Permaculture means “permanent agriculture”, or in its broader application, “permanent culture”. It is a design paradigm that allows us to harness the free abundance provided by the Earth’s living systems. In its more general application, Permaculture applies systems thinking in ecology and thermodynamics to human society. As a system of sustainable agriculture, Permaculture is inspired by traditional perennial food forest systems and informed by modern understanding of ecology and integrated systems thinking in general. It provides a system of integrated landscape design that works with energy-flow, biodiversity and water and nutrient cycling to minimise material and energy inputs while maximising productivity.
Permaculture is an eclectic “broad church” with diverse practitioners and educators bound together by common ethics and principles that form a foundation for an adaptable, free, non-dogmatic discipline. An effective succession philosophy of action learning and “teaching teachers”, and a general openness to take on innovative ideas from outside as well as within its own practitioner-educator community, has made Permaculture a rapidly growing global movement.
The below links are offered as a starting point for more information on Permaculture, and there is a wealth of Permaculture information online. The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia maintains a very active blog and forums and links to numerous Permaculture sites and projects worldwide via Permaculture Global.