The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

History of permaculture

Although permaculture-like systems have been around for centuries, the name didn't come about until the 1970s when David Holmgren and Bill Mollison, the fathers of permaculture, met in Tasmania, Australia.  Holmgren was a student working on his thesis and Mollison was a professor at a nearby university.

The result of their collaboration was permaculture, which they later defined as "consciously designed landscapes
which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs."  The embedded video is part of a television series starring Bill Mollison that helped spread the concept of permaculture around the world in 1991.  (If you like it, you can find a lot of other portions of the series on youtube as well.)

Chicken tractors are a great example of permaculture in action.  Since some of the fertility in many natural ecosystems comes from animal excrement, adding animals back into our gardens reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.  Check out our permaculture lunchtime series for examples of other permaculture features of our farm.

This post is part of our History of Permaculture lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Yep messy and disorganized. But that doesn't mean it doesn't work! I'll have to come and check out your forest garden sometime so you can prove me wrong. :P

Comment by Everett Wed Jan 20 15:45:20 2010
I don't know if my forest garden is ready to prove you wrong yet, but my chicken tractors and grass clipping mulching method might. :-) It is a bit messy and disorganized, but that's just because it mimics nature.
Comment by anna Wed Jan 20 16:23:24 2010

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