About Permaculture

(This is an 300 word blurb that you can read in a few minutes. If you click on each of the links and follow up from there, you could spend a few hours working off this page.) 

"Permaculture can best be described as an ethical design system applicable to food production and land use, as well as community building. It seeks the creation of productive and sustainable ways of living by integrating ecology, landscape design, organic gardening, architecture and agroforestry. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Permaculture is also about careful and contemplative observation of nature and natural systems, and of recognizing universal patterns and principles, then learning to apply these ‘ecological truisms’ to one’s own circumstances."
from a longer and informative wikipedia article 

    Permaculture was developed in 1978 by Australian  Bill Mollison , then 50 years old, with the publication of Permaculture One. He later joined with fellow Australian David Holmgren . They were influenced by the ecological systems thinking  of North Carolina scientist Howard T. Odum . Bill Mollison shared some thoughts on permaculture on a visit to Western North Carolina back in 1980.

    You can learn about Permaculture through
  • Courses (the best, but most expensive way) at a permaculture institute  or elsewhere. Permaculture Design Courses (PDCs) follow a standard 72 hour worldwide curriculum. The word "permaculture" is copyrighted to prevent it from being watered down.
  • Books, including some from Buncombe County Library
  • Online sites and email lists  
  • Worktrades,  internships  and workparties
  • Permaculture Guilds Courses are associations of course graduates and others interested in spreading permaculture. The Asheville Guild will stage tours and workparties, hold talks and provide a way for people to network every 4-6 weeks.
    There is no annual North American Permaculture gathering, but regional gatherings take place in the Southeast , Northeast, and NorthwestPermaculture Activist magazine comes out six times a year. Based in Bloomington, IN (and formerly out of Earthaven Ecovillage near Black Mountain, NC) the magazine and it's website are good sources of information.

    The first global conference was in 1984. They now take place every two years.  The 8th International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPC 8)  will be held in Brazil in May 2007.