Permaculture The creation of a permanent culture through permanent agriculture
“Permaculture is about designing sustainable human settlements through ecology and design. It is a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together micro climates, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils, water management and human needs into intricately connected productive communities.” Bill Mollison founder of permaculturePermaculture was first developed by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s. It is training individuals in a core set of design principles.
Helping people to build increasingly sustainable settlements thereby reducing society’s reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution that Bill Mollison identified as fundamentally and systematically destroying Earth's ecosystems.
While originating as an ecological design theory, it has developed a large international following of individuals who have received training through intensive two week long courses'.
This is very different from the society I grew up in where most people worked at one job, made money and paid other people to do all the other jobs that would feed, clothe, shelter and educate them.
"The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children" (Mollison, 1990)
Principals of sustainability analyze the characteristics and relationships between design elements. Each element of a designs carefully analyzed in terms of its needs, outputs, and properties.
For example, a chicken needs water, moderated micro climate, food and other chickens, and produces meat, eggs, feathers and manure and can help break the soil. Design elements are then assembled in relation to one another so that the products of one element feed the needs of adjacent elements.
You may want to make a movable chicken run so you can place it over a garden area that is fallow and let your chickens eat the bugs and fertilize and break up the ground preparing it for the next season when you will again garden in that area. Synergy between design elements is achieved while minimizing waste and the demand for human labor.
It is a way of:
1. Looking at a whole system or problem 2. Observing how the parts relate 3. Applying ideas learned from sustainable working systems 4. Seeing connections between key parts.
At the heart of permaculture design and practice is a fundamental set of ‘core values’ or ethics which remain constant whether the land you care for is a window box, a small backyard garden, a homestead or an entire forest.
Work with nature rather than against it
The core values can be summarized as:
a sustainable relationship.
Earth care – recognizing that earth is the source of all life and is a living entity. That Earth is our home, and that we are a part of earth, not apart from it.
People care – 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 (or placing limits on consumption) - ensuring that earth's limited resources are used in ways that are equitable and wise.
Organic gardening or small scale farming is always a part of Permaculture. Check out some of these organic garden supplies and hand garden tools to help you in your permaculture creation.
“Live simply that others may simply live”
More information on Permaculture