Have you ever wondered what permaculture actually is? David Holmgren, the co-originator of the concept wrote in 2002:
“Permaculture is a design system based on ecological principles which provides the organising framework for implementing a permanent or sustainable culture. It…draws together the diverse skills and ways of living which need to be rediscovered and developed to empower us to move from being dependent consumers to responsible producers. In this sense, permaculture is not the landscape, or even the skills of organic gardening, sustainable farming, energy-efficient building or eco-village development as such, but can be used to design, establish, manage and improve these and all other efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future.”
Though Permaculture once referred to (Perma)nent Agri(culture), it has now come to stand for Permanent Culture having been broadened by pioneers to include aspects as diverse as settlement design, business management and, now for the first time, festival production. Since 2009, Sunrise has been committed to developing along the principles of Transition which in itself has its roots based firmly in the fertile soil of Permaculture design.
Permaculture is about Whole Systems, not partial ones. Its about looking at the whole picture, not just a single part of it. For years Sunrise has included in its production a Permaculture Area and Garden. However, this in itself is therefore not really Permaculture. We have presented it as a place to learn about this fascinating topic and those things connected to it. Despite this, we have never really taken it to the next stage of its inevitable evolution, to begin applying it to the whole festival. This article looks at some of the key permaculture principles and how they can be applied to Sunrise and other festivals.