ALSO READ:Starting the Permaculture Journey: What is Permaculture?
Permaculture pioneers - from Australians Bill Mollison (who coined the term permaculture
), David Holmgren and Rosemary Morrow to British Patrick Whitefield and American Toby Hemenway - have all come up with various definitions as to what permaculture is.
As fascinating and powerful as this growing field is, as confusing can be to easily define it, especially to someone who is looking for a simple answer to the question: "What is permaculture
I find I use a slightly different definition of permaculture every time I am asked about it. It sure depends on the person I am talking to, but it also changes as my understanding of permaculture changes and grows.
Here is a list of my favourite permaculture definitions:
"Permaculture is the science of applied ecological design." (Rosemary Morrow)
"Permaculture uses a set of principles and practices to design sustainable human settlements." (Toby Hemenway)
"Permaculture is a sustainable design system stressing the harmonious interrelationship of humans, plants
, animals and the Earth. The core of permaculture is design and the working relationships and connections between all things." (Bill Mollison)
"Permaculture is a way of life which shows us how to make the most of our resources by minimizing waste and maximizing potential. Conscious design of a lifestyle which is highly productive and does not cause environmental damage. Meeting our basic needs and still leaving the earth richer than we found it." (Graham Bell)
"Permaculture is the art and science that applies patterns found in nature to the design and construction of human and natural environments." (Larry Santoyo)
"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 the harmonious integration of people into the landscape in such a way that the land grows in richness & aesthetic beauty. "(Patricia DuBose Michael)
"Permaculture (permanent-culture) is an innovative science that balances community development with ecological sensitivity." (Simon Henderson)
"Permaculture is an ethical design tool, creating sustainability through the integration of diversity, stability, & resilience in ecologically-sound, economically-viable human environments respecting the whole of creation." (Dawn Shiner)
"Permaculture is the conscious design of a human-centered ecosystem which is balanced and abundant." (John Irwin)
"Permaculture provides an ethical & holistic foundation for sustainable culture. The principles are derived from three basic ethics: Care for the Earth; Care for People; Limit needs & Reinvest in Future. Permaculture uses the energies of wind, sun, water, soil & the myriad biological processes of the world’s organisms." (Ben Haggard)
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system." (Bill Mollison)
How about you, what would your definition of permaculture be?
=> Starting the Permaculture Journey: What is Permaculture?
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Mollison, B. Introduction to Permaculture
Mollison, B. Permaculture: A Designers' Manual
Hemenway, T. Gaia's Garden: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
Morrow, R. Earth User's Guide To Permaculture
Mars, R. Getting Started in Permaculture
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