Permaculture, what is it?

“Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments.”

Bill Mollison, the founder of permaculture, describes permaculture thusly in the introduction of his book “Introduction to Permaculture”. ¬†Mollison had a problem with people who discussed “sustainable” yet could not define its meaning. So in order to clarify just what Bill is talking about, lets use his definition to define what “sustainable” actually means.

A sustainable system is any system that, in its lifetime, can produce more energy than it takes to establish and maintain it.”

“In brief, it 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 elements as a single-product system.”