The word permaculture, coined by its co-founder Bill Mollison, is formed from the words “permanent” and “agriculture.” The concept of permaculture is difficult to explain in just a few words, because the term is used to describe (usually simultaneously) both a worldview/philosophy for living on the earth and a set of design principles and practices. 

Bill Mollison emphasized the philosophical aspect in his definition: “Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system” (Mollison 1988).

Rafter Ferguson, a well-regarded permaculture researcher and practitioner, has an elegantly simple way to frame the many aspects of permaculture: “Permaculture is meeting human needs while increasing ecosystem health” (Ferguson 2012). To guard against reductionism, Rafter adds a cautionary statement to his concise definition, saying, “I’m all for shorthand definitions in the right context as long as it’s being used to communicate a principle rather than obscure fundamental complexity” (Ferguson 2013b).

My own definition of permaculture is as follows: Permaculture is a cohesive set of ethics, principles and practices that help guide the stewardship of an ecosystem to ensure resilience and abundance to all its inhabitants.   --  Brad Ward

 

Connect to Conversations about Permaculture

Connect to Books about Permaculture

 

Please note that the links listed below may lead to additional resources which have not yet been added to this collection.    Search for more listings and filtering


  1. 2018-02-20 PermacultureForRefugees (P4R) has released their first booklet in a series to bring permaculture solutions to refugee situations. Permaculture for Refugees in Camps is a 20 page how-to guide outlining a positive approaches to transforming refugee camps. It is the culmination of ideas, experience...
  2. 2015-10-30 The word permaculture is mentioned with increasing frequency in speeches, books and magazine articles on sustainability and food security. What is permaculture? Is it a movement? A philosophy? Simply a set of design tools? In this article, I answer the above questions by looking at permaculture...
  3. 2016-01-25 Gene Fifer at Cornell University responds to Brad Ward’s article on permaculture in EDN 129 in "Potential Constraints to Sharing Permaculture Ideas." Abram Bicksler, Director of ECHO’s Impact Center in Thailand, writes in response to the article about Inca nut in EDN 129 "Caution about Inca Nut."...
  4. 2014-11-18 Climate change will have its worst effects on the world’s poorest people. Perennial crops and agroforestry systems can help reduce the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon, while also helping to address social and environmental challenges through restoration of degraded land,...
  5. 2015-05-12 An overview of perennial vegetables in Thailand, why they are important, and how they can be utilized and promoted in community development and agriculture projects. Part 2 goes into the detail about some of these plant species.
  6. 2015-03-26 This presentation focuses on the practice of sustainable agriculture combined with sustainable living through a design philosophy known as "permaculture" for addressing systemic poverty issues in poor areas. Permaculture is a contraction of the words "permanent" and "culture", and is guided by...
  7. 2016-03-03 Session: The session will share knowledge and practices which some pastoralist communities have chosen as alternative livelihoods in pastoralist areas. The ideas come from the local people, and demonstrate ‘people- care’, ‘earth-care’ and ‘fair-share’. Use of natural resources sustainably are...
  8. 2011-01-20
  9. 2016-09-27 La Permaculture (une contraction des mots "culture et permanente") intègre les personnes, l'eau, les plantes les sols, les paysages, les animaux, les micro-organismes, les structures, les systèmes de captage d'eau et l'énergie naturelle pour créer des écologies cultivées qui soient abondamment...
  10. The main aims of the charity are researching and providing information on ecologically sustainable horticulture, as an integral part of designs involving high species diversity and permaculture principles. Approaches such as woodland/forest gardening use a minimal input of resources and energy,...
  11. David Holmgren is regularly involved in teaching on a variety of permaculture courses including the well known Permaculture Design Certificate course. He also offers workshops, and talks at a diverse range of events and venues.
  12. The Permaculture Research Institute (PRI) is located on a Permaculture demonstration site in The Channon NSW, and is headed by Geoff & Nadia Lawton. We specialize in education & training worldwide. We also provide daily Permaculture news and information via permaculturenews.org. The...
  13. A permaculture forum
  14. Discussing permaculture around the world.
  15. Our Mission Our mission is to introduce permaculture education throughout all the primary schools of East Africa. We aim to teach the teachers practical, hands-on permaculture skills to promote future food and water security and to ensure dynamic economic development. Are You Interested in a PDC...
  16. This forum exists for individuals interested in the study and practice of permaculture and for consultants, designers and teachers of this discipline, conceived and stewarded by Bill Mollison & David Holmgren plus thousands more individuals over the years, from around the world offering their...
  17. Uploaded on Jul 28, 2009
  18. Goofballs that are nuts about permaculture! Hot dog! permies.com is now the largest permaculture site on the internet! Most folks are looking for the full collection of permaculture forums.
  19. Permaculture.Net has been helping facilitate all things Permaculture for over 10 years. Explore Permaculture courses and internships being offered worldwide. Network with others in our forum. And check out our extensive website resource list.
  20. These videos are documents from two design courses taught by Bill Mollison at the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose Texas in 1994 and 1995. They are a definitive selection from our original 16 part series. These tapes bear many viewings and will benefit anyone who wants to learn how to help...
  21. An alternative approach to managing transition camps can be found through permaculture, which offers theory and practice to support bottom up designs and solutions to complex problems in the process of building self sustainable social and built environments. It is especially important to provide...
  22. 2013-12-05 In these videos, experts discuss the latest research on perennial crops at the FAO workshop on Perennial Crops for Food Security on 28 -- 30 August 2013. We need to "Perennialize" agriculture. Perennial agriculture, including perennial grains, oil seeds and legumes as well as forages and trees...
  23. The guidebook is being created to expand and accelerate the understanding and application of permaculture. Designed as a training, programme and project base as well as a practical reference guide which can be used by a wide range of organisations, it will improve the results of all...
  24. Worldwide, mainstream aid projects tend to deal with the symptoms of problems, rather than the problems themselves. In fact, often aid projects actually exacerbate the root issue, by supply free food and clothing that undermines the ability of people on the ground to make a living. In other...
  25. We teach income empowerment by learning the skills of Permaculture design, soils, water harvesting, climate change mitigation, trees, crop regeneration, natural farming techniques forgotten long ago. We do this so rural and urban communities and families can increase incomes, while regenerating...
  26. Sustainable Agriculture Research Institute SARI is a small, non-government, non-profit organisation dedicated to working toward sustainable human existence. (Established in 1982). We are based on a 30 hectare property south of Nannup in the south-west of Western Australia. One of our projects is...
  27. TheHimalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC)is a grass roots non-governmentorganisation (NGO) set up by trained and motivated farmers from Surkhet district(Mid-Western Nepal) in 2010 to implement sustainable rural development programs in Nepal. In Nepal, over 90% of the working population are dependent...

Collections