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Permaculture Defined

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Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Wikipedia permaculture entry:
"Permaculture is a design system which aims to create sustainable
human habitats by following nature's patterns."
This forum exists in support of those who choose to become involved with the study of permaculture, gardening and farming as a means of achieving self-sufficiency and independence, practicing it actively at home and throughout their communities and bioregions.

Phil Ferraro, Director
Institute for Bioregional Studies
writes about Permaculture:
"The term, permaculture, was patented by, Bill Mollison in
the early 1970's to describe a system of permanent habitations.
With roots in agricultural systems it has evolved into a program
for designing ecological communities and restoring urban centers.
It is about self-reliance, growing food, and building creative,
beautiful, energy-efficient structures from local materials.
Some precepts basic to both permaculture and bioregionalism:
*Basis in ecology.
*Basing unique culture on indigenous materials
*High degree of local self-sufficiency.
*Observation/awareness of boundaries of plant and animal
*Preservation and restoration of native plant communities.
*Worker-owned, enterprises with non-exploitative relationships.
*Decentralized, participatory, democratic governance.
*Recognizing inter-relationships between elements in the system
and maximizing symbiotic relationships.
*Permaculture methodlogy
*Permaculture principles
*Ethic of permaculture
*Observation Skills
*Bioregional planning & mapping
*Local self-reliance
*Site analysis
*Tree crops
*Medicinal herbs
*Organic Agriculture
*Agroforestry systems
*Edibile landscaping
*Keyline system
*Land Trusts & Communities
*Erosion Control
*Soil microbiology
*Sustainable Forestry
*Ecosystem restoration
*Livestock and wildlife
*Urban permaculture
*Appropriate energy
*Working in the South
*Formal & Informal Economies
*Straw-bale construction"

Dr. Lee Barnes
Editor of:
The Permaculture Connections: Southeastern Permaculture Network News
Waynesville, N.C., 28786
8 page Quarterly
Writes about permaculture:

Permaculture ("Perm"anent "agri"culture and "Perma"nent "culture"
is a sustainable design system stressing the harmonious
interrelationship of humans, plants, animals and the Earth.

To paraphrase the founder of Permaculture, designer Bill Mollison:

"Permaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale
intensive systems which are labor efficient and which use biological
resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections
and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design
and the working relationships and connections between all things. Each
component in a system performs multiple functions, and each function is
supported by many elements. Key to efficient design is observation and
replication of natural ecosystems, where designers maximize diversity
with polycultures, stress efficient energy planning for houses and
settlement, using and accelerating natural plant succession, and
increasing the highly productive "edge-zones" within the system."

Permaculture designs have been successfully and widely implemented
in third-world countries, but there is current need to expand these
principles in temperate climates, and especially urban areas to
create more enjoyable and sustainable human habitats.

Chuck Estin of Bios Designs
has written a very interesting definition of permaculture in his website:


-- portal to an expanding global network of landtech pioneers --

EcoLandTech: designing ecological land use systems with integrated elements for synergy, sustainability,
regeneration and enhanced nature-compatible human habitat

Lawrence London
(LFLondon, dirtfarmer)
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