Permaculture: The Next Step Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Society?

Article from JustMeans

Vermont is a very small state, and it’s largest city, Burlington, is also very, very small. But for being such a tiny city, or perhaps even because of it’s small size, Burlington is a pretty progressive place, especially when it comes to sustainable, local food. Recently the neighborhoods have been abuzz with the concept of permaculture. Permaculture design classes are posted on public bulletin boards and broadcasted over the radio. Farmers and urban homesteaders chat over potlucks about Bill Mollison’s book and John Jeavon’s use of space. Word on the street is this permaculture thing is really taking off.

The idea of permaculture was developed in the 1960s by an Austrian, and then more fully fleshed-out by two Australian scientists, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the ’70s. The principles behind permaculture, which are largely borrowed from organic agriculture, sustainable land use, and indigenous land management techniques, differ in that they go beyond sustainable agriculture to encompass sustainable culture itself. But more than anything else, permaculture aims to mimic ecological design, viewing every aspect as part of a whole, connected system in which every part is inextricably related. Permaculture observes healthy, complete systems in nature and applies them to our broken agriculture systems. Hence there is no exact formula for creating a system based on permaculture design, for each natural area is assessed and approached given the specific, local natural systems that are operating in that specific place. Permaculture is hyper local and very much “in-tune” with a specific place.

To read the full article click HERE

For a more comprehensive and complete overview of the history of permaculture click HERE

And for more permaculture resources and information please visit our Permaculture Page

8 Comments on Permaculture: The Next Step Towards Sustainable Agriculture and Society?

  1. G’day, Where did you get the idea that Permaculture was developed by an Austrian in the 60’s? This sounds like interesting case of creative revisionism to me….

    Thanks, Darren J. Doherty

  2. Hmmm, I agree about permaculture

  3. The Australian was Bill Mollison he is actually from Tazmania but did most of his work in Australia. Permaculture is an amazing system, I find it more about trouble shooting than just growing things. Permaculuture for instance can help control forest fires, provide renewal energy and even help form new local economies that are independent of governmental controls.

  4. Could we please have the name of this Austrian from the 60’s?

    • Thanks for the Comment. If you look closely at the post, you will see that it is simply an article reprinted from another website, the link to which is attached. I posted it on my site because I thought it might be a nice brief introductory summary for folks who aren’t familiar with the concept of permaculture. If you look at my permaculture page: http://beginningfarmers.org/permaculture/, you will see that my own summary of the history of permaculture includes no Austrians, and is, perhaps more in line with your own. Sorry to offend.

      Taylor Reid

  5. I bet the Austrian in question is Sepp Holzer – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sepp_Holzer – I would say revisionist history indeed, though really all of it goes back to Farmers of 40 Centuries by F H King and the work of Sir Albert Howard, right? The rest is just branding. 🙂

  6. I don’t totally understand the question. Permaculture is not based on any particular technology, although its practice can involve the application of many different technologies, some of which are modern and some of which are not. It totally depends on the individual system. The method is purposefully dynamic, flexible, and based on the needs of the place and persons where and by whom it is applied. For a summary of the philosophy behind permaculture and links to lots of different information resources, please visit our permaculture page at: http://beginningfarmers.org/permaculture/.

    Thank you.

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