What is Permaculture?

 "Permaculture is not confined to gardening, or plant growing, it is a design system including the placement of all elements of a landscape and of the living system in the right relationship to each other"
-Bill Mollison

Permaculture is the science of applied ecological design. In using observation and calculated (and often creative) planning, systems are created based on natural cycles to produce productive, efficient sustainable and ethical spaces. Using both traditional wisdom, as well as modern science, Permaculture primarily focuses on providing basic human needs and social and economic foundations to support them.
Permaculture is based on ecology, inter-relationships and the interdependence of living things and their environment. This does include plants, which is what springs to mind for most people when they think of the word 'Permaculture'; but it also involves soils, water, wildlife and animal systems, bush regeneration, forestry, architecture, agriculture, community, society, economics, bioregions and technology to name a few!
Permaculture is a very vast subject, which can be applied to a  way of thinking and living, not just as a means of gardening.
By observing and mimicking nature, we can concentrate on the functions that the elements of a system can perform, and how they contribute to the whole landscape, rather than only focusing on the individual features and the yield we can receive from them.
Designing with nature and its cycles, we can start contributing to becoming a conscious part of this planet and offering solutions towards is ecological security.

"[Permaculture] draws together diverse ideas, skills and ways of living which need to be rediscovered and developed in order to empower us to move from being dependent consumers to becoming responsible and productive citizens"
-David Holmgren