Permaculture, as defined in Bill Mollison's book, Permaculture: A Designers' Manual, is:
"Permanent agriculture, [or the] conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order
Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms.
The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions."
There is a critical need for understanding of organisms' roles in creating soil and breaking down waste products, hydrologic systems, and the impact that plants themselves have on an environment.
The human study is also important, namely, how our material culture has effected the environment, both in terms of energy required to make and transport things, and how and if those items break down in the environment. How do we use resources? How do we build our homes to achieve durability, protection, funtionality, beauty, health and harmony with the biosphere? What energy sources will enable us to continue our quality of life without continuing ecological disruption? What are the gains and sacrifices of moving in the direction of a permacultural lifestyle? What is the role of the human being in a permacultural system?
There is also a spiritual component to this way of living.
I will be sharing ideas about how we can achieve a sensible, sustainable existance in this regard.