The movement’s founders, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, coined the term permaculture in the mid-1970s, as a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture. In practice, permaculture is a growing and influential movement that runs deep beneath sustainable farming and urban food gardening. You can find permaculturists setting up worm trays and bee boxes, aquaponics ponds and chicken roosts, composting toilets and rain barrels, solar panels and earth houses. Truly, permaculture contains enough badges of eco-merit to fill a Girl Scout sash. Permies (yes, they use that term) like to experiment with fermentation, mushrooming, foraging (also known as wildcrafting) and herbal medicine. Yet permaculture aims to be more than the sum of those practices, said David Cody, 39, who teaches the system and creates urban food gardens in San Francisco.
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