This episode stems from a piece I posted to the Facebook page for the show on April 17th, 2014. The conversation that followed that post offered clarity to the original intent of this piece, but I’m leaving it as is to foster a dialog on defining permaculture. Is it a design framework? A philosophy? A movement? A spiritual practice? Let’s talk and figure that out together.
One of the problems in discussing permaculture, is the idea of what it is exactly.
The focus too often is on the physical end with the origin of what we’re doing lost by what we can interact with. Something looks messy and natural? That doesn’t mean it works, is providing the ecosystem services as intended, or that the functions actually stack.
Permaculture isn’t about plants. Or cob ovens. Or swales. Or hugelkultur. Or herb spirals. Or spreading, slowing, and sinking water. Those are strategies and techniques and too often used in places they aren’t appropriate, or justified because someone wants to use them. That’s alright, but let’s be honest about the want rather than trying to make something fit.
Permaculture is about designing permanent human civilizations, balanced in ethics that care for the earth, people, and return the surplus, by taking responsibility for ourselves and our future generations. It can look however you want it to in the landscape and is broadly applicable to any human system, not just for growing food.
What is Permaculture to you? I’d like to hear your voice as part of the conversation.
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018