Principles from "Permaculture: A Designers' Manual" by Bill Mollison

Principles from Permaculture a Designers' Manual by Bill Mollison.

This is the definitive Permaculture design manual in print since 1988. It is the textbook and curriculum for the 72-hour Certificate course in Permaculture Design.


You may also be interested in this podcast, where Geoff Lawton covers the contents of the Designers' Manual in about an hour.

permaculture designers manual cover
butterfly on buddleia

Work with nature rather than against

Work with nature rather than against the natural elements, forces, pressures, agencies, and evolutions, so that we assist rather than impede natural developments.

Problem is solution

The problem is the solution

One of the most liberating aspects of permaculture is looking at the problem as the solution. By taking a different approach, we can use a perceived obstacle as a positive attribute instead.

Lasagne Mulch

Make the least change for the greatest possible effect

Small changes meet with less resistance than huge overhauls. I can't afford to retrofit my flat and moving is a big upheaval that I am not ready for yet. So, I can start by draughtproofing using old materials I have at home: pillows, unused itchy blankets, for example.

Unlimited Yields

The yield of a system is theoretically unlimited

The yield of a system is theoretically unlimited (or only limited by the imagination and information of the designer).

The only limit on the number of uses of a resource, possible within a system, is in the limit of the information and the imagination of the designer.


Everything gardens (or modifies its environment)

The example of a bird; it may collect small sticks, twigs, mosses and grass to construct a nest. It may eat insects and grubs, it may also eat berries and digest the fleshy fruit and excrete the seed.