Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

Permaculture Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

Author: David Holmgren

Publisher: Permanent Publications


Publish Date: February 1, 2011

ISBN-10: 185623052X

Pages: 286

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Permaculture is much more than a form of organic gardening. My aim in writing this book is to explain Permaculture to a wider audience that may not be attracted by the organic gardening label. It is especially aimed at activists, designers, teachers, researchers, students and others grappling with the vexed issues of sustainability within a wide range of fields.

Permaculture One1 was written over 25 years ago when I was 20 years old. Most of my more recent publications have been case studies with a practical focus that only hint at a deeper framework which guides that work. With this book, I want to build on the strengths and successes of 25 years of Permaculture thinking and action around the world to provide a more evolved picture of the principles that inform Permaculture design and action. In the process, I hope to invigorate the intellectual debate within the Permaculture movement and address some of the real and perceived weaknesses of the concept. 1 know from 25 years experience of applying, writing and teaching Permaculture that people will use what they find relevant and meaningful and leave the rest. The quest by some for a completely consistent and logical picture of Permaculture may not be useful. Rather than seeking to define or control Permaculture, I write about it as simply one more contribution to understanding, meaning and action in a world full of uncertainty.

Evolution of the Project

This project began with a suggestion from Permaculture colleague, lan Lillington, that we publish an edited collection of my writings over the last two decades. The aim was to provide those interested in Permaculture with access to more cerebral writing that illustrated Permaculture thinking in a wide range of contexts. In the process it would show an important lineage in the ongoing evolution of Permaculture ideas and applications by its lesser-known author.

Towards the end of the process, lan (as editor) suggested that what the collection really needed was an article that directly explained Permaculture principles, as taught on our residential Permaculture Design Courses. The moment he suggested this, I knew he was right; but my heart sank, for I knew that the task was not as simple as it seemed. The idea of quickly getting my ideas out to a Permaculture readership receded. Three years later, the project was again transformed by input from professional editor and Permaculture activist Janet Mackenzie. The manuscript had grown into a new, hopefully profound reinterpretation of Permaculture principles while the Collected Writings remained references for further reading best able to stand alone. That collection has since been published as a CD and on the Holmgren Design Services web site.

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