What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is a set of ethics, principles, and a design process for successfully applying lessons from nature to the human realm. An attempt to integrate scientific knowledge of the last four centuries with techniques developed by indigenous cultures over the previous forty, permaculture looks beyond sustainability towards systems that are diverse, regenerative and resilient over the long term. Permaculturalists favor biology over technology, small and slow solutions over instant returns, and regenerative investments over ones that degrade over time.

Permaculture was founded in the late 1970s by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It was originally developed as a system of “permanent agriculture”, and for its first few decades, Permaculture practitioners focused on designing productive landscapes that mimicked nature in their diversity, durability, and efficient use of resources.

Over time, the definition of permaculture broadened to “permanent culture”, and its practitioners began to apply the ethics, principles and design process to the social realm. One of the most successful attempts at dealing with these “invisible structures” is the Transition movement, started by British permaculturalist Rob Hopkins in 2006.

At the Wild Green Yonder, we aim to apply permaculture thinking to improve the landscapes and institutions that make Denver so vibrant. Whether we are working with a homeowner to make their yard more sustainable, designing a lesson plan, or consulting with a small business, the ethics, principles and design process of permaculture form the foundation of every aspect of our work.