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What is Permaculture...


"Permaculture, a design system that reconciles human communities with the ecological imperatives of a living planet."
Ben Haggard

Permacullture: the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, appropriate technology, and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth and interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways.

Permaculture design is site specific, client specific, and culture specific.

studioPermaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale intensive systems which are labor efficient and use biological resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design and the working relationships and connections between all things. Each component in a system performs multiple functions, and each function is supported by many elements. Key to efficient design is observation and replication of natural ecosystems, where designers maximize diversity with polycultures, stress efficient energy planning for houses and settlement, using and accelerating natural plant succession, and increasing the highly productive "edge zones" within the system.
Bill Mollison

home  stairway  cobover


A Bit of History...

Bill Mollison

:: Bill Mollison

In 1978 there was nothing quite like Permaculture. More than thirty years later Permaculture laps the globe, with over 4000 projects across 120 countries. Australian biologist Bill Mollison, co-founder and originator of Permaculture, has taught and developed projects from the Arctic through Sub-tropics, and Equatorial regions on the planet. He has been named Australia's "Man of the Year", and in 1981 received the prestigious Right Livelihood Award. There are few countries left in the world where he has not planted the seeds of Permaculture.

David Holmgren:: David Holmgren

David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the Permaculture concept put forth in "Permaculture One" in 1978. Since then he has written several more books, including most recently "Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability", and developed three properties using permaculture principles, and conducted workshops and courses in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Italy, France, Britain, Germany, Denmark and Sweden. He has also consulted on and supervised urban and rural projects in Australia and New Zealand. As a permaculture designer and consultant, his most recent work has focused on global permaculture strategies addressing the issue of “energy descent”, a concept that acknowledges a future of reduced fossil fuels, but plans within a framework of gradual transition and adaptive strategies. In drawing links to permaculture, in future design for homes, cities, and agriculture, he feels lessons learned will need to be applied everywhere, rather than just First World versus Third World type situations.

The permaculture concept and movement have already changed the lives of thousands of people and affected perhaps millions in myriad of ways. All this has occurred without any substantial support from powerful institutions, corporations or governments. Some would attribute its influence solely to the tireless energy, intellect and charisma of Bill Mollison. Although his role in permacultures' initial global spread is unquestioned, "its persistence, evolution an influence must be attributed to its relevance to people's lives and situations".

For more information on the history of Permaculture, see our Articles and Links on this site.

The above photos (except for Bill Mollison and David Holmgren), were taken at the Learning Center of Natural Design in Los Osos, CA and illustrate the various elements of the permaculture garden which was designed by Larry Santoyo. All photos © L. Santoyo Designs www.earthflow.com



Santa Barbara Permaculture Network Vimeo Channel
Event Archives 2000–2019

Two decades of our events, interviews & presentations!

:: The Legal Landscape of Social Enterprise & the Sharing Economy (June 2011) with Janelle Orsi & Jenny Kassan from the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC).

:: Waste & Recycling Workshop/Janet Unruh of IMS/SBCC Center for Sustainability.

:: Waste & Recycling Workshop/Nikhil Arora, BTTR Ventures/SBCC Center for Sustainability.

:: Waste & Recycling Workshop/Albe Zakes of TerraCycle/SBCC Center for Sustainability.

:: Gunter Pauli From Green Jobs to Building the Blue Economy Evening Talk.

:: Gunter Pauli From Green Jobs to Building the Blue Economy Workshop.



:: City Chicks Author Patricia Foreman on Sustainable World Radio:

CLICK HERE to listen to this interview.

:: Edible Forest Gardens, a Conversation with Dave Jacke on Sustainable World Radio:

CLICK HERE o listen to this interview.

:: On the Way to IPC10 in Jordan & International Permaculture Conference Update with Margie Bushman & Wes Roe of Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, on Sustainable World Radio:

CLICK HERE o listen to this interview.



:: Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution

An Interview with Bill Mollison.
by Scott London

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Finding our way back to the Garden

Permaculture offers a solution and a path.
By Stacey Ward

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Balancing farmland preservation and development

Crystal Waters Permaculture Village near Brisbane, Australia, is forging a model for the 'sustainable suburb.'

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Growing for the Future

By Lynn Welp

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Peace Through Permaculture

April 2004, from the Food Not Lawns website.
By Heather Coburn

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Retrofitting the suburbsfor sustainability

by David Holmgren, co-founder of Permaculture.

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: Starting a Successful Urban Ecovillage

By Diana Leafe Christian

CLICK HERE to read this article.

:: The Green Zone; The 8th International Permaculture Convergence in Brazil

By Margie Bushman

CLICK HERE to read this article.



:: Permaculture


Quail Springs Learning Oasis & Permaculture Farm

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond/Brad Lancaster

Earth Flow Design Works/Larry Santoyo

Regenerative Design Institute/Penny Livingston

Permaculture: A Pattern for Whole Systems Design

Berg-en-Dal, Sustainable Dryland Permaculture Project, South Africa

Permacultura America Latina

South California Permaculture Convergence

Northern California Convergence

Permaculture Quiet Revolution Movie

Organization of Permaculture and Arts

Instituto de Permacultura e Ecovilas do Cerrado (IPEC) Brazil

9 th International Permaculture Convergence and Conference 2009

Surfers Without Borders

Darren Doherty Keyline Design

ERDA Permaculture Institute/Robyn Francis

Permaculture Guild of Santa Barbara meets the third Wednesday of the month, at the South Coast Watershed Resource Center, Arroyo Burro Beach County Park www.permacultureguildsb.org
Larry Saltzman lbsaltzman@aol.com (805) 451-4168

:: Publications and Other Media

Hopedance: Radical Solutions Inspiring Hope

The Permaculture Activist

Permaculture Magazine: Solutions for sustainable living

Sustainable World Radio

Radio4all Project

Space of Love Magazine

Soul Brasil Magazine

:: Community Building

Permaculture Credit Union

Slow Money Alliance

Bioneers: Visionary and Practical Solutions for restoring the Earth

Global Resource Alliance Ojai/Tanzania

Global Ecovillage Network

Los Angeles Eco-Village

The Rebozo Way Project


Sustainable Solutions Caravan

Path to Freedom: Urban Homesteading

Developmental Workshop France

Earthaven Learning Center

:: Local Resources

Oasis Design

The Sustainability Project

Community Environmental Council

Fairview Gardens

RAIN Public Internet Broadcasting

Sustainable ABC

For the Future

Santa Barbara Organics/Loren Luyendak

Orella Ranch Santa Barbara

Wishtoyo Foundation
(Wishtoyo is a bridge, preserving the wisdom of the ancient Chumash culture and linking it to present day environmental issues)

Chumash Maritime Association

:: Plant Communities

California Native Plant Society

Kusa Seed Society

Fungi Perfecti/Paul Stamets

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Local Harvest

Edible Ojai

Ojai's Center for Regenerative Agriculture

Exploring Solutions Past (ESP) Maya Food Forest Alliance

Edible Gardens Santa Barbara

Healing Grounds Organic Nursery