What is Permaculture?

design permaculture permaculture principles Dec 17, 2020
Permaculture Domains and Principles

I have been teaching Permaculture to groups and 1:1 for over a decade and never cease to be amazed when they learn that it is much more encompassing then growing your own food. 

This blog offers a short and long answer and insight into the domains of life where design strategies can bring about the lifestyle and societies we wish to see thrive. 

I go into much more depth in my online courses and group retreats so I please contact me if you are keen to learn more!

Here goes...

The short answer is; an ethical design system for living sustainably upon the earth. Beyond this one-liner, it is holistic design philosophy, with ethics and principles rooted in ecological science, which combines the art and science of working with nature, to provide for the needs of humans whilst regenerating the earth.

PERM(anent)(agri)CULTURE is focused on using ecological ethics and principles as design tools to consciously design landscapes which mimic the relationships and patterns found in nature, aiming to establish systems to provide an abundance of food, fibre, medicine, water, shelter, energy and therefore health, in a way that does not destroy the natural ecosystems of the earth. On a personal level, it results in a lifestyle of integrating ecologically sustainable qualities into our lives and communities.

As the study of nature and whole systems thinking, Permaculture is engaging and influencing many people, as a global grassroots movement to build a sustainable culture, in response to the pressing issues of the destruction and control of the earth's resources and inequality. 

Permaculture focuses people, their buildings and the ways in which they organise themselves, therefore creating community ecosystems in which plants, animals, humans and all forms of ecological diversity can interact and thrive. Beyond the obvious sustainable food production, it also incorporates business, government, economics, group processes, social systems and inner work (individual).

Ethics of Permaculture
• Care of Earth • Care of People • Share the Surplus

Principles of Permaculture
Some principles include David Holmgren's as listed below.
For more information and free downloads for thinking tools for an era of change, click on the image below. 

When guided by the permaculture principles and ethics as decision-making tools and strategies, we can take action as individuals, influencing sustainable practices starting at Home, engaging Community, supporting our Bioregion and influencing beyond. By progressively integrating all the domains mentioned, we can develop networks of locally appropriate solutions of localised techniques (T) and be far better equipped to thrive in the uncertain future.

The main domains, as put forward by David Holmgren are;

Land and nature stewardship

Land tenure and community governance

Tools and technology


Education and culture

Finances and economics

Health and spiritual wellbeing 

Some Goals of Permaculture • Grow food where people are • Re-Forest the Earth • Reclaim and build soil • Sequester carbon to balance the biosphere • Create Regenerative Culture • Catalyse a Global Grassroots Movement Ecological, Social, Cultural Healing • Restorative Justice • Education for Self-Reliance • Connect with nature • Right livelihoods.

Permaculture is a word originally coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid-1970s to describe an “integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.”

Learn about Permaculture through music...

Have you heard of the PERMACULTURE UKULELE and the Formidable Vegetable Sound System?

Through his lyrics, Charlie has done a superb job of singing and bringing the permaculture principles to your subconscious to soak up this juicy knowledge in the most entertaining and extremely fun way...you can't help but shake it and be inspired...unless you don't like music!

Interested? Click here to view his album.

Finally! An album of songs about SUSTAINABILITY that won't require you go out, buy a djembe and tie-die your shirt! Permaculture: A Rhymer's Manual is a practical wake-up call to action covering the 12 permaculture principles on a ukulele put to various radish beets.

“Formidable Vegetable Sound System is spearheading a new and exciting form of musical activism and becoming one of the most important voices in a global cultural movement that began right here in Australia.” - Harry Angus, The Cat Empire

Watch this Youtube clip for a sneak peek of what to expect, Yield - Formidable Vegetable (Official Permaculture Music Video)

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