Permaculture – what is it?

Photo by Robert Kroeker

Permaculture is an approach to ecological design that develops self-maintained agricultural systems and sustainable human environments modeled on natural ecosystems. The word permaculture is a combination of permanent and agriculture. Following its inception in the ‘70’s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren the principles of permaculture design have been found useful as applied to landscapes, buildings, institutions, and even finance. Biologist Mollison’s observation of interconnected natural ecosystems in Tasmania spawned the idea that we could build systems that function equally well.

The practice of permaculture is not a process of applying a list of prescribed technologies. Rather, it is a guiding philosophy helping to show where and how to apply those ideas.  The ethics of permaculture require caring for Earth, caring for People, and reinvesting the surplus.

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