School of Living has
been at the forefront of alternative/appropriate education and technology
for half a century. Permaculture is a comprehensive ecological approach
to creating human settlements that has been around since the early 1970s.
For over 40 years School of Living has been one of the few American organizations
to embrace this approach and encourage its spread. Permaculture is one
of many programs at SoL that attempt to foster fairness and ecological
What is Permaculture?
Permaculture is often described as applied ecology. Permaculture
seeks to design and implement human and natural systems that are self-perpetuating
and abundant. It started as an alternative agricultural approach that
advised replacing ground level mono-crops with vertically stacked food
forests. It has expanded to address social systems like money exchange
and community governance.
Why practice Permaculture?
The modern consumer culture is degrading Earths ecosystem, and in
the short or medium run can not continue in its present form. It provides
a rich lifestyle for the privileged few, at the expense of poor people
alive today and generations to come. Permaculture offers an approach that
provides for human needs without compromising the health of the planetary
ecosystem, or lowering the quality of life for other people.
What sorts of Permaculture
programs does SoL promote?
SoL has sponsored Permaculture from Nepal to Pennsylvania. Each SoL Land
Trust Community is informed about Permaculture, and to one degree or another
has implemented the approach. The Julian Woods community has one of the
first meso-scale wetland water treatment facilities in the nation. Common
Ground Community has built several state of the art composting toilets,
and is a model of governance by consensus. Birthright Community features
an underground house/greenhouse combination dwelling that exemplifies
many of the principles of Permaculture. Ahimsa Village is developing a
permaculture orchard/garden site, features a strawbale composting toilet
building, two owner-built yurts, and hosts workshops on nonviolence. Heathcote
Community has emerged as one of the most active Permaculture locations
in the country. Located in northern Maryland, Heathcote hosts an annual
Design Course in July and several smaller workshops during
the Spring and Fall. Heathcote has also become the informational hub for
the Eastern Permaculture Teachers Association (EPTA). SoL also uses
Permaculture criteria in assessing the relative merits of proposals for
funding alternative building projects through its Building WithOut Banks
Community's Permaculture Education Website
Information on Heathcote Community's active permaculture education program.
The site provides an introduction to permaculture and information on courses
offered at Heathcote, a School of Living Community.
Highlights PC projects at Ahimsa's School of Living property near Julian,
Permaculture education offered by Dawn Shiner (former SOL Board member).
Includes many useful free articles.
for Sustainable Communities Permaculture Webpage
Information on the permaculture projects on-going in the greater Lehigh
Valley area of Pennsylvania. Includes a link to recommended books and
videos on permaculture.
can I find out more about Permaculture and SoL?
Use the links provided on this page to find out more, or call the Heathcote
Community at (410) 343-3478 (DIRT) or email Karen at heathcote.org
As you continue your
journey towards a brighter future please use all the resources that School
of Living has to offer!!!