My good friend Craid Sadur who is currently kickin’ it tough in the Chicago area just published this excellent articlethat gives a great introduction to permaculture concepts:
Permaculture is a new system of thought that is gradually becoming popular. It is a philosophy that works with nature, instead of against nature. “Traditional agriculture” has relied upon conquering nature with artificial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Permaculture is attempting to escape from this dependence on chemicals in agriculture.
Permaculture is also a design method that studies patterns from nature. Then those patterns are mixed with modern technology to design sustainable systems. The key is to not compete with nature, but work with it.
Many popular concepts are already included in Permaculture and Permaculture design. These concepts are: organic gardening, rainwater harvesting, composting, sustainable building, gray water recycling, and the utilization of natural energy sources. All of these are important aspects for a sustainable future. These concepts have observed what nature gives us. They are using a form of technology to create sustainable solutions.