The permaculture ethics were presented in my first Permaculture Design Course as the touchstone of designing towards sustainability – whether as a landscape designer, as an architect, urban planner, as a farmer/gardener, as a teacher or activist, or as an urban dweller seeking to find balance and create an ecologically-sound life. I was amazed that I hadn’t been presented with a statement of ethics in any other discipline I had studied; I had known about the Hippocratic oath taken by medical practitioners, but not for professions that deal with the health of the land, of our communities or our cities and ecosystems. Since that time I have realized how critical ethics are in my permaculture design work and my teaching of permaculture. Ethics guide my work and my daily activities.
“Just join with one or two friends to make your way in the confusion. Others will follow and learn” – Bill Mollison
Observing my life and the world around me, it’s easy to see how little I know about the systems that I live in. How could I have done elementary school and high school without learning the simple skills of gardening, plumbing or motorcycle maintenance? How could I know more about history and literature than about the names and functions of weeds that have grown around every home I have ever lived in?
Jason GerhardtPath to Permaculture: Delvin’s Story
I came to permaculture, in a very convoluted way, through my friend Ali Sharif, (a late renowned permaculture activist and organizer, working in Mozambique, Africa). We became friends when I was helping him find a small farm to purchase, and later to remodel an old adobe house.
One day Ali asked me to watch his place while he went to a training program called permaculture. Ali didn’t make clear what this training was all about, and I agreed to take care of his home.
Scott PittmanFounding a Journey Through Permaculture
My first roots started to grow as a nomadic seed, an active ecologist wandering from project to project, leaving a positive trace in my wake – compost piles, composting toilets, native plant gardens, botanical inventories, gray water recycling systems…I was wandering and unable to ground myself in a long term vision.
Jason GerhardtA Permaculture Journey From Costa Rica to the Inner Lands
A couple years ago I had a conversation with a woman who started a phenomenal affordable housing program in Utah using education and natural building as her means. I asked about the story of how she got there. Was she in construction? Was she an educator? She was a mortgage officer for a bank. She got tired of turning people down who didn’t qualify for a home loan due to low income, and knew personally what it was like to not have a consistent home as a child growing up in Cincinnati.
Jason GerhardtAn Unlikely Journey to Permaculture: we all have a story, and why it matters
Permaculture teacher, designer, do-er. Jason Gerhardt has professionally applied ecological design for well over a decade from hyper-arid deserts to lush temperate forests to dense urban centers. He applies his keen study of ecosystems, human culture, and design to this blog.
Institute co-founder and original permaculturist. Scott has been teaching Permaculture globally for over 30 years. Full of wisdom and astonishing stories from the beginnings, Scott cares deeply about upholding the highest standards of Permaculture.