Posted by: Bob Fisher | November 5, 2009

The Fine Art of Permaculture

“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet”
— David Suzuki


… a podcast with Graeme Calder

groupdiggingCulture and Permaculture

Culture is one of the prime reasons we travel. And travel as a unique human behaviour — as well as a concept — is always a process; never a one-dimensional event.

In the world of travel and tourism we often talk about intercultural understanding, and travel as a means of achieving universal aims and objectives.

Permaculture is also a conceptual and pragmatic way of interacting productively with the many “systems” inherent in the universe and in human communities. It is therefore a philosophical endeavour, a mindset, but above all it is a common sense approach to land management.

It is also not difficult to draw parallels between the Permaculture movement and the travel and tourism industry, given especially the regeneration of the Heritage Movement in which a return to a grassroots and meaningful form of travel is emphasized.

In addition, the increasing emphasis on responsible tourism (often referred to as green tourism or sustainable tourism) is also for many people a preferred method of travel which follows similar principles and ethics to that of the Permaculture movement.

Permaculture emphasizes the designing of human settlements and sustainable agricultural systems which in turn reflect the natural relationships found in the universe. The movement began as an agricultural phenomenon and quickly became an international movement, and for many a way of life.

Increasingly in the world of travel journalism — a corollary “system” to travel and tourism — many are also striving to go beyond the “Where’s the beach?” school of solely consumer-oriented travel. By emphasizing the advantages of a more integrated, reciprocal, and participatory approach to travel, the travel experience is re-affirmed as the most experiential form of learning.

And as you will hear Graeme Calder explain in this podcast, there are many opportunities throughout the world to “travel” in a Permaculture mode.

Statistical footnote

According to a recent Yahoo Travel/Forbes article, the essence of Permaculture is also statistically consistent with travellers who want a “big trip, low impact” travel experience.

“Along those lines, sustainable and eco-friendly tourism are also on the rise–and affecting people’s travel decisions. A survey conducted by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership in July 2009 shows a 9% increase from 2007 in awareness of “green travel.” Six in 10 respondents in the same survey said they believed environmental programs at travel services could have a positive impact on the environment.

The general idea of such an excursion involves minimizing harmful effects on the environment and making sure the money tourists spend in a country stays there. For example, tourists stay at local accommodations and participate in fair trade, buying goods directly from the makers.”

To read more go to “World’s most unique places to visit” by Becky Chung.

Permaculture Resources

P3 Permaculture Design

Pacific Permaculture

The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia

The Montréal Bisophere

The Green Barn Nursery

The Permaculture Guild of Montreal

Earthship Biotecture

The 9th International Permaculture Conference

“Common Circle Education – Permaculture Design Course” (Youtube)

“Permaculture in Action – Greening The Desert” (Youtube)



“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet.”
– David Suzuki, world-renowned environmentalist and scientist

P3 Permaculture Design Media Release

Images and imagery of permaculture

Graeme’s Picasa album is a visual and virtual hands-on Permaculture experience.

To see these images, click here.


Watch Graeme conduct a workshop at Concordia University in Montréal.

An update from Graeme …

“Hey Bob, we are going to Costa Rica this January to teach two Permaculture Design courses. These courses are designed to support the locals in a time of transition. We will be sponsoring 10 local farmers to take the course in their native language in order to help them adapt to Climate Change and transition to a sustainable livelihood”


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