called the 'King' or 'Father' of Permaculture
Bill Mollison, who recently died (24 september 2016), is considered to be the ‘father’ of permaculture. He originally coined the word Permaculture by combining the words Permanent and Agriculture, in later years he defined it as ‘Permanent Culture’.
With David Holmgren he developed the concept in the mid 70’s which resulted in the book Permaculture One. Published in 1978 it was the first big compiled presentation of the permaculture concepts and the book presented permaculture as an integrated design concept. In 1979 he published Permaculture Two which focusing more on design. His practise as a Permaculture teacher advanced and resulted in Mollison’s book Permaculture – A Designers’ Manual, published in 1988 by his own publishing company Tagari Publishing. This book expands the knowledge into a complete curriculum for designing human habitats in a way that’s ecologically sound and economically viable, through the means of Permaculture. The book is considered the ‘Bible’ for studying Permaculture and is the basic compendium for the Permaculture Design Certificate course (PDC).
He had a pragmatic -we've got problems so let's fix it- approach.
Mollisons work is inspired by:
Joseph Russell Smith (writer of Tree Crops, in which the concept of Permanent Agriculture was introduced)
P.A. Yeomans (Keyline design)
Masanobu Fukuoka (Natural farming)
Links:Tagari Publishers >>
called 'The Crown Prince' of Permaculture
Geoff Lawton was a student of founder Bill Mollison. They taught many PDC’s together and Geoff was a close friend to Bill.
Geoff Lawton is the current director of the Permaculture Research Institute in Australia. Located at Zaytuna Farm in The Channon, the PRI Australia is the intellectual headquarter of permaculture worldwide. It's mission is to ‘create world wide financially and operationally self sufficient permaculture demonstration and education sites’. He emphasizes community building and promotes a future in which mankind is 'living in permaculture abundance’.
The PRI Australia website (PRI >>) is the main online portal for permaculture worldwide. He additionally created the Permaculture Global website >>, an online community for practitioners.
As a renowned practitioner, teacher and promoter Lawton is seen as the modern front man of what permaculture is about and where it should go. He is the caretaker of the famous Permaculture Design Certificate course, THE standard course for becoming a certified permaculture designer by profession.
Geoff Lawton initiates and guides many other courses on topics such as earthworks. Since 2013 he runs a yearly online PDC which serves thousands of students world wide.
As a teacher-speaker-designer he travels around the world promoting and realizing permaculture solutions, mainly in degraded or arid landscapes, such as the Wadi Rum desert in Jordan. Together with his friend John D. Liu he gained more attention in the mainstream media with their ‘Greening the Desert’ films and philosophy.
Links:Geoff Lawton >>
Permaculture Research Institute >>
cofounder and philosopher
David Holmgren is the co-originator and co-developer of the permaculture concept. He worked with Mollison in the early days and together they wrote Permaculture One published in 1978. After this period he went into practise for many years. In later times he emerged as a profound permaculture thinker which resulted in the 2002 published book Permaculture Principles and Pathways beyond Sustainability. In this book he compiles his vision and 25 years experience into the formulation of the now famous ’12 principles of permaculture’, each of which he explaines in a chapter.
He is an public active designer, speaker and writer. Peakoil, transition and climate change are some of his major topics of interest and he proves to be a visionairy philosopher of great influence in the permaculture world and beyond.
Links:Holmgren Design Services >>
Permaculture Principles >>
called the Mighty, the Glorious, the Amazing...
Sepp Holzer is often considered as the greatest practitionar of Permaculture. Allthough never educated in the field, he was asked by Mollison to call his self taught method of farming ("Wildkultur" or "wild culture") Permaculture because of the amazing results he accomplished on his farm Krameterhof in Austria. He retired from his farm, started another small homestead 'Holzerhof' and travels around the world creating water retention landscapes and teaching Permaculture and Agro-ecology.
Recently he does many projects in Russia and eastern Europe.
Links:Sepp Holzer in the USA >>
Holzers Permaculture, Austria >>
Krameterhof Josef Holzer, Austria >>
called the 'Duke' of Permaculture
Paul Wheaton is the creator of the largest online permaculture commnity: Permies.com >>. He is often called 'The Bad Boy of Permaculture" because of his style of presentation. His mission is to "plant the word Permaculture in every brain" within his "Devious plot for World Domination". He is a permaculture visionairy and an advocate of a very conscientious style of Permaculture, combined with a very commercial view on farming. He is a promoter of Hugelkultur (say hoogle-cool-tour), the Rocket Mass Heater and housing experiments such as his earth sheltered 'Wofati' concept. Recently he obtained 206 acres of woodland near Missoula, now called 'Wheaton's Lab' where he experiments with new concepts.
Links:Rich Soil >>
Predecessors of Permaculture
Joseph Russell SmithJoseph Russell Smith was a professor of geography at Columbia University and writer of Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture in which he describes the value of tree crops for producing food and animal feed on sloping, marginal, and rocky soils as a sustainable alternative to annual crop agriculture.
Masanobu FukuokaFounder of 'Natural Farming', a natural and philosophical style of farming which attempts to farm in complete accordance with the forces of nature. So no tilling, no prefabricated fertilizers, no biocides or even biological pest control. Some of his techniques are combined rice and barley cultivation and seeding with seed containing clay balls.
Allthough not a permaculturist himself, his philosophy is very aligned with permculture.
P.A. YeomansDeveloper of the Keyline design system.