Permaculture sees all elements of agriculture – flora and fauna, geographic, topographic and hydrographic features, including man and his built environment – as a unified ecological system. It is based on the natural symbiosis between man and his environment, its close and harmonic cooperation. The expression is derived from the contraction of the English phrase “permanent agriculture”. The theoretical basis of permaculture was laid down by two Australian scientists, biologist Bill Mollison and ecologist David Holmgren in the 1970s, and the movement has gained increasing popularity ever since. It aims at decreasing the exploitation of nature, and the energy need and the environmental damaging effects of providing for human needs, while enhancing the creation of a more sustainable ecosystem.
The everydays of a permacultural garden are characterised by rainwater harvesting, composting, the full use of plant waste, chemical-free crop production and the use of renewable energy sources. As opposed to monocultural cultivation, permaculture focuses on supporting a slow or minimal intervention approach, thinking in small-scale systems, and the diversity of species.