So you’ve maybe heard about this word, Permaculture, but you don’t know what it means. One of the interesting things about it is how many definitions it has. It seems to mean different things to different people. Part of my journey has been figuring out my own interpretation.
Bill Mollison said “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” (from the permaculture.net website)
Another definition I found was from the Permaculture Research Institute “Permaculture integrates land, resources, people and the environment through mutually beneficial synergies – imitating the no waste, closed loop systems seen in diverse natural systems. Permaculture studies and applies holistic solutions that are applicable in rural and urban contexts at any scale. It is a multidisciplinary toolbox including agriculture, water harvesting and hydrology, energy, natural building, forestry, waste management, animal systems, aquaculture, appropriate technology, economics and community development.”
You will notice that word, systems, appears in both those definitions. The world is made up of systems. From our bodies, to the interconnectedness of the food chain. I think that Permaculture is the stewardship of the systems of nature (human culture included) in a manner that helps support both the earth and ourselves.