Section 1 – What is Permaculture?

Welcome to Oregon State University’s Introduction to Permaculture!

Permaculture design is a method of landscape planning that can be applied at scales from the home garden to city block to village to farm. It is an ethically based whole-systems design approach that uses concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous peoples, and other time-tested practices to create sustainable human settlements and institutions. Although rooted in horticulture and agriculture, Permaculture design is interdisciplinary, touching on a wide range of subjects including regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, and international development. In this free online book, students will learn about the Permaculture design process, its ethics and principles, and delve into climate-specific design elements through interactive technology, videos, graphics and readings. This book is designed to be as accessible as possible, meaning no matter your learning style, time commitments, or technology available, you will benefit from this book.