What is Permaculture? – The Perfect Video Explaination

Best, Easiest Intro Videos to Understand Permaculture

I found this video, and it perfectly nails what permaculture is and it’s history! Spend the less-than-2-minutes of your time to watch it and get a better understanding of this umbrella terminology.

Also, check out Andrew Millison’s FREE Online Permaculture Course hosted through Oregon State University!

Andrew Millison brings nearly 20 years experience in designing and building permaculture projects to his teaching and wants to share that rich, real-world experience with his students. 

He has been studying, teaching and practicing permaculture since he took his first course in 1996. He began teaching permaculture at the college level in 2001 and has been an instructor at Oregon State University in the Horticulture Department since 2009.  Andrew currently teaches the Permaculture Design Course and the Advanced Permaculture Design Practicum at OSU both on campus and online.

Andrew also has produced two open source textbooks for his courses that are freely available:

Below is his video on how he describes what Permaculture is – a video from his FREE online course.

 

I’ve also included additional videos that show the design difference of permaculture, as well as the ecological impact of change:

#1 Traditional Landscape Design vs Permaculture Landscape Design

– “A young family wants to make a change and asked two different landscape design teams to design their landscape for healthy fruits and vegetables, nuts and eggs. The two companies create designs and got back with the couple. The video shows the results and below you can easily see the connections and benefits the permaculture design took into the family’s consideration” –  Nicholas Burnter, Founder and Director for the School of Permaculture

#2 How Wolves Change Rivers

– When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable “trophic cascade” occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers? George Monbiot explains in this movie remix.

#3 Permaculture Video Sampler – Geoff Lawton

This video is a sampler of permaculture principles in application narrated and explained by Geoff, often from his farm in the Northern Rivers District of New South Wales, Australia, not far from Byron Bay. Learn how abundant it is, by design.

#4 Greening the Desert – Geoff Lawton

This is just one example of how permaculture can transform the environment, and, in so doing, dramatically change lives. By evidencing the dramatic transformation possible in the world’s worst agricultural scenarios, we hope to make people stand up and listen.

#5 UMass Permaculture Documentary

The UMass Permaculture Initiative is a unique, cutting-edge sustainability program that converts unproductive grass lawns on campus into ecological, socially responsible, and financially sustainable permaculture landscapes that are easy to replicate. Since the Initiative’s inception, over 1,500 volunteers have come together to design, implement, and maintain our three gardens. Through community support and a partnership with UMass Dining Services, the UMass Permaculture Gardens provide the campus dining halls with more than a thousand pounds of hyper-local, organic food each year.  Permaculture is a natural fit in a campus setting. UMass’s highly visible gardens are an excellent educational tool and provide opportunities for service-learning on campus.

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Taylor Nelson’s PDC & EDE Adventure – Episode 1 – Packing Day

Packing Day Episode

This video is my first vlog that shows what I’m packing to take to Lost Valley. It is a quick highlight of my gear with an exciting “Taylor’s Time-lapse” finale!

I start outlining my gear quadrant by quadrant, and hope to create a follow-up episode where I provide additional commentary. Any feedback or “constructive advice” is appreciated, and will be considered!

Below are additional image angles:

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The Unshakable Dream – Ecotourism/Cohousing Community

Only a few people have heard what my dream goal is in person, so I’m taking this time to put it into context with some helpful visuals.

Over the past few months, I have been researching permaculture sites, existing and failed ecovillages, intentional communities around the world, and ecotourism business models that would direct how I reach designing a permaculture based community. From what I have found so far, my best two options are – 1) A multi-generational cohousing community or 2) An ecovillage resort offering vacation rentals and vocational training.

Option #1 – Multi-generational Cohousing

According to Cohousing.org, “Cohousing communities are intentional, collaborative neighborhoods created with a little ingenuity. They bring together the value of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living. That means residents actively participate in the design and operation of their neighborhoods, and share common facilities and good connections with neighbors. All in all, they stand as innovative and sustainable answers to today’s environmental and social problems.”

This movement started in Denmark and is still a very practical way of living in that area, and is very similar to how rural villages function across the world. However, today’s urban development trends in the U.S. are primarily driven by the baby boomer generation, with many younger families searching for support and community to raise their children.

Considering this under-recognized, yet soon to be realized trend in the U.S., makes this option a very viable one to house aging baby boomers while providing younger generations with support and role models for less disconnected development (i.e. smartphones, computers, processed foods)

Option #2 – Ecovillage Resort

The ecotourism travel trend is growing, and as seen in the Huffington Post’s article, “Eco-Resorts: The World’s 10 Most Relaxing Destinations For Sustainable Tourism,” they are located around the world and cater to various travel lifestyles.

This option would use sustainable building mixed with permaculture to feed guests on vacation, but also provide vocational training to the disadvantaged or individuals in transition (i.e. homeless families, returning veterans, local natives). Modeling an ecovillage resort in this fashion will create positive impact in the environment, local economy, workers, as well as guests who would ideally share their experience and make proactive strides to be more conscious about their actions.

One specific example is the NALU boutique hotel in Costa Rica, as profiled by Inhabit.com. Although the structures are not fully sustainably built, the modern and open design makes for a luxury site.

 

I’m still open to consider other ideas and concepts as I learn and explore, but these two options seem to be the best for business and for people.

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Finding Lost Valley – Pursuing my PDC and EDE

I resigned from my latest agency job at the end of July to pursue what I feel is my next step in life, earning my PDC and EDE from Lost Valley Education & Event Center in Dexter, Oregon.

While the Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and Ecovillage Design Education (EDE) certifications are offered in many places around the country, and the world, I chose Lost Valley because it was one of the few locations that offers both certifications, has a long running history of development, is recognized by Gia Education and UNESCO, and teaches classes in English!

Receiving my PDC and EDE are not essential for me to make a difference in the world, but I would rather educate myself on proven tools, strategies and sciences so I can better help others so they can help themselves.

To provide a little background context, I consider myself a fairly self-reliant person and strive to blaze my own trail through life. So the idea of financial handouts and institutional dependency grinds my gears. Which lends itself to the timeless proverb…

“Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”

This proverb really resonates with me, and motivates me on how I can give back to the world – by teaching others to be self-reliant, with the hope that the change reverberates into the world. And in my case, this involves agricultural techniques and enriched community practices.

So continue following my adventure as I post more blogs, document my trip and share insights of what I’m learning!

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