Are There Any Criticisms Of Permaculture?

Permaculture is an innovative agricultural design that focuses on whole-system thinking. It involves observing and imitating the ecosystems that thrive in nature. Are there any problems associated with permaculture?

Some believe that permaculture won’t work on a global scale. Permaculture involves a lot of effort and leads to short-term losses. Farmers may be unwilling to accept this concept. Lack of knowledge and conflicts with customs obscure the benefits of permaculture.

Permaculture originated from “permanent agriculture.” They later merged the words “permanent” and “culture.” Their purpose was to address people’s housing and social needs. It creates sustainable ways of living while helping farmers achieve high yields. 

In the 1970s, Australia’s Bill Mollison and David Holmgren developed this concept. Bruce Charles “Bill” Mollison is the father of permaculture. They observed natural systems and human communities over time to develop permaculture principles. 

Watch this video to hear David Holmgren explain how he came up with the idea for permaculture.

Does Permaculture Actually Work?

Compared to conventional farming, permaculture is more cost-effective. Instead of battling nature, permaculture works in harmony with it. Ecosystems in the wild regenerate on their own and maintain themselves. Observing this natural process, researchers recreated it on farms. 

Permaculture principles maximize biodiversity. It helps preserve wildlife by creating more habitats for animals. Permaculture contributes to soil fertility, water conservation, and climate change mitigation.

Is Permaculture Sustainable?

Permaculture aims to create a harmonious, sustainable, and productive living environment. This design reduces the amount of work and energy required to maintain.

Permaculture gardens use natural elements such as sun, wind, and water to work for you. It functions in the same way as a forest or other natural ecosystem. 

In permaculture, design, and planning play a key role. For most gardeners, it represents a complete lifestyle change. It is more like working with nature for permaculture gardeners. Watch this video to learn more about permaculture.

Permaculture Ethics: What Are They?

Care for the earth, care for the people, and a fair share are the three ethics in permaculture. They lay the foundation for permaculture design. These are the basic ethics that most traditional societies follow. Cultural and biological survival depends on them.

Civilizations that have existed in relative harmony with their environment show these ethics. Researchers integrate these values with modern concepts to create a more sustainable future. This video gives you a tour of permaculture farming.

Care for the earth refers to helping all life systems continue to exist and reproduce. Earth is a living, breathing organism. Forests and rivers are the lungs and veins that help the earth respire and thrive. 

Respecting and caring for the living soil is the real meaning here. Living soil can regenerate all the essential nutrients required for plant growth. 

Care for the people ensures access to the essential resources they need to survive. It emphasizes the importance of companionship and collaborative efforts to achieve success. Prosperity comes from simplicity and a sense of collective responsibility. 

The ancient civilizations practiced unity since human labor was critical for their prosperity. Their respect for each other showed their concern for society. The continual effort, courage, and collective responsibility helped communities overcome challenges. 

Ancient people only produced the bare necessities to fulfill their day-to-day needs. They avoided consuming unnecessary resources. Elders’ knowledge and wisdom contributed a lot to the harvest’s prosperity. The well-being of the whole community was the responsibility of every citizen.  

No one can produce all that he needs. We need to rely on society for goods and services. In such a relationship, it is necessary to respect and care for one another. 

Researchers have absorbed these traditional values to form the basics of permaculture. They studied how ancient civilizations coped with natural disasters to prosper in agriculture. Water management systems and agroforestry of early civilizations provided researchers with many insights. 

Fair share means only taking what you need and sharing the surplus. We regulate our own needs to limit resource consumption. It allows us to provide other people with necessities.

In ancient societies, this practice of exchanging goods was evident. They gave their surplus harvest to someone else in exchange for what they lacked. Instead of throwing away or destroying the product, they gave them to someone in need.   

What Are The 12 Design Principles Of Permaculture? How Can I Apply Them?

1. Observe And Interact

Understand the particular situation by observing nature. You can then design or change your farm or garden according to what is already there. Use natural resources and locations to their full potential.

2. Catch And Store Energy

Capture natural resources like rainwater or solar power when they are abundant. In times of need, you can rely on them. Surplus food production preservation also serves as an energy storage method.

3. Obtain A Yield

Ensure that your farming project generates a sufficient income for you. Make a comparison with your work and see whether you receive meaningful rewards.   

4. Apply Self-Regulation And Accept Feedback

Engage in only the appropriate activities. It will ensure the smooth operation of your system. Listen to what others have to say and accept their suggestions and criticisms. They can help you determine whether your activities are inappropriate. 

5. Use And Value Renewable Resources And Services

Use renewable resources that produce clean energy to the fullest extent possible. Renewable resources like hydro-power, wind energy, and solar power are abundant in nature. Reduce the dependence on nonrenewable resources like coal, oil, or nuclear energy. 

6. Produce No Waste

Make sure to value and use all available resources to prevent waste. Observe how worms recycle organic matter.

7. Design From Patterns To Details

Observe patterns in nature and society. Discover the uniqueness of a beehive, rainbow, seashell, feather, or bighorn sheep. Recreate them in your garden by adding some details. 

8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate

Place things together in a way that develops a meaningful relationship between them. As a result, they can work together to support each other. 

9. Use Small And Slow Solutions

To achieve success in permaculture, keep a slow and steady pace. Maintaining a small, slow system is much easier. Produce a more sustainable outcome by making better use of local resources. 

10. Use And Value Diversity

The proverb “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” emphasizes the importance of diversity. Diverse systems are less vulnerable to pests and diseases than monocultures.

11. Use Edges And Value The Marginal

The most productive and diverse part of the system is the border between things. It is a fertile land where the sea meets the river.

12. Creatively Use And Respond To Change

It is possible to have a positive impact on inevitable changes. You need to have careful observation and timely intervention to achieve this. 


A permaculture system can help us understand our capabilities and qualifications. As a result, we can thrive in farming and life as well.

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