What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a design system devised by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970’s, originally focusing on permanent agriculture, permaculture has grown to include permanent culture. As such Permaculture has become a design system for life, it provides us with ethics and principles to help guide our decisions, in the planning of our gardens, homes, lives, and community to create more sustainable and regenerative systems.  Bill Mollison says, ” Permaculture is a philosophy of working with nature rather then against it : of protracted and thoughtful observation rather then protracted and thoughtless labor and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather then treating any area as a single product system.”

David Holmgren gives this explanation

What I love most about permaculture is it’s focus on nature and it’s connections for creating systems, it reminds me that we are not just in nature, we are nature. Through every decision we make we are effectively creating the world around us.

Much like Unschooling Permaculture is about creating and making use of the connections that exist in life, rather then separating everything into singular categories. Geoff Lawton says “As I’ve shared before, permaculture design focuses on the connection between disciplines. While it appreciates the individual disciplines themselves, it is less focused on silo-like, deep knowledge of individual systems and instead prizes an understanding across systems, i.e. the connections between the disciplines. Cultivating this interdisciplinary skill set helps you “see” in a more holistic way, and to develop a knack for recognizing that things are connected in surprising ways.”

For me Permaculture takes note of all that’s wrong with the world, the environmental and societal disasters, then provides tools to live the change. It covers everything from building resilient communities, education, food security, housing,home making, organic gardening, sustainable energy, animal systems and puts them altogether finding the connections for better managed systems. Bill Mollison says something like  “The problem becomes the solution” and that is where Permaculture puts the focus on what we can do now, small and slow solutions from the ground up to provide a better world for future generations.