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

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Permaculture Definitions

“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

“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

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“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

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“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

“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

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

Michael Becker

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Permaculture Foundational Concepts


“Permaculture is about creating and maintaining relationships.

Developing healthycommunities, permaculture people live by sharing resources and supporting each other.

It begins with all the plants and animals, buildings and resources that can be found in and around your home.

Permaculture is a continuing process exploring the ways in which you can fulfill the needs of the things around you while having your own needs met.”


“Permaculture is a process of growing awareness.

Linking people with plants andanimals, permaculture promotes conscious living, sustainable development and resource conservation.

It is a response to the industrial urbanization of the Earth and resulting toxification of the biosphere. The permaculture path opens dialogues about finding creative solutions for problems in the present.”


“Permaculture consciousness enhances our ability to work with maps and connect to the territory.

It looks towards saving energy, conserving resources and forming long-term interdependent relationships with whole communities of living things.

Permaculture develops applied understandings of the subtle implications and felt impacts of our actions on the world around us. This whole system design post-paradigm can help us to streamline the way we plan the course of human development.”

Delvin Solkinson

“Permaculture is a solution based way of life that offers opportunity to live in right relationship with the earth, its people and future generations to come.

By taking a whole systems approach to design, Permaculture looks to the root of the worlds problems and seeks answers that are thoughtful, inclusive and long term with a goal of building a regenerative, healthy and thriving natural and social ecology.”

Kym Chi

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Permaculture Ethos

Permaculture is the spirit of the age.

Appropriate actions at this time include a duty to of care to look after the world and its people and build healthy foundations for the future.

The Prime Directive of Permaculture from Bill Mollison: “The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children”

Earth Care

This is the covenant we have with our world in exchange for the gift of our life.

Humanity has a responsibility to love and protect the Earth.

Earth Care means looking out for the holistic health of all livings things on our planet. Our mission is to repair, conserve and regenerate the Earth.

People Care

Our covenant with each other is to love and protect all people.

People Care means looking out for the health and welfare of our human family.

Providing healthy homes, food and medicine is a part of this. Our mission is to to seek peace and guard human rights everywhere.

Future Care

Originally Bill Mollison characterized this as two different but related ethics “Set Limits to Population and Consumption” and “Generate Surplus and Reinvest in People are and Earth Care”.

At the turn of the millennium it was described as ‘Fair Share’, the essence of previous articulations.

The African School of Permaculture brilliantly describes this as Future Care.

All living things have the same inherent value and right to live a healthy life, including the generations to come.

Generate an abundance and share the Earth’s resources generously and equally with all things.

Our mission is to invest all capital intelligence and goodwill and labour to Earth Care and People Care.

“Passionate and Caring People are the Heart of Permaculture.

People working together and sharing their journey, growing together in Community, growing food, babies, ideas, actions, groups and social enterprises, supporting healthy people and a healthy planet.”

Robin Clayfield

The text of this page is an extract of “Permaculture Design Notes” by Delvin Solkinson

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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Brett Pritchard

Hi all. Do you promote the original Permaculture principles, as laid out at ? Bill said they were the most comprehensive and clearest layout of the principles he had ever seen, and gave me his blessing to call them ‘Mollison’s Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles’.


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