Permaculture is a design process that attempts to create systems that last indefinitely - not only sustainably, but returning energy and resources back into the system to make them regenerative over the lifetime of the stakeholders.
It’s name is a combination of Permanent and Culture - implying that it not only serves to create designs that last the test of time, but also instil in it’s practicioners and those that benefit a sense and respect for systems designed for permanence.
It evolved in the 70’s from an academic study on how to counter the “throw away” culture that was forming and explore the ways that natural systems continue to function for unimaginable periods of time.
My Practice of Permaculture
Permaculture is not a single philosophy - as a young and growing movement in modern design, it is practiced differently by everyone who uses it to inform thier decisions. My practice is largely informed by David Holgrem’s direction, although I have attended classes from graduates of the Geoff Lawton school, both of which inherit from Bill Mollison’s work.
To my knowledge, no one by myself applies Permaculture to business management and product design systems as well as agricultural and societal issues.
The way I practice Permaculture is guided by three ethics:
- Care for the environment - this refers to the ecology we live in, at any level of scale, including a world, a culture or country, a community, a city, a company, a home, or even personal space.
- Care for People - Almost without exception, systems are designed to benefit people. This ethic reminds us of that as often as possible.
- Fair Share - As designers, we deserve to benefit from the designs we create. But we also have a responsibility to the communities we belong to. By producing excess and reinvesting in that community, we benefit ourselves as well as those around us.
Expanding on the ethics, there are 12 core principles that form the basic pillars of my form of permaculture design:
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and Store Energy
- Obtain a Yield
- Self Regulate and Accept Feedback
- Value Renewable Resources
- Produce no Waste
- Design from Patterns to Details
- Integrate Over Segregate
- Change Small and Move Slow
- Value Diversity
- Create Edges and Value the Marginal
- Creatively Use and Respond to Change