A lot of people have an image in their head that permaculture is gardening… but gardening is just one element of permaculture.
Permaculture was given its name by Bill Mollison who, together with his student David Holmgren, developed a system of sustainable agriculture. In order to express its sustainability, Bill Mollison christened it perma, as in permanent or sustainable, and culture, meaning not only agriculture, but broader culture as well. So, simply put, permaculture is a system for designing sustainable human environments.
Permaculture is more than just gardening, more than just agriculture. Permaculture is used to design not only food production systems, but water-harvesting systems, appropriate building design, waste and nutrient-cycling systems, and non-tangible systems like community associations, trusts, and other organisations. In theory, the entire human environment could be designed using permaculture principles. The potential is only limited to the imagination of designers.
This free course from Permaculture Reflections is a basic introduction to permaculture that you can listen to, online, now.
Or, you can hear more about permaculture right here.