Prime Directive of Permaculture

This is a continuation of an introductory series exploring my study and application of Permaculture.  You can find my other articles by visiting GHC’s Site Index.  All of these topics are discussed more deeply during our Workshops and Seminars.

The Prime Directive of Permaculture is rather straight forward.  I’m not saying it’s shallow.  I’m saying it’s straight forward. Rather than parse this already bare bones direction that needs to define all Permaculture systems, I’m going to let it speak for itself and then wax a little philosophical about why I think it has the potential to have a huge impact in areas outside of growing vegetables.


Simple enough, right?  It would certainly be unethical to shirk the most basic of human instincts – Caring for ourselves and our kids.

But I’d like to take a few moments and share one of the things that attracts me to Permaculture, as a niche in the more general “Homesteading/Sustainability Movement”… if in fact that label is a thing.  Here it is:

Permaculture brings people together.


Let’s face it.  Our society is, at times, divisive.  Our nation’s political elites depend upon it, so it’s in their best interests to keep shoving a small number of fringe issues in front of our faces 24/7 to remind us how evil “the other guy” is.  Otherwise, we might start talking and realize we actually have a lot of shared goals and concerns.

Can’t have that.

I’ve been overjoyed to discover that Permaculture is a rare human microclimate where two people come together, discuss shared interests, help with a project, and break bread… despite having very different world views and personal beliefs.  Yes, the most hardcore of doomsday-gas-masked-paranoid-ammo-caching-zombie-hunting Survivalist is in the same place as the most hardcore of anti-showering-Gaia-hugging-dreadlocked-communal-living Socialist.  Plus a whole lot of people in between those (both unfair) caricatures that are constantly perpetuated.

That is rare.

That needs to be encouraged.

That is how we will overcome problems – large and small.

After all, each of us, no matter who you vote for, just want healthy food for ourselves… and especially for our kids.


That’s an ethical decision.

Oh… and I used my awesome graphic design skills to make my wife laugh while discussing this topic.

Lt Commander Comfrey

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7 comments on “Prime Directive of Permaculture
  1. Greetings! So yes, I’m with you on growing on your own food. We still live in the cul-de-sac (mostly because we bought Grandma’s house and it’s convenient) but would love to live on 5 acres instead.

    We’re very fortunate to have a half acre to garden on because this is rare where we live.

    We love knowing where our food comes from and growing our own, it’s the best feeling working in the garden with our kids. Just Liked your Facebook page, please consider Liking us back! Thanks =)

  2. Patrick says:

    Right on. Permaculture casts a very large net. You don’t need to see eye to eye on everything to plant a garden or figure out a design that works for a site. But I will say I have a hard time tolerating the pseudo-scientific claims of things like Bio-Dynamic Agriculture.
    Patrick recently posted…Strawberries, Snakes And PuppiesMy Profile

  3. Mike – Love the summation. It’s very accurate. I’ve attended a few permaculture courses and events and you’re right, diversity among the community is rife. I wrote the following as part of a review of the Harvest Festival at a place in Melbourne, Australia, called the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies (CERES):

    Harvest Festival saw breathtakingly diverse crowd of people converge on a small slice of Melbourne. Business people in suits, families with prams and whinging toddlers, hippies with tall heads of dreadlocks, hipsters sipping on green smoothies, people of countless nationalities; young people, old people, rich people, poor people. People. That’s what Harvest Festival is about. People. People and how they interact with the natural environment. Importantly, how people can interact with the natural environment but have the most positive, and littlest, impact upon it. The food was overwhelmingly simple and organic and healthy. The music, rich with meaning. The banter: of things that matter.”

    • Mike says:

      Excellent write-up. Sounds like a very fruitful event.

      Polyculture can confuse pests and keep their numbers low. Must be why politicians love monoculture in their political parties.

  4. Eddie Dahle says:

    Wow I have been wanting to do this for quite some time. Any tips and advice on how to start?

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