The word permaculture is used a lot lately. You probably have heard people talking about it but maybe you were not well informed what it is exactly. There is not a world accepted definition but basically, permaculture is a design system. It is a method of designing to provide for our material needs by working with nature, not against it. It is based on three ethics Care for the Earth, Care for Humans and Return of any Surplus to the earth and to other people. It is a system of designing how we live for everyone, both urban and rural.
The originator of the modern Permaculture process, Bill 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.”
Writer Emma Chapman defines it as:
“Permaculture, originally ‘Permanent Agriculture’, is often viewed as a set of gardening techniques, but it has in fact developed into a whole design philosophy, and for some people a philosophy for life. Its central theme is the creation of human systems which provide for human needs, but using many natural elements and drawing inspiration from natural ecosystems. Its goals and priorities coincide with what many people see as the core requirements for sustainability.”
By thinking carefully about the way we use our resources – food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs – it is possible to get much more out of life by using less. We can be more productive for less effort, reaping benefits for our environment and ourselves, for now and for generations to come. This is the essence of permaculture – the design of an ecologically sound way of living – in our households, gardens, communities and businesses. It is created by cooperating with nature and caring for the earth and its people.
Permaculture is not exclusive – its principles and practice can be used by anyone, anywhere.