The principles in permaculture are derived from scientific understanding of the way nature works—as interconnected systems. By learning from nature, we reclaim our innate ability to understand systems, and hone our systems thinking skills. By designing with nature, we not only save time and energy; we sequester carbon and water, build soil, and regenerate degraded ecosystems and communities—all while meeting our needs and creating new possibilities. Penny Livingston-Stark shares her view of permaculture:
While the original design of EcoVillage Ithaca in the 1990’s was not specifically informed by permaculture, these principles have guided our thinking since 2006. We take a land partnership approach, and seek co-development of land systems (land use, landscaping, natural environment, people’s interaction) with built systems (houses, roads, utility infrastructure.) Several residents are certified permaculturists, including Karryn Olson-Ramanujan who has created maps to visually access key info about our 175-acre site for planning purposes.
Examples of permaculture at EcoVillageIthaca include:
- First neighborhood (FROG) landscaping and its edible berm garden.
- Siting of the third neighborhood (TREE).
- Treeplanting and species selection, on the edges where meadow meets forest.
Our goal is to continue to develop examples of permaculture on-site to be used for demonstration and teaching purposes.