Permaculture, a contraction of permanent agriculture, can be understood as a design system for the application of agroecology. Agroecology applies principles of ecology to agriculture, with a focus on the interrelationships between people and the environment. More broadly, permaculture is also used as a system for creating sustainable ways of living.
The permaculture design system uses concepts and tools, such as “guilds,” to help plan agroecosystems and mimic natural ecosystems.
In practice, permaculture gardens and farms are often organic, low input, biodiverse, and aim to be regenerative. The techniques used in permaculture are not unique to it, but draw from agricultural and land management practices used by farmers and groups around the world historically.
Individuals and organizations around the world use permaculture in many different ways. A global movement disseminates and uses the design system and associated practices.