Permaculture




Home Alive! permaculture landscape at Everdale Place, 2004

Permaculture is a design methodology that offers immeasurable hope for a sustainable future.  The term, coined in 1959 by Bill Mollison, a British Tanzanian, is a shortening of ‘permanent agriculture’, or ‘permanent culture’.  Permaculture provides practical answers to questions about human settlement and wise use of the earth, its energy and resources.  Hence, permaculture landscapes mirror patterns of diverse, stable ecosystems to create profitable, productive and sustainable ‘cultivated environments’.

Permaculture ultimately embodies a healthy, equitable and ‘best-care’ approach to the land and its inhabitants.  In so doing it is a philosophy whose time has come.  To begin, one must be aware of permaculture principles expressed through place, time, biodiversity, and people.

For workshops, see Events

Permaculture Principles

bulletNature is the ultimate designer and our ultimate teacher.  Living systems show a creative order that seemingly arise out of entropy.  We must work with life rather than against it.
bulletWhatever we take, we must return.  Material cycling forms a basis for the stability and richness of sustainable ecosystems.
bulletOne makes the least change for the greatest effect.  The placement of elements relative to each other results in 'beneficial mutualism' that increases overall function.
bulletDiversity forms the basis for redundancy, which under flux results in readjustment and stability. 
bulletEvery element has more than one function; every function is achieved by more than one element.
bulletSuccessful site design arises out of marrying the land’s unique attributes with a human response that protects nature’s capital, takes only what is needed and shares any surplus.

Permaculture designs tend to reduce one's Ecological Footprint. It easily adapts to and fits in with real-life application of The Natural Step, true Smart Growth, Eksitics, LEED, Green Globes, Life Cycle Costing and other organizing frameworks for sustainability.

Permaculture can form the underpinning to community design and land management wherever sustainability, health, and affordability are practiced.

Scales of Application
Permaculture has typically been practiced at the site level; at the scale of individual properties.  It can also be applied at the neighbourhood scale or indeed within the eco-community, municipality or region.  C. Brad Peterson Environmental Management and Landscape Architecture is working on applying permaculture principles in this context.

Permaculture is an ideal design tool to apply with eco-village and healthy green community planning and design, and to use in the design and management of individual properties.


Home Alive! permaculture landscape at Everdale, 2004

Projects List
Indeed, permaculture is ‘in the background’ in almost every project carried out by C. Brad Peterson Environmental Management and Landscape Architecture.  Brad Peterson designed the first permaculture farm plan in Ontario, the O’Sullivan Farm Plan near Arthur, ON, in 1988.  Since then, Brad has worked on many projects where permaculture principles are expressed either very explicitly, or form a quiet but integral reference to the function and placement of site elements, the sequencing of exterior spaces and the overall function of the project.  

Most projects listed in the Sustainable Landscapes and Conservation Development and Property Environmental Management and Land Stewardship headings on the Projects page are based in Permaculture design.


Home Alive! permaculture landscape at Everdale, 2004