Permaculture is a term originally coined in the mid-seventies by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren from the words PERMAnent agriCULTURE. It has subsequently gone on to encompass far more than this, addressing how we humans can live harmoniously on our planet being mindful of its finite resources. Nowadays there are as many shades of the movement as people involved.
Integrating ecology, sustainable land management, agroforestry, organic gardening and green architecture, it aims at producing high yields, richness of diversity and stability of its systems for the lowest possible energy input. This is achieved by a process of design which is fundamental to all practitioners. Although often described as “radical”, a great deal of it is common sense and would have naturally been the way of small scale agriculture before the dependence on fossil fuels. Applicable to both countryside and urban dwellers, from the largest farm to the smallest window box it is accessible to all. It is also far more do-able than the “good life” type model of the sixties and seventies which was actually really hard to achieve, and thus prone to disappointing failure.