Permaculture definition

Permaculture is new speak, a conjunction of permanent and agriculture or culture.

How To Define Permaculture?

“The aim is to create systems that are ecologically-sound and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not exploit or pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term.

Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.”

Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture together with David Holmgren

“Permaculture offers an understanding of how biological processes are integrated, and it deals primarily with tangibles: plants, soils, water, animal systems, wildlife, bush regeneration, biotechnology, agriculture, forestry, architecture, and society in the areas of economics, land access, bioregions and incomes tied to right livelihood.”

Rosemary Morrow

“Permaculture is an ecological design system for sustainability in all aspects of human endeavor.

It teaches us how to design natural homes and abundant food production systems, regenerate degraded landscapes and ecosystems, develop ethical economies and communities, and much more.

As an ecological design system, permaculture focuses on the interconnections between things more than individual parts.”

Scott Pittman

“Permaculture is about the beautiful simplicity of taking away what cannot be…decision making and problem solving protocols based on the patterns of nature.”

Larry Santoyo

“Permaculture is a set of design strategies for making decisions and a set of tools for arriving at sustainable solutions.”

Toby Hemenway

“Reclaiming our place in nature as earth stewards, our sense of place, of belonging to the earth, Permaculture fosters respect for life and it’s complexity, awareness of the consequences of our actions, and accepting responsibility for how we meet our needs.

Permaculture draws from the wisdoms of traditional and indigenous cultures and weaves this with our contemporary knowledge of ecology, earth science and technology to create abundance, regenerate the land and build resilient communities.

Human creativity, passion and innovation shapes the diverse ways people apply permaculture and adapt it to local resources, climate and cultural context.

Every system is unique. Permaculture empowers us in a practical way to explore and realize our potential as positive agents of change, individually and collectively.

Living with the challenges of the Anthropocene, permaculture provides a way forward to make our human impact meaningful, to restore the balance by being conscious consumers, to live within the earth’s biocapacity and respect our interdependence with all life.

Permaculture is dancing with nature, and nature leads the dance.”

Robin Francis

“Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems 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.”

Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture together with David Holmgren

“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.”

Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture together with David Holmgren

“Permaculture is not just about the elements in a system but the relationship between the elements – this is synergistic design.”

Michael Becker

Learn More:

Permaculture Principles

Foundational Concepts

Regenerative Agriculture


Permaculture Design Notes by Delvin Solkinson

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