Permaculture (Ecological) Design
“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don’t know what details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs that are doing that.”
- David Suzuki, International Environmental Advocate
Permaculture Design is an ecological design system focused on working with rather than against nature.
The originators of Permaculture are Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, who coined the term in the 1970′s as a contraction of the words “permanent” and “agriculture”. Their desire was to create garden systems that mimic the way natural ecosystems work. One approach involves increasing the functional connections between elements so that nature does most of the work, and the need for human labor is reduced.
Since the 70′s, Permaculture has evolved to include many aspects of sustainable, low-impact living, such as Natural Building and small-scale renewable energy.
When we attended a Permaculture Design Certificate Course in 1999 at the Bullock Brothers’ Farm on Orcas Island, WA, Alan presented introductions to both Nonviolent Communication (SM) and Financial Integrity. Afterward people approaching Alan expressing appreciation for having presented some of the “social” aspects of Permaculture. In essence, for people who are deep into Permaculture, the term has come to be a synonym for sustainable living.
One place in which Permaculture is taught in an Integral context is the Permaforest Trust in Australia.
Our experience with Permaculture Design
Alan Seid and Tricia King began studying Permaculture in 1998 and in 1999 attended a 4-week Design Course at the Bullock Brothers’ Farm on Orcas Island, Washington. They have been practicing and teaching Permaculture since then, mostly on their 25-acre Permaculture site, Bodhi Creek Farm, in the foothills of Mt. Baker in the North Cascade Mountains, outside of Bellingham, Washington.