Permaculturists can spend rather a lot of time trying to explain what permaculture is and I am no different. In many ways it is rather a difficult word, a concept that is alien to our post-industrial western society. What we can forget to do is to attribute its origins. It was not really ‘invented’ by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, in a bolt of enlightenment. I believe it evolved, and was coded from, protracted study of perennial systems in agroforestry, tree cropping, Yeoman’s keylining and specifically Bill’s interaction with, and observation of, Aboriginal and other indigenous peoples and their practices wherever he travelled. These ways of observing and working with nature are the legacy and heritage of indigenous peoples all over the globe. They do not call it permaculture. They have often not heard the word, yet they understand nature’s patterns and use them to create polycultural, perennially based, energy efficient homes, gardens, farms, communities… These are found all over the world where remnants of those cultures have been allowed to survive. They deserve acknowledgement and respect.
Read the whole article from Permaculture Magazine here.