Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist, coined the word permaculture in 1978, with input from and collaboration with David Holmgren, one of his students at the time. It is a contraction of “permanent agriculture”, or “permanent culture”. Permaculture is a system of design for creating sustainable human habitats that mimic patterns found in nature. It is based on relationships. The fact that all things are interconnected and interrelated is an underlying foundational concept. We are all KIN!
Permaculture is guided by the following three overarching ethics:
- Care of the Earth: includes the care of all living and non-living things, plants, animals, land, water, air
- Care of People: promotes self-reliance and community responsibility and access to resources necessary for existence
- Reinvesting the surplus: setting limits to population and consumption; and giving back any surplus yield to earth and people.
Yield is an important concept in permaculture. System yield is the sum total of surplus energy produced by, stored, conserved, reused, or converted by the design. Energy is in surplus once the system itself has available all its needs for growth, reproduction and maintenance. Unused surplus results in pollution and more work.
More information can be found about permaculture on our LINKS page.