CHEARS projects are conceived, developed and implemented by volunteers.
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Wild Meadows Farm, Permaculture Design
— Joel Cahalan
The word "permaculture" was coined in 1978 by Bill Mollison, an Australian ecologist, and one of his students, David Holmgren. It is a contraction of "permanent agriculture" or "permanent culture." Read more...
While not easily defined in a few words, Mollison notes that "Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments." It has also been defined as: "the use of ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, appropriate technology, and community development. Permaculture is built upon an ethic of caring for the earth and interacting with the environment in mutually beneficial ways." (The Permaculture Drylands Institute, published in The Permaculture Activist, Autumn 1989).
Some key principles of permaculture as listed by Holmgren, are:
- Observe and Interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self regulation and accept feedback
- Use and value renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- Design from pattern to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
Several CHEARS members have completed a 72 hour Permaculture Design course and are intested in helping to organize and sponsor additional courses and related activities focused on urban, suburban, and rural permaculture.
The Takoma Park Permaculture guild project meets monthly at members homes to work on projects together.
Persons interested in organizing or potentially attending a permaculture design course should contact Kim Walsh.