Permaculture has lots of definitions. Many are confusing. None are comprehensive. This is mine:
Permaculture is a system of ecological design that seeks to recognize and maximize networks of beneficial relationships, while minimizing or eliminating harmful or wasteful relationships.
To those new to permaculture, such definitions may be more confusing than helpful, but to those familiar with it, heads nod in recognition.
Permaculture is not a set of ethics to quote or a list of principles to memorize, but a way of seeing the world. It is holistic design in four dimensions. Training your brain to see interconnectedness is not easy if you’ve spent 13 to 17 years in Western education. Certain learning “disabilities” make it much easier if the aforementioned decade and a half have not beaten those ways of knowing out of you. I’m lucky enough to have such learning [dis]abilities.
Left: learning disabled mind, Right: learning-abled mind
It is about time we pointed out that our eco-thrifty renovation includes the entire 700 square meter section that was more or less full of rubbish and invasive weeds when we arrived. The holistic design includes establishing wind breaks, building soil fertility, planting fruit trees and a large vegetable garden, tractoring chooks, coppicing for fire wood, planting native trees, constructing a large sun trap, retaining water on the property, and integrating the indoor and outdoor environments.
Here is a photo gallery of some of these initiatives so far.