Permaculture: A new philosophy and way of living. Bill Mollison, co-founder of the movement, defined it as: “A persistent system that supports human existence.” Centered around the notion of Care for the Earth, Care for People, and Fair Share it provides a renewed consciousness within different parameters of living. Based on 12 Principles it seeks to dismantle materialist consumerism and instead bring humans and nature to a more harmonious existence.Since The Permaculture Institute’s inception in 1996, it has inspired hundreds of communities around the world who have in essence altered societal living by following permaculture’s design and ethics.The idea of retreating from society and forming a community isn’t new. Kibbutz in Israel have persisted and grown since 1948. Yet Permaculture has a more alluring ethos, in a time of climate crisis and disconnection with nature it bridges two important factors western society is in desperate need of: communal meaning and a reconciliation with nature.
Permaculture is both an agricultural and a societal movement. How?
Founded by David Holmgren and Bill Mollison in Australia in the 1970s it began as Holmgren’s university project. When studying environmental design he published the Permaculture Manuscript under Mollison’s supervision. Permaculture arose when Holmgren started focusing on how to blend the three faculties of ecology, agriculture and landscape design into one. To this idea Mollison responded “Why doesn’t agriculture function like a forest? Or have nature’s biodiversity?” These queries brought into focus nature’s design, something that can be applied into everything you do, in particular into agriculture. This idea is what they coined as “permanent agriculture” and “permanent culture” = permaculture. Bill then furthered the concept by developing the Permaculture design course that would help formalise his vision and bring Permaculture to every corner of the world as a societal way of living too.
Watch the introduction of Permaculture the Documentary here, where Holmgren explains the inception.
What is an EcoVillage?
EcoVillage has become the widely used term to describe a permaculture settlement. Today they reach every corner of the world, adopting the principles of permaculture and adapting them into their own way of living.
What is a Food Forest?
Regenerative agriculture is central to the Permaculture movement. As such, Holmgren and Mollison envisioned a way for humans to harvest food whilst improving rather than degrading their natural surroundings. Food forests or perennial herb gardens are examples of this. Planting trees or herbs in such a way that they can grow and feed naturally, without more human intervention. How? Forests strive due to their biodiversity and nature’s amazing systems. For example did you know that a large tree will communicate with a small tree through underground mycelium? By growing a food forest everyone is happy: human’s have a low labour but high yield and diverse forest whilst nature can thrive, protect itself and grow without constant disruption.