Permaculture was invented in Tasmania Australia by Bill Mollison, David Holmgren and their associates in the 1970’s. It was a revolutionary approach to age old problems with farming and gardening. Through a series of publications they began to spread their ideas and it has continued ever since with growing international communities and passionate people expanding and improving methods everyday. Wikipedia tells us that,
Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design which develops sustainablearchitecture and self-maintained horticultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
Geoff Lawton, a permaculture consultant, takes it a step further in his TEDx video and explains why it is such an important practice.
How can I get involved?
There are many great websites that connect worldwide communities interested in sustainable agriculture, permaculture, organic lifestyles, clean energy methods and more.
Permies is a forum with invaluable information abound! It’s called Permies, because that’s what these wonderful people are called!
Permaculture Global is another website that helps connect people all over the world through projects and classes.
If you’re interested more in organic farming make sure to check this site on WWOOFing. The WWOOFing organization allows people to travel and learn this valuable information on a low budget. If you just want to stay at home and learn a little more the Permaculture Activists site is quite useful. Of course you could always take a vacation to California where they’re working a lot harder at it than the rest of the states. (There is also a really great detailed version with explanations of the above chart)
In addition to looking at websites and joining forums there are also classes and schools you can go to in order to receive permaculture certifications or general foundation knowledge. Here’s a link to courses in the American Midwest.
In the chart above the three main circles stand for earth care, people care and fair share.
The 12 smaller circles represent the following ideas.
1. Observe & interact
2. Catch & store energy
3. Obtain a yield
4. Apply self-regulation & accept feedback
5. Use & value renewable resources & services
6. Produce no waste
7. Design from patterns to details
8. Integrate rather segregate
9. Use small & slow solutions
10. Use & value diversity
11. Use edges & value the marginal
12. Creatively use & respond to change
So check out the site, become a permie and as Gandhi said:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”