What is Permaculture?
Depending on who you ask, Permaculture can be called a movement, a design system, a set of techniques, or a way of life.
Our simplest definition: Permaculture is a design system for integrating human life into an abundant, functioning ecology.
What are Permaculture Designers?
There are now hundreds of thousands of Permaculture designers on every continent working to create gardens, food forests, ecovillages, natural dwellings, alternative energy systems, cooperative cultures, and regenerated ecosystems.
What Permaculturists share in common are an awareness that the current ways our civilizations try to address our basic needs degrade the planetary systems all life depends on, an understanding that complex natural ecosystems are the best teachers of how to thrive, and a commitment to use the whole systems design approach we learn from ecosystems to regenerate our land, our communities, and ourselves.
We also share three ethics at the heart of what we do:
- Care for Earth
- Care for People
- Share the Surplus
What Do Permaculture Designers Actually Do?
In the landscape and home, Permaculture designers often focus on water, soil, energy, food, shelter, and waste. We bring dozens of tools and techniques for making connections and working with complex systems along with a set of easy principles to guide our design work.
Permaculture designers also tend to spend a lot of time working with land and refining their ability to see the broader patterns of the land instead of getting stuck on a few small details. Good Permaculturists work with patterns first. In our experience, this practice with bigger patterns is often the greatest value for people we work with. Seeing a system with new eyes can often change a pile of problems into one elegant integrated solution.
If you’re new to Permaculture, you may find that like for both of us, it is the only cult big and weird enough for you to want to join. Learning Permaculture often feels like a big “ah-ha” moment for the people in it. We’re working to host classes for beginners locally and would love to see you at one!
If you’re more experienced, we would love to work with you too as support, mentors, or just another set of eyes on a challenge you’re working on.
If you’d like to learn more about Permaculture in general, check out our abundant Resources page.