You may have heard the word “permaculture” and wondered “What’s that all about?”. The term was coined by Australian Bill Mollison from the words permanent and agriculture. It refers to plans which provide food, water, energy and shelter and do not degrade, but are designed to last. Permaculture uses systems and designs which regenerate soil, do not pollute water or air, provide healthful food, eco-friendly building materials, are accessible to everyone and aid natural biodiversity.

There are 12 design principles of permaculture, which begin by utilizing the patterns and systems observed in natural ecosystems: how the water flows; how the wind blows; where soil is deposited; how fire moves through the landscape; what plants grow and in what spaces; where humans and animals have settled.

A system can be anything from a balcony garden to a sprawling farm or ranch, but the principles of using renewable resources, producing no waste, valuing diversity and creatively responding to change are still applied.

To find out more about permaculture, you may want to take this free on-line course from the Oregon State University:

The internet is awash with information about permaculture. Just ask Mrs. Google!
Leading authors: Esther Deans, Masanobu Fukuoka, David Holmgren, Bill Mollison

submitted by Leslye Glover