The following article was published in the Permaculture International Journal in 1997 (issue 61) provides an indication of the ideas which are further developed in other writings in Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability and which is the subject of the new book being researched.
If you reproduce or quote this article please credit the author and PIJ as original publication source.
WEEDS OR WILD NATURE?
The permaculture movement’s development since from its conceptual origins1 in the 1970’s has been closely connected to Landcare and revegetation. The primary agenda of the movement has been to assist people to become more self reliant through the design and development of productive and sustainable gardens and farms. The design principles which are the conceptual foundation of permaculture were derived from the science of systems ecology2 and study of pre-industrial examples of sustainable land use. They suggested agricultural systems needed fundamental redesign rather than fine tuning. A much greater role for trees and other perennial plants to stabilise the landscape and provide for human needs was one of the cornerstones of the permaculture strategy. From one perspective, permaculture is a revegetation strategy.
The initial permaculture vision involved forests of “useful” species planted in arrays to mimic natural systems. Although food species dominate the strategy for intensive (zone1&2) systems, in more broadacre areas fibre, animal fodder and timber along with passive environment functions are the appropriate “uses” of revegetation. My revegetation manual3 concentrates on these broadacre landscapes and functions of revegetation. What identifies it as permaculture is the design system approach and the integration of the productive and environmental functions of farm landscapes.