What is Permaculture?
Originally developed in the 1970’s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren Permaculture draws on understanding natural patterns, indigenous land management practices, modern day science, a design approach, and 3 core ethics:
Care of Earth
Care of People
Permaculture is a whole systems approach to the design, re-design, and creation of living human habitats which regenerate rather than degenerate, the natural systems upon which we all depend.
It is based on learning from natural patterns, and working with, rather than against nature.
A Permaculture Design approach is multidisciplinary and integrates land, people, resources and the wider environment.
It can include agriculture; small and large scale food production; water harvesting and use; energy; natural and energy efficient building; waste management; trees; woodlands; forestry; animal systems; aquaculture; appropriate technology; nature stewardship; economics; education; and community development.
One of the underlying understandings of Permaculture is that EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED and it is the relationships between things as well as the things themselves, that allow us to create productive, regenerating and self managing systems.
Permaculture provides a positive and active response to the overwhelming issues we see and experience in our human and natural world
Permaculture In Ireland
Many of the techniques found in Permaculture literature, which often comes from drier, warmer climes, are unsuitable to be ‘copy and pasted’ into an Irish context.
Our cool, island climate is unique, our landscapes complex, and of course our rainfall unrivalled! Much of our history and dominant politics have meant the loss of language & traditional skills that held so much wisdom and connection to the land.
In recent years there has been lots of research, and resources coming from Permaculture in the UK. Visit the British Permaculture Association for lots of information on projects all over the UK.
Key for Permaculture in Ireland is an in depth understanding of the Permaculture Principles, ways of thinking that are needed (and were perhaps already used?) to recreate low intervention landscapes that feed humans and maintain a thriving ecology.
Using Permaculture design in Ireland calls for a little thought, a lot of observation, and a look to the techniques our ancestors, and those in similar cold climates, relied upon to survive.
Here in Ireland we have a wide and growing informal network of Permaculture practitioners and people learning and teaching Permaculture. Head over to Permaculture Ireland for more information.