What is Permaculture?

Misbah Akhtar


If you ever thought of having a resilient homestead or garden like a natural ecosystem, then permaculture might be right for you.


You might not know it but permaculture allows you to grow your foods in harmony with nature. Let’s begin to look at what permaculture is and the principles surrounding it.


Permaculture Explained

Permaculture is used to portray an agricultural system and settlement that seeks to show natural ecosystems’ sustainability and interrelationships.


Permaculture is opposed to intensive agriculture, which leaves your land unfit for farming while reducing the number of suitable lands for human habitation. Moreover, it encourages native plant nursery since it also deals with natural ecosystem sustainability.


Brief History of Permaculture

The term permaculture was coined in 1970 by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who was dedicated to land sustainability. Though they used the word first, permaculture has been around since the early 20th century, with core practices dating back thousands of years.


Permaculture Ethics

Permaculture farming ethics relies on three things which are: care for the people, care for the earth, and fair share. These three ethics form permaculture’s design foundation, which is found in most traditional societies.


Additionally, permaculture goes beyond being a simple set of management principles of cultures that can be used in designing sustainable systems.

●     People care

People care ethics states that farm workers should never be exploited. People should not just be a means to create an end product. Instead, with permaculture, they should live more prosperous lives. Human relationships are at the center of people’s care.


This ethic focuses on the community and plays a significant role in living out permaculture fullness. This ethic concludes that farmworkers should be given fair wages, but they should also be given a share of what they grow.

●     Earth care

In earth care, the focus is on the earth. Here, whatever method you use to pursue a yield, whether you yield agriculture or not, you should always consider the earth’s preservation.


For example, in permaculture, when you take water from an aquifer, you should endeavor to replenish it. You can create water catchment systems or ponds in your agricultural lands, which would provide water used in growing foods.

●     Fair share

The last ethic, Fair Share, is where you should share abundance generously. In an ideal system, farm laborers should have the first take of crops since they have ownership of the farm and be given the liberty to share the harvest impartially with those in need.


Permaculture Principles

Permaculture’s co-creator, David Holmgren, also shared several principles guiding permaculture in its evolution. They include:


  • Obtain A Yield.
  • Creatively Use and Respond to Change.
  • Produce No Waste.
  • Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services.
  • Use Edges and Value the Marginal
  • Observe and Interact.
  • Use Small and Slow Solutions.
  • Catch and Store Energy.
  • Use and Value Diversity.
  • Design from Patterns to Details.
  • Apply Self-Regulation and Accept Feedback.
  • Integrate Rather than Segregate.



Wrap Up

Permaculture is vast and has several facets. However, you do not need to apply everything. For example, you can create a plan for your homestead and build it gradually. Or you can choose some aspects aimed at smaller carbon footprints or self-sufficiency.


You can practice permaculture in several ways. But it would be best if you aimed at building a sustainable environment that would fulfill your personal needs. Low impact and simplicity are the core of permaculture.

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