Many have come to know the term “Permaculture” in reference to land management. As a result, many of those people mistakenly think that it doesn't apply to them and their life in the city or suburbs. It's a shame, really, because the principles that guide permaculture design are exactly the kind of approach that can solve a wide spectrum of today's urban imbalances. I'd like to take you on a journey, in this series, to help you understand not only what permaculture is, but how it can make your life better, no matter where you live.
The term “Permaculture” was initially coined in the 1970s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. They devoted much of their lives to traveling the world, investigating best practices for land management from indigenous, traditional, and modern-day land stewards alike. The term originally referred to “permanent agriculture” but was later expanded to represent “permanent culture,” since social aspects were recognized to be inseparable from a truly sustainable system.
Application of the Principles in this way
is often referred to as “Social Permaculture.”
Their discoveries led them to assemble what is now known as the Permaculture Design Course, through which tens of thousands of individuals worldwide have studied, adapted, and experimented with these techniques for a regenerative approach to land management. As useful as these ideas and innovations have been for redefining its practitioners’ approach to homesteading and growing food, this study extends far beyond garden maintenance and water management. The brilliance of permaculture isn’t confined to its innovative techniques and technologies; it’s in the application of its Principles. The brilliant and insightful founders of this movement saw beyond the doing and put the focus on contemplation first. Patrick Whitefield, author of The Earthcare Manual, called permaculture “the art of designing beneficial relationships.”
The steps for planning and problem-solving in Permaculture generally start with consideration for the three founding Ethics. From there, the Principles are used as directors for creative thinking, designing, and problem-solving. Next, a strategy is designed to set up systems that meet the short and long-term needs of the situation, to maximize output with as little ongoing input as possible. Only then are techniques and technologies applied to create the systems or lifestyle patterns. For this reason, it doesn’t matter what country, climate, scale, need, or function that you are being faced with, the Permaculture Principles will guide you to the best tactics and technologies appropriate for your situation.
This is Part 1 of a 15 part series, pulled from the Permaculture Lifestyles Explained eBook, which contains over 100 tips for how someone might apply the permaculture principles to their life for greater efficiency, impact, and happiness. If you'd like to get the whole book to download and read offline, drop your email below and I'll be happy to send you a link.
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