. On one level, permaculture deals with plants, animals, buildings, and infrastructures (water, energy, communications). However, permaculture is not about these elements themselves, but rather about the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape.
The aim 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. 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.
Permaculture is based on the observation of natural systems, the wisdom contained in traditional farming systems, and modern scientific and technological knowledge. Although based on good ecological models, permaculture creates a cultivated ecology, which is designed to produce more human and animal food than is generally found in nature."
from Introduction to Permaculture
by Bill Mollison.
"Permaculture is also a world wide network and movement of individuals and groups working in both rich and poor countries on all continents. Largely unsupported by government or business, these people are contributing to a sustainable future by reorganizing their life and work around permaculture design principles. In this way they are creating small local changes but ones which are directly and indirectly influencing action in the wider environment, organic agriculture, appropriate technology, communities and other movements for a sustainable world. After 20 years Permaculture may rank as one of Australia's most significant 'intellectual exports'."