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:''Note: this topic area is under construction. See [[:Category:Agriculture]] for more pages relevant to permaculture.''
Permaculture means many different things to many different people, and nothing to some. There is no one correct definition, as permaculture is holistic, integrated, and applicable on all levels and in all situations. At its core, permaculture is a philosophy of interdependence and ethical responsibility actualized through a whole-systems design methodology and on-the-ground action. Permaculture is grounded by ethics and guided by ecological principles, traditional cultural values, and applied scientific understanding. Permaculture is being applied at increasing rates and diversity around the world to develop strategic, long-term, practical solutions to the challenges facing humanity and the ecosystems of which we are a part.
Permaculture was coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in Australia during the 1970’s as a permanent agriculture for reversing the environmental degradation that seems to follow closely on the heels of modern development while simultaneously increasing the sustainability of food production systems by promoting localized self-reliance. Today, the concept and methodology have evolved to become supportive of a permanent culture, and are certainly not limited to agriculture alone.
The prime directive of permaculture as stated by Mollison is that “the only ethical decision is to take responsibility for our own existence and that of our children. Make it now.”
The three interwoven ethics guiding permaculture are: Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share/Return the Surplus. To borrow a concept from Buddhism, Right Action occurs when all three ethics are actualized by a given action or design decision.
The above description was developed by Jeffrey M. Adams, spring 2008
Permaculture is a form of whole systems design based on the sustainability of natural systems. It seeks to create sustainability in the human living environment, and is applicable to all realms of design. Permaculture is modular and applicable to any bioregion, bearing immense potential for satisfying basic human needs without compromising those of the Earth.
Because it is relationship-oriented and highly specific to local conditions, it is not a cut and paste methodology and can be difficult to practicefor those not accustomed to close observation, critical thinking, and a systems perspective. Instead of discretely selecting individual plants, relationships between biota must be woven together carefully, in consideration of a plants relationships to fellow organisms, to the overall ecosystem, and to the people whose needs it may satisfy. Although numerous databases offer information about individual plants, none offer information about the relationships between plants, or between plants and other biota, along with other Permaculture-centric characteristics. Knowledge of such relationships is critical to the practice of Permaculture design, our understanding of ecological processes, our capacity for systems thinking.
Portions of this document copied from Permaculture

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