Permaculture evolved from visionary thinking by Bill Mollison and others in the early 1970’s to becoming a stated design system in 1978 in “Permaculture One”. The statement by David Holmgren pinpoints the date when we can say Permaculture became a thing to understand and do. From there it has gone around the globe carried by people with a deep understanding of the finite nature of our planet and the complicated connections between all things on it. Its strength lies in its three basic ethical demands supported by simple and “common sense” principles that give rise to techniques and strategies that can be applied in both the tangible and intangible world and in a myriad of contexts.
For me it made sense of a nonsensical world, gave me the opportunity to meet like-minded people, to draw together skills and experiences from a diverse background and to hold some hope for humanity by reaching out to children (who will inherit the Earth).
I feel that once Permaculture thinking is securely entrenched in the education of children, that a new way of thinking can emerge that will begin the winding back of the ideologies that have led us to the precipice we face now.
I am forever grateful to Bill Mollison, David Holmgren and my first teacher Geoff Lawton along with all the inspirational people I have met, studied with and worked with. They are too many to name and I hope if they read this they know who they are and how indebted I am to them and how much I love the things we learned, shared and did together.
Co-author of Outdoor Classrooms – a handbook for school gardens
Co-founder of Outdoor Learning Approach to Learning – a pedagogy for the new millennia.