Inspiration Farm

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a holistic design methodology for sustainable thriving! Permaculture (permanent agriculture, permanent and stable culture) is the harmonious integration of landscape and humanity, providing food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable system. It is also the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems.
The Permaculture Design Apprentiship is based on a internationally recognized course taught by the permaculture movement all over the world. The 72-hour course, based on the Permaculture Designer’s Manual, has an established curriculum with content that is tailored to local circumstances. The Permaculture strategy addresses all landscape profiles and climates, offering graduates a broadly applicable holistic design perspective.
The course is of particular relevance as we contemplate a world of rapidly mounting environmental pressures and increasingly catastrophic weather events. How are we to live, and to redesign our systems in such a way as to harmonize with underlying natural patterns?

Related Reading:

  • Introduction to Permaculture Bill Mollison an Reny Mia Slay, Tagari Publishing, 1991
  • A Designer’s Manual, Bill Mollison, (1988) Permaculture:  Tagari Publishing.
  • Gaia’s Garden, a Guide to Home Scale Permaculture, Toby Hemenway, Chelsea Green Pub. 2000
  • Permaculture Activist – www.permacultureactivist.net

Principles of Permaculture:

1. It’s the connections between things that matter.
2. Each element performs multiple functions (at least three).
3. Each function is supported by many elements, many energy paths, job redundancy, and each is fail-safe.
4. Energy-efficient planning — Concentrate beneficial and scatter hostile energies.
5. Use biological resources to save energy, produce needed materials and perform work. The key is timed management.
6. Energy cycling and recycling. Catch, store, use and cycle energy before it degrades.
7. Appropriate technology — Make the choice of tools work for you. Design things that are life-enhancing, low-cost, durable, producing net energy, safe in production, use and disposal.
8. Design small-scale, intensive systems.
9. Stack and pack your system.
10. Create diversity and edge within the system. Increase the sum of the yield of a system and spread the yield over time.
11. Observe and replicate natural patterns.
12. Ethics and attitude matter.
13. Turn problems into solutions: everything is a positive resource.
14. Make the greatest change for the least effort: work where it counts.
15. We are only limited by a lack of information and imagination.
16. Work with, not against nature.
17. Everything gardens: everything has an effect on its environment.
18. Care for the earth, care for people and care for the community.
19. Distribute the surplus, limit consumption and population.
20. Every living thing has intrinsic worth. a. Zones — Place elements on a site according to how much we use them or how often we need to visit them.
b. Sectors — Analyze the effects of energies (sun, wind, rain, etc.) that come from off-site. Place design components to manage incoming energy to our advantage.
c. Elevations — Use gravity to advantage.

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