Matt’s been interested in the subject of permaculture for some time. Recently, he attended a nine-day permaculture workshop in Wisconsin, and he’s started facilitating an open, informal weekly lunchtime discussion group at the Green Garage about permaculture’s 12 principles and their application in the GG’s rooftop farm. (Tuesdays at noon.)
Matt started his presentation with definitions and a history. Permaculture (“permanent” + “agriculture,” later “permanent” + “culture,” too) is a way of designing systems based on natural processes and relationships. It’s “ecosystem mimicry,” in Matt’s words. He briefly outlined its origins, after Australian naturalist Bill Mollison’s years of ecosystem observation and seminal observation that “nature needs no external inputs.”
Permaculture’s roots are in agriculture, in designing agricultural systems based on observation of ecosystems in which all of the elements achieve a mutually supportive balance. Over time, it’s evolved to include designing systems of all kinds, Matt noted, including buildings and landscapes.
Permaculture is a pair of glasses, Matt said, “lenses through which you see the world.”