Permaculture The Documentary: How it started

Permaculture The Documentary: How it started



This short film is part of a bigger film being produced Permaculture The Documentary, produced by Dogs Go Woof Productions.

This is a first reveal of the footage that has been shot with David Holmgren as he recounts how a chance meeting with Bill Mollison sprouted the idea of Permaculture; where it all started.

The next chapter is to shoot Bill’s story in Tasmania, where Permaculture began and discover how this simple idea evolved into the most sustainable design system that reconnects human culture with nature in an evolving world.

For information on donating or the film please visit:

I'm David holmgren and I'm best known as the Co-originator of the Permaculture concept in the 1970s with Bill Mollison. Sometimes there's two stories that are
told about how the idea of permaculture really came about. One story is that
Mollison was my supervising academic and I was just some technical assistant
who worked with him. And then there's the opposite of that which is; I was the
brilliant student and he was the academic who stole my work.
Which neither of those are true. I mean for a start, he was my mentor while I was working on
that Permaculture manuscript. But, if it had been left to me the Permaculture
manuscript would have just moulded away in a draw. It was Bill who was like, no
we're going to take this to the world. The core of the idea of permaculture
really came about when I was coming towards the end of
my first year in Environmental Design And my interests were gravitating around
ecology, agriculture and landscape design. And I could see how to of it is connected,
but I couldn't see anywhere Where the three crossed over and intersected,
so I wanted to look at that. At a seminar about
how land is owned and controlled there was a bloke there who
said some really interesting things. He pointed out that the rabbit problem in Australia could have been solved by
rabbit trappers, but they had no incentive to do so,
because they didn't benefit from the land being in better condition from
there being less rabbits. So what did they do? They farmed the rabbits on the
farmers land. So, he was pointing out that the
ownership of the land Had this really adverse effect
on the sustainability of the land. I thought,
"Gosh, this guy thinks just completely different to
the academic ecologists I'd met." And that was Bill Mollison. I got chatting with him afterwards and I
said well I'm interested in this intersection between ecology, agriculture
and landscape design And how systems could influence that. And, he said,
"How about this for an idea then…" If most places on the planet, nature
creates a forest why doesn't our agriculture if not look like a forest,
function something like a forest? Why is our agriculture all composed of
only annual plants That grow and die in one year? Where as in nature; there's a diversity. And that's exactly in that intersection. By understanding how nature designs things We can create permanent agriculture and
permanent culture in everything we do. And, that became Permaculture. it comes from two Latin words "permanens" to persist through time and "culture"
an activity that supports human existence. so put those together:
it's a persistent system that supports human existence. So, Bill was my mentor, we were
developing the first Permaculture garden on the fringes of Hobart and persuaded
me that we should publish it But, I didn't have a lot of the experience in
all the different fields that underpinned Permaculture and so, my passion was about
doing those things and building Melliodora here. Whereas Bill was ready for a
larger stage and taking permaculture to the world was his next agenda. and he developed the beginning
of the Permaculture Design Course. and that mechanism
was really how permaculture spread
not just in Australia But, around the world. So although I was Co-originator of the
Permaculture concept Bill was the father of
the Permaculture movement. Hey guys, thanks for watching the video hope you enjoyed it. That's just a small taste of what I've been shooting with
David holmgren So, that's about a third of the film now a shot and done. And, it's all thanks
to your donations and the support for the film. So, everyone who has
donated, thank you so much. You guys have made that possible. So, the next chapter
now is to go over to Tasmania. And that's where bill and David basically came up
with Permaculture And also tell Bill's side of the story. So we need to raise
some funds to go over to Tasmania and start shooting that part of it. So, if you'd like to support
the film Share this video and also donate at our website. So thanks for watching
and don't forget to donate.

25 thoughts on “Permaculture The Documentary: How it started”

  1. Beautiful man so much love and respect for you appreciating Bill like this, you’re both a credit to this world and I’m so passionate about wanting to do something about this freakin mess we’re all in atm, but I feel stuck and broken and I don’t know what to do anymore. Peace.

  2. Now it's a pyramid scheme. The only ones making money are running the courses.Based on ridiculous ideas that are only practical for those who have exploitable labour (interns)or lots of money.Swails and composting are two examples of uneconomical permaculture nonsense.

  3. Well done video! It's great to hear how things started. I think average people want to share the story as accurately as possible. And thank you for your great work, Mr. Holmgren. Our food forest is now providing the beginning of the real abundance I always dreamed of. Plus my midwestern neighborhood is all fired up about forest gardening, we're becoming better stewards one day at a time.

  4. gives me goosebumps whenever I watch this…the Creator has a perfect plan and wants humans to follow that plan…permaculture is the human conveyance of that plan and it is beautiful…thank you so much for sharing your mind with the world. I have a nascent 4 acre permaculture food forest I started developing in March 2019 in SE Kansas and for me it is heaven on Earth

  5. काले वर्षतु पर्जन्य पृथिवी शस्यशालीनि।
    देशोयं क्षोभरहितो मानवा सन्तु निर्भया ।।
    Love from India.

  6. What you are doing is amazing, thank you! Such an intelligent movement (Permaculture) needs the best quality platforms of explanation and you are providing this, exceptional man your talking to there…..

  7. Permaculture. A story of two crooks creating pdc pyramid industry to sell feel good bs to naive, gullible and alienated. BS, unfounded in science claims, old fashioned peasantry and worthless verbal diarrhea you can find only in management textbooks – that's permaculture in a nutshell. The only thing keeping "permaculture" afloat for this long is the fact that absolute majority of people treat permaculture buzz as soothing therapy sounds, very few actually try to replicate a damn thing. If more people did, the permaculture gurus would be pitchforked by angry crowds.

  8. @DogsGoWoofProductions thank you, this is a wonderful little doco. A little feedback: the text is never on screen long enough to read all of it – I suggest trying to keep the text on screen for a few seconds longer

  9. It all started with "agriculture" in academia/"modern scientific culture" recognized only as "modern agriculture" and for a moment forgetting about "indigenous sustainable agriculture systems", as not being part of "agriculture"/"science". From this "permaculture" would/could be a "scientific attempt" or effort, that could have become part of Hard Science Research, with empathy for indigenous systems?

  10. If the rest of the documentary follows along as well as you did this segment it will be a wonderful addition to awakening others to the world of permaculture. Much gratitude to you for this work. I made a donation.

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