7/23/2014 Staff

What is "permaculture"?

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"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system." - Bill Mollison

Permaculture is a design science made up of a set of ethics and principles modeled on behavior and patterns of earth's natural systems.

In today's world, where so much of the landscape is degenerated, degraded and damaged, it can be difficult to figure out how to best take care of our properties and wild lands. It is important to learn about these intricate ecosystems so that we can figure out how to live in a way that promotes biodiversity, health and life itself. 

Permaculture offers us a guide and a toolbox as we learn to interact with the land around us in a way that is sustainable, supportive and regenerative. It can be used to design not just landscapes and gardens, but dwellings and houses, neighborhoods and cities, and even our own lives, communities and cultures.

When we thought about teaching a Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) class here in Lancaster County, the Millport Conservancy was at the top of our list as possible locations for such a dynamic and nature-based class. Already the result of years of hard work, dedication, design, and stewardship, the Millport Conservancy is a living example of what can be accomplished when people set out to regenerate the land.

Once degraded farmland, the Conservancy is now home to several different and distinct ecosystems, hundreds of plant species, insects and animals, including deer, monarch butterflies and native brown trout. Millport Conservancy has welcomed us with open arms and we feel at home on the property. It is a unique example of how humans can regenerate ecosystems when we observe what the land needs and we act as stewards.

Wilson Alvarez
Millport Volunteer

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