Permaculture

Origination

Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered on simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. Permaculture was developed, and the term coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978.

It has many branches that include but are not limited to ecological design, ecological engineering, environmental design, construction and integrated water resources management that develops sustainable architecture, and regenerative and self-maintained habitat and agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.

Mollison has said: "Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system."

What are its design principles?

Design Principles

Articulated by David Holmgren

Observe & Interact

By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.

Catch & Store Energy

By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.

Obtain a Yield

Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.

Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback

We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.

Use and value renewable resources and services

Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.

Produce no waste

By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.


Design from Patterns to Details

By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.

Integrate rather than Segregate

By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.

Use Small and Slow Solutions

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.

Use and Value Diversity

Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.

Use Edges and Value the Marginal

The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.

Creatively Use and Respond to Change

We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.