About Permaculture

Permaculture design is exemplified when there is a convergence of common sense, indigenous wisdom and appropriate technology. 

The objective is to design livable systems for people and planet that support and mimic nature’s own ability to create real abundance, with little work on our part.

Permaculture is grounded in a respectful approach to others, to all of life, and to future  generations–dedicated to leaving the planet in better condition than we found it.

Bill Wilson – Midwest Permaculture

 View our Free, 18-part YouTube Series on… “Introduction to Permaculture” 


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A Bumper Butternut Squash Harvest Sown into the understory of the Apple Orchard

Permaculturists Learn to:

  • grow food just about anywhere,
  • repair environmentally damaged lands,
  • design lovely and long lasting green-buildings,
  • produce the power they need,
  • run successful, people-oriented businesses, doing work they love and
  • live meaningful and authentic lives while building genuine community;

 

All by using the same fundamental permaculture principles
and applying the Permaculture Ethics of:

Care of People – Care of the Earth
– Sharing of the Surplus -

Permaculture’s Prime Directive:
“The only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. Make it now.”
 

Bill Mollison – Permaculture’s Founder

It’s all About Honoring Relationship
Mollison PermacultureSimply put, permaculture is really about relationship – our relationship as humans to the world around us. Will/do we work with the natural abundance and flows of the world around us, or will/do we ignore these?

Working with the sun, wind, rain, soil, and plants will allow us to co-create sustainable or permanent-cultures, hence the word ‘permaculture’.  Fighting these forces requires a tremendous amount of time, money and energy from the burning of non-renewable resources (coal, oil, gas), the very resources that all future generations are entitled to as well. 

More specifically, permaculture explores practical ways to improve the quality of our lives by re-thinking or re-designing our relationship to:

  1. The land around us — and how we care for it while providing our food, fiber, medicines and other needs.
  2. Our homes — how we design and build them for optimum joy and use.
  3. The energy we use — why we use it, how we use it, and how we generate it.
  4. Our work – does it reflect who we truly are? Is our work of true service to anyone or anything? Have we found ‘right livelihood’ and/or meaningful work.
  5. Each other — have we created meaningful lives with our families and communities.
  6. Ourselves – are we living from an authentic experience of self.

“Within a Permaculture designed system, wastes become resources, productivity and yields increase, work is minimized, and the environment is restored.”
 

Bill Mollison – Permaculture’s Founder

The Bigger Picture
Many permaculturists are concerned about their relationship with others (all others) and the planet.  Through permaculture thinking, it is possible to design, or re-design our lives, to provide an abundance of food, fiber, energy & shelter for every person on this planet while dramatically improving everyone’s overall quality of life.

 Permaculture

Mountain removal in the United States in our search for cheap coal.

In addition, we know it is possible to do this without consuming the natural resources that all future generations are entitled to have access to along with us.  And we can do it without the pollution associated with our current way of living.

Sound idealistic?  Seem improbable – even naive?  

Not at all.  During a Permaculture Design Certificate course students learn how to create systems that care for all people, for the planet, and for the future.  What is idealistic, improbable and naive is to think that everything is going to continue on in the world as they have in the past 100 years.   It will not.  It cannot since we have the physical limits on most of the natural resources that sustain our present way of living. With or without our awareness or consent, the world is in the early stages of very big and long-lasting changes.  

Our part as individuals is to start from where we are, from where we live, and from how we live.  As we gain the understanding, perspective and skills, we slowly change our part of the world…. and even possibly ourselves.

It is not the intention or desire of permaculture thinking people to see things fall apart, quite the contrary, but non-sustainable systems will naturally fall by the wayside as they become cumbersome and impractical.  

Permaculturists are simply choosing to put their energy into discovering ways of living that are more sustainable and authentically in tune with the abundant and natural resources that surround all of us;  the wind, the rain, the sun, the soil, the plants… and human love & ingenuity.

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Becky’s Peach Tree

Why Bother?

We either focus our time and energy on creating something that creates authentic beauty, security and joy in our personal lives and communities… or we don’t. One brings peace and sustainability into the world, the other does not.  This is not a hard choice.

Besides, what could be more meaningful than spending ones time working towards the creation of a world that works for everybody?  

And the unexpected gift?  Many of us have discovered that diving deeply into the study of permaculture has been a life changing experience for us.  What often comes with the knowledge of how to feed, shelter and provide for ourselves, our families and others, is a deeper sense of security, a growing calmness, and the ability to live more authentically each day.  

Designing, implementing and living permaculture systems yields a win-win situation for us, for our communities, for the natural world, and for future generations.  This is real.  This is worth pursuing. This is the future for us as humans upon this planet.


What is Permaculture?
by Bill Mollison (Originator of Permaculture)

Permaculture is an holistic approach to land use design, based on ecological principles and patterns. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with people. The ecological processes of plants, animals, water, weather and nutrient cycles are integrated with human needs and technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure.

Elements in a system are viewed in relationship with other elements, and the outputs of one element become the inputs of another.

Within a Permaculture system:
* work is minimized
* wastes become resources
* productivity and yields increase
* and the environment is restored.

Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale – from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.

 

More About the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) Course
More About Earning One’s PDC Certificate

 

Some Great Links for Information on Permaculture

Our Midwest Permaculture Resource Page – We have several great-short videos for you there.

Several Great PDF Handouts on the Permaculture Principles - From David Holmgren – Cofounder of Permaculture

Permaculture Research Institute – Australia - Geoff Lawton’s Website

A whole list of cool websites from Permaculture Magazine (out of England)

Permaculture Activist Magazine—Peter Bane & Keith Johnson