According to Bill Mollison:
“Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is the conscientious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive eco-systems which 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. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.
Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all it’s forms.
The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions." -Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual, 1988
The term permaculture was coined from ‘permanent agriculture’ by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Permaculture is an ethically-based design system for sustainable living and land use. It is based on perennial polycultures – a diversity fruit trees, long-lived plants but also annuals and self seeding edibles, arranged to compliment each other. This approach guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature. Food is just one part of the permaculture equation. The three main principles of permaculture are Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. Permaculture equally addresses water, energy, waste, shelter, community, local economy, governance and community facilitation, and other aspects of sustainable living.
Permaculture is about observing and mimic the nature. At this point, I would love to mention Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008), a Japanese farmer and philosopher celebrated for his natural farming and re-vegetation of desertified lands. He disagreed with the need of using pesticide and chemical fertilizers in a monoculture farming, rediscovered the natural way of farming by observing the nature and implemented successfully the nature’s cycle into his farm.
For myself, permaculture reminds me about my grand fathers backyard. It looked to me like a fairy tail garden with “wildly" growing mix of different edibles, berries, fruit trees and other useful plants. The bees and birds were singing and playing in between the flowers and under the sun rays coming trough the leaves. I was too little to realize what this was all about but I felt very happy spending my time in there. Now, after studying and implementing permaculture into our life for a quite few years now, I feel the same happiness. Our food forests with abundance of food, happy animals and the good feeling that our lifestyle doesn’t hurt the earth, makes ma happy. Permaculture makes happy!
By adopting the ethics and applying these principles in our daily life we can make the transition from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers. This journey builds skills and resilience at home and in our local communities that will help us prepare for an uncertain future with less available energy. We can help you to get there!
The techniques and strategies used to apply these principles vary widely depending on the location, climatic conditions and resources that are available. The methods may differ, but the foundations to this holistic approach remain constant. By learning these principles you can acquire valuable thinking tools that help you become more resilient in an era of change.
We are offering permaculture education, consultation and fully researched Permaculture Food Forest Design plans for your property. Please contact us if you are interested. Thx Ewa & Seb