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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:14 am
by TheLorax
Permaculture, what exactly is it?

Found this link-

I see watershed restoration referenced on the home page as well as mention of sustainable farming and gardening. Looks very interesting.

Also found this-

editing to add-
Found this "blog"-
Will read it all in the next few days sometime.

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:16 pm
by opabinia51
You can do permaculture programs at local colleges and universities as well as at horticultural centers. It's a huge topic and I just use it in my garden but, it gets into designing houses and even sustainable urban development.

There's a catch phrase in there: "sustainable development" that gets thrown around by government a lot but, if you look into the permaculture basis of sustainable development, it really has some positive aphorisms.

But, seeing as this is a gardening site: I'll stick to gardening.... check out your local library as well. Lot's of info there, I think I told you this already but, the bible for permaculture gardening (in my opinion) would have to be Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway. Definately worth a read, I read it from one of my University's smaller librairies and then bought it. I always see it on tables at local organic and heirloom gardening and plant symposia. So, see if you library has it, I think that if you look at other books they will be more theory related rather than practical uses of permaculture in the garden

And if anyone else knows of any other good books of websites on the topc please share them with us!

Thanks a million for starting this thread Lorax, I personally love having you here at the HG!

Incidentally, if anyone uses facebook: there is a permaculture group in there.

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:47 pm
by opabinia51
This site is from Canada but, I think you'll still find it useful:

Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:49 pm
by TheLorax
Let's see if you still love having me here after I stumble upon a good worm thread :0

I'm glad to be here. Topics can veer off track, there's idle chatter, light hearted joking, some silliness, and you still get to talk plants and critters! I've been a member of the listserve for several years maybe 7 or 8. Incredibly, I've posted all of once a year if even that. Many simply don't seem to have a sense of humor and I simply will not get involved in their flame wars.

For wildlife gardeners, it is now widely accepted that there are actually 5 basic habitat elements not 4-
places to raise young
sustainable gardening practices

This is one of the reasons why I'm most curious about permaculture. It's that sustainable gardening practices appearing associated with permaculture. I'll be most curious to learn their working definition of sustainable gardening practices.

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:05 am
by opabinia51
I personally think that the bible amongst home gardeners for permaculture is Gaia's Garden by Toby Hemenway.

And for those who live on the west coast of North America from Oregon up the Coast to Northern British Columbia; A year at the Garden Path by Caroline Heriot is a great book.
I heard today that Caroline is now the Pres of the Horticultural Center of the Pacific but, that doesn't have anything to do with her book.

A step by step guide to organic gardening and permaculture techniques from Jan to Dec.

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 8:10 pm
by doccat5
This is a great addition!! Thank you, Mr Webmaster!!!!

Posted: Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:38 pm
by opabinia51
Don't forget to thank The Lorax as well, she was the one who raised the idea with our webmaster.

:wink: :wink:

Thank you Lorax and Grand Webmaster!


Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:16 pm
by doccat5
Thanks to Lorax also......this is an interesting subject. And in my opinion goes hand and hand with organic gardening........etc.

Here's an interesting link:


Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:57 pm
by TheLorax
Ohhhhhhh, nice link!

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:06 pm
by doccat5
Yep, borrowed it from G ;)

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:10 pm
by TheLorax
Did you get a chance to start reading that free online book yet? I sort of "leafed" through it but have every intention of going back and reading it page by page.

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:40 pm
by TheLorax
Went book shopping this evening and couldn't remember the name of that permaculture book- Gaia's Garden.

[url=]Gaia's Garden[/url]

Will have to try to pick that up next time.

Did pick up a few others but that was the one I wanted and couldn't for the life of me remember the title or the author. Bummer.

I have one book on chicken coop construction. Flipped through it and found some very interesting design ideas that are making me re-think my original ideas for raised bed vegetable gardens.

Posted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:53 am
by JennyC
I had a crash course in permaculture when I worked for a preschool in Atlanta. They were (still are) redesigning the playgrounds to facilitate the outdoor environment as "third teacher" for the kids, and they intended it to be a permaculture playground. They still seem to be using mostly native plantings. But the permaculture idea just didn't work out, I think partly because of expense and partly because of the demands of a center for young children (water features can be a hazard, tons of plants are poisonous or harmful, and kids chew *everything*, etc.) But it was a great experience working on the project, and I think it's going to turn into something remarkable even if it isn't true permaculture.

Meanwhile, it got me thinking about permaculture at home (though, so far, thinking is about all I've done). Glad to see this forum!

Posted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:19 pm
by TheLorax
I was gone for a bit and purchased the Gaia's Garden book at a botanical garden I visited. It was there... in the gift shop calling to me from the shelf at a deeply discounted price because it had been the display copy. The book was telling me to buy it so that someday I might move beyond the "thinking about it" phase.

I have the book, must make time to read it now. Most unfortunately there were a few other books on the shelf calling out to me to buy them and Gaia's Garden in 4th on my "to read" list right about now.

Posted: Sun May 25, 2008 7:35 pm
by TheLorax
I do now have the Gaia's Garden book and admittedly won't have time to read it until next winter but ran across this other suggestions-
'How to Make a Forest Garden' by Patrick Whitefield

Anyone read this?

Just for the heck of it, anyone ever read 'The Rural Living Handbook' by the editors of Mother Earth News?

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:52 am
by TheLorax
Stumbled across a really interesting interview with a woman from California on permaculture-

I think you'll not only enjoy but be able to appreciate her definition of permaculture.

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:10 pm
by Chowmom
Well well well Lorax. So you're into permaculture too???

Posted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:35 pm
by TheLorax
Chowmom! Well hello there!

Just getting into permaculture this year because of joining here but I am a wildlife gardener so the two seem to go hand in hand. Wait till you see the tomatoes lining my driveway and they're in 5-gallon buckets (gasp)! You will fall over having a grabber. Some of them are as tall as me! All but the sausage look like the epitome of health. I haven't a clue what went wrong with the sausage but it's hanging in there and all the other sausages friends were growing from the same tray are in tomato heaven. I've also got edibles growing in almost every ornamental concrete planter. The one hanging basket I have will also be an edible next year. A member named Jess found a good tomato for baskets so I'm going to try that one out.

It's my intent to give a few neighbors who like to worry about property values something to talk about. I'm going to buy 3-5 chickens. I done got me blueprints for a chicken coop to keep them safe from the coyotes, hawks, and cats around here. My husband is just shaking his head.

Have you any native seed packs you would be in a position to share with any new members gardening in the IL/IA/IN/WI areas?

Say, you gotta read the 'One Straw Revolution'!

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:32 am
by Chowmom
OK. I just ordered the book. Looking forward to it. In fact, I just placed a rather large order on Amazon for a bunch of related books. Just need to read them. Have had Gaia's Garden for a couple of months but haven't opened it. Too busy fighting the War of Weeds here.

BTW. Anyone in the Chicago area. There is an all day permaculture seminar and tour being held this Saturday in Downers Grove. There is a couple living there that have converted their entire yard over. Cost is $35 for the seminar or $85 for the seminar and tour. More info at:

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:53 am
by TheLorax
If you're going, I'll meet you there. We're back as of tomorrow. Hopefully it won't rain. Are we still able to register this late in the game or is this a pay at the door type deal?

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 10:56 am
by TheLorax
OK, here's another interesting read-
'Permaculture: the Incredible Shrinking/Expanding Garden'

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:16 pm
by cherlynn
This thread has given me an interest in permaculture; I had never heard of the concept before. TheLorax, I followed your link to'Permaculture: the Incredible Shrinking/Expanding Garden'
[url][/url]and found the Bill Mollison & Permaculture, Full Video link
[url][/url] which was quite informative. I did not finish viewing the video and when I went back to it the video was not available. However, I was able to view each part. I am including the link to part 1,
[url][/url], incase this happens to anyone else who'd like to view this video. You will then be able to view each part individually. Thank you for this informative topic! WOW!!! This forum is a wonderful place to learn and make new friends!

so permaculture . . .

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2009 12:50 pm
by MysticGardener67
is essintially looking at horitculture form a holistic viewpoint? Is that correct?

Posted: Sun Dec 27, 2009 8:12 am
by milkwood_nick
You could say that, but maybe a little more than horticulture.

I like to just look at the word itself

Permanent Agriculture
Permanent Culture

What does it take to change our agricultural practice to something that is truly permanent, sustainable FOREVER?

What does it take to do the same for all of human culture?

These are the questions I ask myself every day.

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:00 am
by The Helpful Gardener
Nice to have perspective from down under, birthplace of the artform...

Any thoughts on going permie on an urban scale, Nick? I've only got about a third of an acre, with neighbors on both sides, so small and unobtrusive are sort of watchwords here...

Thanks for being part of this,


Posted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:37 pm
by !potatoes!
scott, in the permaculture design course i took, folks talked a fair amount about that interaction between one's land they're practicing on and the neighbors...i feel like, for those parts where that interaction takes place, it's good to feed the neighbor in some way, draw them in and make what you're doing seem attractive...whether you're just feeding them beauty, with a multi-purpose nectary area (which may well have food for you that many a neighbor wouldn't recognise), or berries or somesuch, planted with giveaway in mind...

just a thought.

Re: Permaculture

Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:33 pm
by Pedro
[quote="TheLorax"]Permaculture, what exactly is it?

Check out books and courses by Bill Mollison - the man who coined the term 'permaculture'.
It is a sustainable way of life that can be applied not only to your garden,but entire communities.
The basic idea is that sustainable systems should be based on the principles of nature and use less energy than they produce - Bill himself calls it lazy gardening. It is a self-sustaining system, just like natural forests.

Re: Permaculture

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:37 am
by Dissily Mordentroge
I stumbled across Permaculture some decades ago when I discovered Bill Mollison was my near neighbour. Initially our contact consisted of swapping my duck poo for some of his figs - if I remember correctly. When I looked deeper into this nascent botanical cult I found a peculiarly capitalist spine to it’s organisation and teaching programmes. At the time, my leftist leanings revolted. The final straw was being asked to list my curriculum vitae on the application form for one of their beginners classes. Anti-intellectual snob that I was (am ?) I tore the form up in a hissy fit.
When I stumbled accidentally on the attached clip all this came back to me. - - - --

Something I’d like to hear about though is how Permaculture is going to solve the problem of feeding concentrated urban populations gathered in their multiple millions. Growing tomatoes on balconies and having beehives on the roof can’t be the solution.

Re: Permaculture

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:25 pm
by Dissily Mordentroge
I may have been wrong about sustainable food production in large cities. I hope so.
This link (hope is still works) appears to suggest its possible BUT the cost of eating in this restaurant may be a clue as to why it’s not a universal solution. ... 218-h1u3cv