What is Permaculture?  

Permaculture is a design system of sustainability meant to be applied, slowly and steadily, over a long period of time, to yourself, to your relationships, to your home, to your consumption, to your gardening, to your animals or livestock, to your land and resources and other elements of place, to your neighborhood, and to your communities.  Many applied Permaculture movements identify it with the physical implementation of “consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre, and energy for provision of local needs (Holmgren, Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability, p. xix).”

However, there is no right way to permaculture.   According to its co-founders, Dave Holmgren and Bill Molison, it is the use of systems thinking and design principles to provide an organising framework to apply integrated and evolving systems…(p xix).

From a psychological perspective, social permaculture is of interest because it helps us consider how our personal “physical and energetic resources(p xix)” can become more sustainable within our personal lives, family and social systems, and larger community.

Permaculture Ethics:

People Care

Earth Care

Fair Share

The Delmarva Free School suggests that People Care begins with Care for Self.  Depth Psychology defines Self as the Archetype of Soul that is specific and unique to every individual, as well as simultaneously connected to the collective of all living beings.  People Care begins with Care for Self, and extends to care for your collective:  your families, neighbors, friends, and members of the communities of which you are a part.  People Care honors “non-material well being(p7),” or enjoying the simple pleasures of authentic connection to people, to our communities, and to our direct natural environments, wherever we live.

Non-material well being connects as well to Earth Care, a second of the three ethics.  

Earth Care asks us to consider our relationships to nature and her resources as good stewards of community and place: how is our relationship to nature around our homes, communities, and bioregions.  We consider how our personal stewardship of nature at the local and bioregional level promotes non-material wellness, and how this wellness  inspires us to contribute to the sustainability of these resources (p 5).

Earth Care is connected to the third ethic, Fair Share.  

Fair Share considers the ways in our personal lives and relationships and within our systems that we can become more mindful of how our relationship exchanges support harmony and balance in all areas of our lives.

Sustainability begins within is a principle of overall wellness. 

This year we will learn about using the 12 Permaculture Design Principles as guides to practicing nurturing our relationships with our self and others.