What is Permaculture?

Larry Korn, a permaculture teacher and advocator of natural farming the Fukuoka way, told a story about a radio interview with another permaculture activist.  The first question put to him was:

 “What is permaculture?”

Giving a succinct definition that would inspire anyone to engage with permaculture seems elusive.  Permaculture practitioners demonstrate what it is by doing.  And this inspires others to follow.  Quite simply, because it works, even in the Sahel and even in the salty soil of Jordan.

“A design methodology”

This was the answer given in the radio interview, and although correct, isn’t very enlightening.  I realised when I reviewed my section on permaculture principles, that I’ve also manage to make it seem very complicated.

This is my favourite definition, although I’m unsure where it came from:

“A revolution disguised as gardening”

Permaculture addresses many of our major global issues – feeding a population that is out of control, the infertility of our soils, clean water shortages to harsh drought, peak oil, climate change, the destruction of ecosystems, lack of biodiversity and social inequality – in a very practical way, through small and larger scale edible gardens.

“‘Permaculture is a revolution disguised as gardening.’

It is a system that takes a practical and ethical, rather than political, approach to solving global problems. It entails designing your home, the way you live, your environment and community to be not only sustainable, but also rehabilitative and regenerative.  It’s just like gardening, except it is achieved by following 3 nurturing principles, and roughly 12 practical design principles.  The three nurturing principles are to care for the earth, for people and to fairly share any surplus produced (including with animals).  The design principles are based on models provided by nature.”

(Safar Fiertze)

How did I do?

 Want to learn more about the 12 design principles?  Click Here


3 thoughts on “What is Permaculture?

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