What is permaculture (1)


PERMACULTURE as defined by Bill Mollison:

A copyright word, owned as a common copyright by the Permaculture Institutes and their graduates. Derived from permanent and culture, as below.

Permanent. From the Latin permanens, to remain to the end, to persist throughout. (Latin; per – through, manere – to continue).
Culture. From the Latin cultura – cultivation of land, or the intellect. Now generalised to mean all those habits, beliefs, or activities that sustain human societies.

Thus, Permaculture is the study of the design (see below) of those sustainable (see below) or enduring systems that support human society, both agricultural and intellectual, traditional and scientific, architectural, financial and legal. It is the study of integrated systems, for the purpose of better design and application of such systems.

Design: Restricted in the case of Permaculture, to integrated functional design, thus the conscious and intentional design of integrated systems. The process of design is to place any component of a system where it will best connect to other components; when, therefore, its requirements are met, and its products used. It is the science of best relative placement of components in a plan or pattern whose main function is to increase resources, conserve energy, and reduce or eliminate pollution or waste.

Sustainable systems: Restricted in Permaculture usage to any system that provides or conserves sufficient energy, over its normal life expectancy, to build and maintain itself, and to give a yield surplus to those requirements. Essentially, any system which amortizies its costs in energy terms.

Permaculture Ethics and
Design Principals

“The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”

Bill Mollison


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