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What is Permaculture?

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

People often ask "what is Permaculture, and how can it help Africa?"

Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems.

It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.

Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order.”

Bill Mollison, founder of Permaculture together with David Holmgren


A central theme in permaculture is the design of ecological landscapes that produce food. Emphasis is placed on multi-use plants, cultural practices such as sheet mulching and trellising, and the integration of animals to recycle nutrients and graze weeds. However, permaculture entails much more than just food production. Energy-efficient buildings, waste water treatment, recycling, and land stewardship in general are other important components of permaculture. The focus is not on these elements themselves, but rather on the relationships created among them by the way we place them in the landscape. This synergy is further enhanced by mimicking patterns found in nature.


Permaculture specialists in Africa
Image taken by Harvesting for Good East Africa - Our Client's front yard that we designed turned into a food forest in just under 2 years.

Permaculture combines three key aspects:

  1. An ethical framework emphasising environmental sustainability and socio-economic justice

  2. A holistic understanding of the processes and relationships in nature

  3. A systemic design framework

Rather than being prescriptive, permaculture provides a framework for sustainable design that can help local communities find solutions to their challenges themselves.


If you'd like to learn more about how permaculture can help you, please get in touch via our Contact page

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