What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is a creative design process that is based on ethics and design principles. It guides us to mimic the patterns and relationships we can find in nature and can be applied to all aspects of human habitation, from agriculture to ecological building, from appropriate technology to education and even economics.
By adopting the ethics and applying these principles in our daily life we can make the transition from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible producers. This journey builds skills and resilience at home and in our local communities that will help us prepare for an uncertain future with less available energy.
The techniques and strategies used to apply these principles vary widely depending on the location, climatic conditions, and resources that are available. The methods may differ, but the foundations to this holistic approach remain constant. By learning these principles you can acquire valuable thinking tools that help you become more resilient in an era of change.
Permaculture Ethics (3)
The ethics of earth care, people care and fair share form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies.
Ethics are culturally evolved mechanisms that regulate self-interest, giving us a better understanding of good and bad outcomes. The greater the power of humans, the more critical ethics become for long-term cultural and biological survival.
Permaculture ethics are distilled from research into community ethics, learning from cultures that have existed in relative balance with their environment for much longer than more recent civilizations. This does not mean that we should ignore the great teachings of modern times, but in the transition to a sustainable future, we need to consider values and concepts outside the current social norm.
Design Principles (12)
The foundations of permaculture are the ethics (center) which guide the use of the 12 design principles, ensuring that they are used in appropriate ways.
These principles are seen as universal, although the methods used to express them will vary greatly according to the place and situation. They are applicable to our personal, economic, social and political reorganization as illustrated in the permaculture flower.
Each principle can be thought of as a door that opens into whole systems thinking, providing a different perspective that can be understood at varying levels of depth and application.