Permaculture offers principles and techniques that not only bring people and the earth into a relationship of balance, but that can actually restore degraded ecosystems and slow down the process of global warming by rebuilding soil and storing carbon in it as rich organic matter.
Permaculture emphasizes a regenerative relationship between people and the earth, adopting techniques from sustainable agriculture that can be applied in both urban and rural settings.
The term permanent agriculture was coined in a 1911 book by Franklin Hiram King entitled Farmers of Forty Centuries: Or Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea and Japan. Permaculture as a term was first used by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s, whose work focused on perennial agricultural systems that mimic patterns and interrelationships found in nature, such as those used by thousands of indigenous communities worldwide. Mollison spent many years studying Aboriginal worldviews and land use practices.
Permaculture – is a broad-based and holistic approach that has many applications to all aspects of life. At the heart of permaculture design and practice is a fundamental set of ‘core values’ or ethics which remain constant whatever a person’s situation, whether they are creating systems for town planning or trade; whether the land they care for is only a windowbox or an entire forest. These ‘ethics’ are often summarised as;
Earthcare – recognizing that the Earth – recognising that the Earth is the source of all life (and is possibly itself a living entity- see Gaia theory) and that we recognise and respect that the Earth is our valuable home and we are a part of the Earth, not apart from it.
Peoplecare – supporting and helping each other to change to ways of living that are not harming ourselves or the planet, and to develop healthy societies.