So what exactly is Permaculture?

Defining permaculture can be tough. The answer depends on who you ask.

I was catching up with an old friend recently telling her that I had started volunteering in a public permaculture garden, and she asked what permaculture was.

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This got me wondering how the pioneers and experts of the field define permaculture.



Not exactly an expert, but always a great place to start your internet research.

"Permaculture is a system of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems."




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Bill Mollison

The Father of Permaculture- Bill began developing ideas about stable agriculture in the 60s and coined the word Permaculture in the 70s.        

"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."


Dave Holmgren




Dave was one of Mollison's early students and is considered a co-originator of permaculture.

"Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, [fiber] and energy for provision of local needs. People, their buildings and the ways in which they [organize] themselves are central to permaculture. Thus the permaculture vision of permanent or sustainable agriculture has evolved to one of permanent or sustainable culture."


Geoff Lawton

Upon Mollison's retirement, Geoff was tasked with creating a new Permaculture Research Institute. 

"Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems."




Dave Jacke


Dave took a permaculture design course with Mollison in the 80s. His edible forest garden idea grew out of an interest in applying ecology to human design. Dave led the design course that served as the 6th Ward Garden Park's foundation

"Edible forest gardening is the art and science of putting plants together in woodlandlike patterns that forge mutually beneficial relationships, creating a garden ecosystem that is more than the sum of its parts."


Tuck in the Garden Workday


Tuck in the Garden Workday

On National Public Lands Day, 9/24, we served 50 volunteers snacks, built community with good feeling, and held a productive gardening party. We accomplished these things...