I am new to interacting on forums and late to the party but I'm reading the PDM and thought I would add my notes and thoughts to this thread
Even reading the preface for the book is a lot to take in and brings up more questions to think about.
What is Permaculture
? I am often asked this question when I talk about permaculture in my personal and professional life.
How do others define it when asked.
Permaculture , by design, is hard to define. It was set up in a way that allows the word to express its own evolution over time.
The Permaculture Institutes and their College of Graduates own the copyright for the word Permaculture. The word permaculture can be used by anybody as long as they are using it in a context that complies with the ethics and design principles of permaculture. The only restriction is if you are teaching permaculture in which case you must be a graduate of the Permaculture Institute Permaculture Design Course
If anybody can use the word and define it as they see fit within the context of three simple ethics and a base of ecomimitic design principles then there is no single definition. Everybody can have their own definition.
It is easier to define what permaculture is not. Permacutlure is not herb spirals, holistic
planned grazing, hugelculture, rocket mass heaters
, or swales. These are techniques. Permaculture is a systems approach to design.
Defining what permaculture isn't does not help answer
the question. What is Permaculture?
Larry Santoyo's definition resonates with me. Permaculture is a set of design protocols for critical thinking, decision making and problem solving - all based on the patterns of nature.
Larry's definition is succinct and thought provoking. It is also still open for interpretation.
So, what is Permacutlure?
Permaculture is multi-disciplinary applied design system that integrates often segregated area of expertise into an integrated whole. It can be applied to agriculture, architecture, engineering, business, and life design.
Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of productive ecosystems which have the following qualities of functional living systems.
Permaculture is the integration of living systems and human systems. Where providing our food, energy, water, shelter
, and other material and non-material needs restorative and mutually beneficial for people and planet.
Permaculture is the intentional assembly of conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit all living things.
Permaculture works with rather than against nature. Remember nature bats
Permaculture is thoughtful observation and interaction with the systems that support us rather than thoughtless action and consumption without consideration for consequences.
Permaculture design is observing systems in all their functions. Creating systems that are resilient
where any given system competent has multiple yields and multiple inputs from the system for support.
Permaculture designs are inherently simple and become complex over time as they demonstrate their own evolutions.
The definition of permaculture is unique to the individual.
So, what is permaculture to me?
I think of permaculture as an integrated and applied design science but I don't have a succinct definition yet. I hope to develop one as I work my way through the Permaculture Designers Manual. I will be posting my notes as I go.
Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.