The greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens. If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone. Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.— Bill Mollison
The most off-limits Bill Mollison quotes that will activate your desire to change
Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature;
of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system
Sitting at our back doorsteps, all we need to live a good life lies about us.
Sun, wind, people, buildings, stones, sea, birds and plants surround us. Cooperation with all these things brings harmony, opposition to them brings disaster and chaos.
You don’t have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency.
We ourselves are part of a guild of species that lie within and without our bodies. Aboriginal peoples and the Ayurvedic practitioners of ancient India have names for such guilds, or beings made up (as we are) of two or more species forming one organism. Most of nature is composed of groups of species working interdependently.
We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities
Wealth is a deep understanding of the natural world.
What is proposed herein is that we have no right, nor any ethical justification, for clearing land or using wilderness while we tread over lawns, create erosion, and use land inefficiently. Our responsibility is to put our house in order. Should we do so, there will never be any need to destroy wilderness.
If you let the world roll on the way it's rolling, you're voting for death.
I'm not voting for death.
Permaculture creates a cultivated ecology, which is designed to produce more human and animal food than is generally found in nature.
The end result of the adoption of permaculture strategies in any country or region will be to dramatically reduce the area of the agricultural environment needed by the households and the settlements of people, and to release much of the landscape for the sole use of wildlife and for re-occupation by endemic flora.
Compressed air can provide limitless amounts of clean energy using technology we have had for hundreds of years.
To accumulate wealth, power or land beyond one's needs in a limited world is to be truly immoral, be it as an individual, an institution, or a nation-state.
If you're a simple person today, and want to live simply, that is awfully seditious. And to advise people to live simply is more seditious still.
Permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments.
..Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area.
Anyone who ever studied mankind by listening to them was self-deluded.
The first thing they should have done was to answer the question, "Can they report to you correctly on their behavior?" And the answer is, "No, the poor bastards cannot."
There is no more time-wasting process than that of believing people will act, and then finding that they will not.
Permaculture is an integrated, evolving system of perennial and self-perpetuating plants and animal species useful to man.
The value of land must, in the future, be assessed on its yield of potable water. Those property-owners with a constant source of pure water already have an economically-valuable "product" from their land, and need look no further for a source of income.
Few people today muck around in earth, and when on international flights, I often find I have the only decently dirty fingernails.
Pollution is an unused resource.
You should never have gotten to the stage where you could see the last ancient forests! Just get out of there right now, because the lessons you need to learn are there. That's the last place you'll find those lessons readable.
I think it's pointless asking questions like "Will humanity survive?" It's purely up to people - if they want to, they can, if they don't want to, they won't.
If and when the whole world is secure, we have won a right to explore space, and the oceans. Until we have demonstrated that we can establish a productive and secure earth society, we do not belong anywhere else, nor (I suspect) would we be welcome elsewhere.
Most biologists, (says Vogel, 1981) seem to have heard of the boundary layer, but they have a fuzzy notion that it is a discrete region, rather than the discrete notion that it is a fuzzy region.
Why is it that we don't build human settlements that will feed themselves, and fuel themselves, and catch their own water, when any human settlement could do that easily? When it's a trivial thing to do?
Permaculture is something with a million heads.
It's a way of thinking which is already loose, and you can't put a way of thinking back in the box.
If you're dealing with an assembly of biological systems, you can bring the things together, but you can't connect them.
The important thing is not to do any agriculture whatsoever, and particularly to make the modern agricultural sciences a forbidden area - they're worse than witchcraft, really.
We don't have any power of creation - we have only the power of assembly.
So you just stand there and watch things connect to each other, in some amazement actually. You start by doing something right, and you watch it get more right than you thought possible.
I probably lead a very spoiled life, because I travel from people interested in permaculture to people interested in permaculture. Some of them are tribal, and some of them are urban, and so on.
Humans were my study animal now - I set up night watches on them, and I made phonograms of the noises they make. I studied their cries, and their contact calls, and their alarm signals. I never listened to what they were saying - I watched what they were doing, which is really the exact opposite of the Freuds and Jungs and Adlers.
The extinction rate is so huge now, we're to the stage where we've got to set up recombinant ecologies. There are no longer enough species left, anywhere, to hold the system together.
Most modern homes are simply uninhabitable without electricity - you couldn't flush the toilet without it. It's a huge dependency situation.
Don’t worry about being able to identify each of these plants (in your designs for clients). The world is full of botanists and horticulturists. All you have to do is design. You don’t have to be a botanist; you don’t have to be a bulldozer driver; you don’t have to be a fence builder; you don’t have to be an architect. What the designer has to do is look at the relationships.
People do things which I find quite amazing - things I would never have done and can't understand very well.
The agriculture taught at colleges between 1930 and 1980 has caused more damage on the face of the Earth than any other factor.
I'd come into town from the bush - after 28 years of field work in natural systems - and become an academic. So I turned my attention to humans, much as I had to possums in the forests.
There are a few societies that show signs of having been very rational about the physics of construction and the physics of real life. Some of the old middle-Eastern societies had downdraft systems over whole cities, and passive, rapid-evaporation ice-making systems. They were rational people using good physical principles to make themselves comfortable without additional sources of energy.
We have to let nature put what's left together, and see what it can come up with to save our ass.
The American lawn uses more resources than any other agricultural industry in the world. It uses more phosphates than India and puts on more poisons than any other form of agriculture.
You can't live like a Bushman or an Aborigine anymore, so they've got to rethink the whole basis of how they're going to live. Permaculture helps you do that easily.
When you get deep ecologists who are philosophers, and they drive cars and take newspapers and don't grow their own vegetables, in fact they're not deep ecologists - they're my enemies.
I think the world would function extremely well with millions of little cooperative groups, all in relation to each other.
Permaculture principles focus on thoughtful designs for small-scale intensive systems which are labor efficient and which use biological resources instead of fossil fuels. Designs stress ecological connections and closed energy and material loops. The core of permaculture is design and the working relationships and connections between all things.
The first time I saw a review of one of my permaculture books was three years after I first started writing on it. The review started with, "Permaculture Two is a seditious book." And I said, "At last someone understands what permaculture's about."
To create a mess in which we perish by our own inaction makes nonsense of our claim to consciousness and morality
The worst thing about permaculture is that it's extremely successful, but it has no center, and no hierarchy.
Once you've said to yourself, "But I'm not using my physics in my house," or "I'm not using my ecology in my garden, I've never applied it to what I do," it's like something physical moves inside your brain. Suddenly you say, "If I did apply what I know to how I live, that would be miraculous!" Then the whole thing unrolls like one great carpet. Undo one knot, and the whole thing just rolls downhill.
Too often, the pastoralist blames the weeds and seeks a chemical rather than a management solution; too seldom do we find an approach combining the sensible utilisation of grasshoppers and grubs as a valuable dried-protein supplement for fish or food pellets, and a combination of soil conditioning, slashing, and de-stocking or re-seeding to restore species balance.