Permaculture is a holistic design system used to create healthy, vibrant human communities and natural ecologies.  It is based on a philosophy of working with natural patterns and systems to co-create productive, resilient ecologies. 

Permaculture is founded on a threefold ethic, implicit in all true designs and implementation -

  1. Bullet Care of the earth

  2. Bullet Care of people

  3. Bullet Reinvestment of surplus

In all our work, we seek to embody these critical ethical principles.

In permaculture design, we rely on thorough observation and analysis of each individual site to determine how best to benefit the ecosystem, while at the same time, copiously fulfilling the goals and needs of the inhabitants.  Thus, a true permaculture design integrates on-site resources, with well planned transportation, energy, hydrologic, agricultural, social, economic and construction systems, creating a unified whole that actually serves to regenerate and restore degraded landscapes.


The concept of permaculture was developed in Australia in the 1970s by naturalist and researcher Bill Mollison and systems ecology student David Holmgren.  Their first publication, Permaculture One, outlined their vision, in practical terms, of the creation of a ‘permanent agriculture’; a generations old practice in many parts of the world, which focuses on the use of perennial plants and tree crops in a dynamic system that is by and large self-maintaining.  These carefully designed systems work together to meet their own needs along with those of their inhabitants.

After several years of experimentation, the witty, outspoken and impassioned Bill Mollison took their idea to the road, thereby training students around the world in well over one hundred countries in the principles and practice of permaculture.  From this early work evolved a 72 hour standard curriculum - the ‘Permaculture Design Course’ - which continues today to provide students worldwide with an in-depth overview of the process and principles that comprise Permaculture Design.  For information on upcoming design courses, click here

Permaculture is a linking discipline, by its very nature serving to connect the theory and insights of the fragmented world of science, thereby creating an interconnected lens through which we can observe and respond to the ecology we are a part of.

At Keyline Vermont, permaculture design principles and thinking guide our work, resulting in beautiful, productive, elegant human ecologies that provide for our needs while increasing the diversity and health of the natural world around us. 

Sound interesting?  Contact us - we’d love to tell you more!

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