Permaculture combines the knowledge of many specialized fields to develop new problem solving techniques in the design of whole systems.  This work involves creating beneficial relationships, connections and redundancies while relying heavily on one's powers of observation, intuition and imagination.  Permaculture is based on care of the earth, care of people and sharing the surplus.  Care of the earth means care of all living and non-living things: soil, species, atmosphere, forests, micro-habits, animals and waters.

Permaculture is a design method that utilizes natural models for systems that serve human communities. It is applied over time to produces high yields, while using labor saving techniques and minimal economic investment.  Permaculture is imagination and information intensive, honoring the cooperative relationship between elements in the landscape.

•   Permaculture is an ecological science; the study of nature and natural systems.
•   Permaculture is a design system used to create human communities with the same abundance, resilience and efficiency as natural ones.
•   Permaculture is a global grass roots movement to build a sustainable world culture.
•   Permaculture is an attitude of cooperation, solutions-based thinking and respect.
•   Permaculture is a lifestyle; integrating ecologically sustainable qualities into our lives and communities.

AXIOMS:

  • Achieve the largest good with the least amount of labor
  • Respect personal and cultural differences
  • Analyze inputs and outputs
  • Transform waste into a resource
  • The problem can be the solution
  • Everything is connected to everything else

Permaculture works in all climates: temperate, tropical and drylands. 
A productive system utilizes the relationship between elements and plans for each element to function in more than one way.

What is design? 
Design is composed of two elements: aesthetics and function.  Permaculture design concentrates on function.

Functional design is
1) Sustainable – it provides for its own needs
2) Has good product yield, or even surplus yield

For this to occur elements must have no product unused by other elements and have their own needs supplied by other elements in the system. It is the relationship between elements that is important.

If these criteria are not met, then pollution and work result.  Pollution is a product not used by something else; it is the overabundance of a resource.  Work results when there is a deficiency of resources, when an element in the system does not aid another element.  Any system will become chaotic if it receives more resources than it can productively use (e.g. too much fertilizer can result in pollution).  – Bill Mollison, 1998