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How Wolves Change Rivers

A wonderful example of Nature's Wisdom Economy, evolving an environment in which a wide diversity of life can thrive and live in harmony.



Permaculture is not a new concept and the term permaculture (as a systematic method) was first coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978. The word permaculture originally referred to "permanent agriculture" but was expanded to stand also for "permanent culture," as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming philosophy.


Bill Mollison, known as ‘the Father of Permaculture,’ has the following to say:


"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions rather than asking only one yield of them & of allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions."


"Permaculture is the study of the design of those sustainable or enduring systems that support human society, both agricultural and intellectual, traditional and scientific, architectural, financial and legal. It is the study of integrated systems, for the purpose of better design and application of such systems.”


Clearly, it is much more than gardening! You can see that it is a philosophy, an idea which can guide our thinking and actions in order to live at one with the world.



Graham Bell offers the following message:


"Are we at the mercy of a misguided management of the ecosphere, or can we take control for ourselves and re-discover its innate abundance?  Feed ourselves? Reduce our energy demands drastically?  Build for a low-carbon future?  And find a common cause and positive goals that cross boundaries at home, in our communities, and in the global community?  Whilst leaving the world a better and more beautiful place which we have come to understand profoundly…


What’s needed is a framework that will guide us- not giving us the answers, so much as giving us the questions which we can ask to lead us to the answers we need, tailored for our individual and group circumstances.


Permaculture is a design science.  Not a cult, religion or political view.  It’s about profoundly understanding the power of nature which governs all human activity, and developing a series of practical steps that deliver the world we want and need.  So abundant you have left-overs to share.  It’s not about self-sufficiency, hard work or hair shirts.  It’s about doing what you can for yourself, working less but cleverer, reducing carbon footprint, and being wildly creative.  When you comprehend all that it becomes a way of living.


Let’s replace fear with fun and enjoy connecting into the fabulously rich world we have inherited whilst enriching our lives and the lives of those around us."



At An Tearman the principles of Permaculture are the guiding light to our activities:


Earth Care: Sustainability through low-impact living in tune with nature; self-reliance in wholesome food, power and other resources, providing abundance for all; recycling and reducing waste; stewardship of the Earth and rebalancing the ecosystem; the use of technology to heal, rather than harm. The outcome: less energy, less maintenance, less pollution, more resilience

People Care: Sanctuary for quiet reflection and connecting with nature; an equitable distribution of resources; community building through community circles and mutual support; consensus decision making through community counsel; care and guidance of young people and vulnerable adults in support of self-respect, purpose and meaning in their lives; communication skills training and support, with an emphasis on compassion and cultural intelligence; celebration;

Fair Share: A Wisdom Economy, aiming to enable people to give what they can in return for receiving what they need; engaging in service to each other and to the wider community; supporting the local economy; offering opportunities for sharing resources, for personal development, learning and co-creation; sharing abundance – with all our friends and relations, from the lowly earthworm to the eagle on high, nourishing all through nourishing the earth that sustains us.



A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.


Doug Larson

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