what is permaculture?

what is permaculture?

what is permaculturePermaculture is a design system that draws it’s inspiration from the observation of Nature. In the natural world, all living things work efficiently together in a vast web of harmonious relationships, and so permaculture attempts to mimic this harmonious web, by designing integrated systems that meet the needs of all living beings.

Originally derived from the words ‘PERMAnent agriCULTURE’, permaculture has gone beyond it’s original aim of the development of sustainable food growing methods. It has now expanded into a worldwide movement which encompasses all aspects of how we as humans can live harmoniously with one another, and our natural environment and it’s finite resources.

Einstein said that we can’t solve problems using the same mindset that created them in the first place. Permaculture seeks to create a new mindset, one that inspires new and creative ways of thinking that can see the solution within the problem.

Earth care

earthcarePermaculture fundamentally rejects the Industrial Growth Model of the developed world, which at it’s heart places profit before the needs of people and the environment. Hence, at the core of permaculture’s ethics, is the aspiration to protect the Earth’s eco-systems in order to maintain maximum bio-diversity over the whole planet. A healthy biosphere is crucial to the health and well-being of all human beings. The natural wild zones of the planet are also permaculture’s inspiration and it’s teacher, so without the protection of these complex and diverse natural systems, vital lessons will be lost.

In order to work within the limits of the world’s resources, permaculturists seek to understand the value of all resources and to use them wisely, and to innovate low impact, renewable and self-perpetuating systems of food growing, construction and energy generation. They not only seek to avoid the wanton exploitation and destruction of our natural environment, but also lead the way in innovating new systems of working the land, that repairs and regenerates areas that have been heavily exploited.

People care

peoplecareSimilarly, the rejection of the industrial growth model inspired permaculturists to attempt to create a fairer and more equitable system that empowers people to live in co-operation with each other, challenging individuals to change from an ego-centric paradigm into a more holistic and co-operative mindset. Through this ethic of empowerment, it seeks to give equality of opportunity to all, so that every person in the system may experience a good quality of life. Included in this, is the opportunity to develop good self-care practices that enable individuals to work within their own natural patterns of energy, recognising that only when we find our own inner balance can we reasonably give energy out to our community. It is important to note here that the emphasis is on a culture of personal responsibility.

Fair shares

clothes swapIn order to create a fairer and more equitable way of living, and to ensure that every being has a fair share of the earth’s resources, permaculturists seek to educate people about how they use the resources available to them. In our Western capitalist society, it is easy to forget the difference between ‘need’ and ‘greed’, as we are used to being encouraged to constantly consume more and more products. Instead, permaculture encourages people to take personal responsibility for their own part in the use of resources, and to share any surpluses of time, money, energy, food and possessions that they have with others. Often as we become more educated about how people and the environment are being exploited by large companies that seek to make a quick profit, we become more discerning consumers too.
Please note that personal responsibility DOES NOT MEAN ‘policing’ one another, or we could quickly experience a kind of ’1984 nightmare’, this time with the ‘Green Police’!

In summary

permaculturePermaculture seeks to design resource efficient and resilient systems, so that people can live peacefully and co-operatively together with the Earth, for the benefit of all living things.

Permaculture therefore seeks to empower people by creating a new paradigm of abundance and sharing, against the backdrop of a dying culture that has been falsely constructed on the basis of ‘me first’ due to the perception of ‘lack’.

Empowered people are able to recognise that they can create a new way of living. By building beneficial relationships with one another within a local network, they can create systems that fulfill all their needs, for good food, clean water, good friends, comfortable homes and affordable energy that is in harmony with their natural environment.

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