What on Earth IS Permaculture?
Ever since I was a child, the concepts of living a healthy, holistic, environmentally conscious life have been drummed into my being, starting with my parents, first and foremost my mother. When a friend dragged me to a presentation on Permaculture at a library in my hometown several years ago, a full-blown passion was born.
I’ve learned much since then, but there is so much more to do. Here, then, is a brief summary:
Permaculture is a design approach to life that finds solutions to problems. It is meeting human needs through ecological and regenerative designs.
The decisions that we make in permaculture design are based on ethics and natural systems. By following the patterns in nature, we lead more sustainable lives, and rely less on resources outside our control.
Some basic ethics of permaculture are: being good stewards of the earth (care for the planet/or do no harm); addressing the needs of others – and extending this concept to future generations; redistributing surplus and self-regulating consumption and growth; and the realization that the transition we want to make to sustainability takes time – it doesn’t happen overnight.
Permaculture is consciously designing and maintaining productive systems, working with rather than against nature. It is a process of holistic design that makes us think in terms of systems: Water systems, energy systems and food systems. We think in terms of the relationship between all the parts of our system: the landscape, our social systems, our buildings, for example, and how they all relate to one another.
So, basically, it is a holistic, observing, living in harmony with nature worldview, along with the technical approach for how to make that happen.
That's just for starters. You can do this. It's rewarding, awe-inspiring, and in the end, abundance.