[permaculture] Permaculture

Robyn Francis erda at nor.com.au
Mon Jan 14 17:21:38 EST 2008

Here is the definition I use in the introduction to my PDC handbook:

            Permaculture encourages the restoration of balance to our
environment through the practical application of ecological principles.  In
the broadest sense, Permaculture refers to land-use systems, including human
settlements, which utilise resources in a sustainable way.
            From a philosophy of cooperation with nature and each other, of
caring for the earth and people, it presents an approach to designing
environments which have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural
ecosystems, to regenerate damaged land and preserve environments which are
still intact.  
            Permaculture is a practical concept applicable from a balcony to
the farm, from the city to the wilderness, enabling us to establish
productive environments providing our food, energy, shelter, material and
non-material needs, as well as the social and economic infrastructures that
support them.
            Permaculture is a synthesis of ecology and geography,
observation and design. Permaculture encompasses all aspects of human
environments and culture, urban and rural, and their local and global
impact.  It involves ethics of earth care because the sustainable use of
land and resources cannot be separated from lifestyle and philosophical
            Permaculture draws from the wisdoms of sustainable indigenous
and traditional cultures and synthesises these with contemporary earth and
design sciences. Permaculture is growing and being constantly enriched by
the experiments, insights, creativity and experience of the individuals and
communities that practice it.
            Permaculture is design - a conscious process involving the
placement and planning of elements, things and processes in relationship to
each other. As such it is a way of thinking, and it is our thought patterns
that determine our actions, so permaculture becomes a way of living.

Robyn Francis

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