Permaculture is a strategic, systematic approach to changing our homes, gardens, and lives so that they regenerate, rather than annihilate, the Earth.”

  • Transform scarcity into abundance by balancing human needs with those of other species.
  • Creates an ecological, social and emotional landscape that is more resilient, abundant and stable the current, often degenerative, system which currently exists.
  • A design includes organisms, mechanisms and feedback
  • Much more than gardening.
  • Founders were Bill Mollison and David Holmgren from the ’80s


Birch’s 6 Principles of Natural Systems

  1. Nothing in nature grows forever, it is a cycle of decay and rebirth
  2. Life needs a continuation of bio-geochemical cycles of essential elements. Especially carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus.
  3. Extention of a species or population is highest when the population density is very high, or very low. 
  4. Survival of a species is primarily dependent upon only one or two key factors in the complex relationships between the organism and its environment. 
  5. Our ability to make changes to the earth is faster than our ability see the consequences of those changes.
  6. Living organisms are not only a means to an end, bu the end itself. Organisms have an intrinsic worth beyond their instrumental value to humans. 

Mollinson and Holmgrens original list

  • Work with nature, not against it
  • The problem is the solution (we don’t have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency)
  • Make the least changes for the greatest effect.
  • The yield of a system is only limited by the designers knowledge and information.
  • Everything ‘gardens’ and has a relationship with it’s environment.Permaculture in Garnswllt
  • Stability is not achieved through the number of diverse components, but the number of beneficial connections between these components.
  • All design is ecological design in that all designs (intentional or not) affect their environment.

Permaculture is

  • It’s possible, take it in small bite sized chunks
  • Hands on, it’s action based. There is no permaculture without action – it’s not an academic practice
  • It’s a toolbox.
  • Permaculture is a philosophy which can be debated, questioned and taken apart
  • Permaculture is a science, approach it scientifically, feel free to question everything – do the research!
  • It is a moving, evolving project. It should never be static.

Permaculture is not

  • A cult, be collaborative with people who have different views.
  • Gardening: this is involved, however, it’s all about the systems.
  • Template or a kit: It’ about cultivating the mind to see the flow between the elements. YOu can have all the ‘Permaculture’ projects on your site but if there is no relationship between them, you and the environment around you then it’s not permaculture. No one template fits all.
  • It is not superficial: If you take away, you must give back! We have to pay back in benefit to your environment.
  • It’s not a single thing that you can point to specifically. It’s about the relationships between stuff which are mostly invisible.