Stemming from massive landscape degradation, David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, both Australian ecologists coined the word Permaculture in the mid 1970′s. The word arises from two phrases, referring either to agriculture or culture – permanent agriculture or permanent culture.
It is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.
Permaculture differs from other alternative approaches to agriculture in the sense that it is primarily considered a design system and that it works with a set of ethics. The ethics are Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share making of Permaculture not only a production system but rather a land use and community planning philosophy. It is an approach to living that strives to integrate land use and community buildings, including the microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soils and water into stable productive communities or in a sense “closed ” ecosystems.
In Permaculture design, the careful observation of patterns in natural landscapes is emphasized. Through the study of relationships that occur in natural ecosystems, Permaculture design aims at placing elements of agricultural systems and human habitats in specific locations so that useful connections and synergies between components are maximized. Focusing on beneficial associations among elements rather than focusing on each separate element, Permaculture allows for minimizing waste, human labor, and inputs from outside the system such as energy, water, fertilizers and pesticides while at the same time restoring damaged land.
To learn more about Permaculture, join us in one of our Permaculture Design Courses in Spain, Portugal or India! Check our Course Locations and Dates for more info.