Monday, 17 October 2011

What is Permaculture?

Maddy Harland, editor of Permaculture magazine, introduces the three ethics behind permaculture design and explains why permaculture is more than a gardening technique: it’s a practical tool for designing self-sustaining ecological systems.

The term “permaculture” was coined in the 1970s by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren . Initially given the definition”permanent agriculture”, the meaning was expanded to “permanent culture“.

Permaculture is primarily a thinking tool for designing low carbon, highly productive systems. It isn’t just about growing food, it is a means of understanding nature’s patterns and self-sustaining systems; and of applying those insights.

At the core are three ethics that are quite simple:

Care of the earth - in everyday language you probably more often hear “protect/save the environment”.

Care of the people – this means simply to take care of yourself and look after others.

Fair share – only take what you need and share the rest.

Permaculture has develped into an innovative way of creating sustainable gardens, houses, farms, communities, businesses and lifestyles. Recently Permaculture Magazine editor, Maddy Harland, came to START@Kew to explain more about permaculture and how it can make a real difference, not only to our personal quality of life, but to our communities.

Permaculture Magazine has been exploring practical sustainability since 1992. Now with over 100,000 readers Permaculture is a bestselling green magazine in Britain and around the world. Published quarterly, it features practical thought provoking articles on forest gardening, organics, sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, climate change, peak oil, ecovillages, renewable technology, eco-architecture, personal and community development and much more. Permaculture is a breath of fresh air. It is packed with informative articles, readers’ solutions, DIY designs, news, reviews, letters, classifieds and details of related courses.

Permaculture is also a hub for online, with daily news, features, reader’s solutions to help you live more sustainably in easy to do, practical ways plus interesting reviews of books, eBooks, tools and products. It is a great networking tool for all green and ethical businesses, social enterprises and projects and it is entirely free of charge. You won’t find any frustrating payment walls stopping you from exploring content.

Winners of The Queens Award for Enterprise for ‘unfettered commitment to promoting sustainable development internationally’, the Permaculture team at tells the positive, practical side of the ‘green’ story – what you can do, rather than what you shouldn’t; how to buy ethically with rather than who to avoid.

It’s an environmental breath of fresh air, a ‘can do’ story for a better world. We recommend them! Source

Also visit the Permaculture Association - the national charity that supports people to learn about and use permaculture.