Holmgren Design

Vision & Innovation

What is Permaculture?

Popularly seen as a ‘cool’ form of organic gardening, permaculture could be better described as a design system for resilient living and land use based on universal ethics and ecological design principles. Although the primary focus of permaculture has been the redesign of gardening, farming, animal husbandry and forestry, the same ethics and principles apply to design of buildings, tools and technology.

Applying permaculture ethics and principles in our gardens and homes inevitably leads us towards redesigning our ways of living so as to be more in tune with local surpluses and limits.

Permaculture is also a global movement of individuals, groups and networks working to create the world we want, by providing for our needs and organising our lives in harmony with nature. The movement is active in the most privileged and the most destitute communities and countries. Permaculture may be Australia’s most significant export for humanity facing a world of limits.

from David Holmgren’s book RetroSuburbia

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In this video, produced by The Food Forest, in 2010, David reflects on how permaculture can be used as a template for survival and abundance

Permaculture could be better described as a design system for resilient living...
~ David Holmgren, Permaculture Co-originator
When we work with nature instead of trying to impose our will, the solution is often found within the problem.
~ David Holmgren, Permaculture Co-originator
It is not the project but the living process that will be the measure of our actions.
~ David Holmgren, Permaculture Co-originator

Latest Writings

Featured Videos

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Changing Habits for Self-Reliance and Resilience

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David Holmgren — Sustainable Living Festival 2018

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David Holmgren — Decolonise Your Lawn

About Holmgren Design


David Holmgren - At home (Melliodora in Hepburn, Central Victoria), David is the vegetable gardener, silviculturalist and builder. Within the international and growing permaculture movement, David is respected for his commitment to presenting permaculture ideas through practical projects and teaching by personal example, that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic, attractive and powerful alternative to dependent consumerism.

David Holmgren is the co-originator of the permaculture concept following publication of Permaculture One, co-authored with Bill Mollison in 1978. David is globally recognised as a leading ecological thinker.


Melliodora is a small specialist publisher dedicated to producing a limited range of books and other media by David Holmgren and other authors. Our titles aim to support individuals in their personal permaculture journeys.


Melliodora is a 8700m² (2¼ acre) property situated on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Central Victoria. It is one of the best documented and well known permaculture demonstration sites in the world.

Latest News

The Papillon Project continues to thrive

The Papillon Project is an educational charity that promotes sustainable living and environmental awareness to young people in the UK. They work with secondary schools to inspire young people to grow food for themselves and their local communities. David Holmgren is thrilled to continue being one of The Papillon Project’s patrons.

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Castlemaine Permaculture Hub PDC

While it’s best to do a PDC in your own bioregion, committing to a 2-week residential course is simply not possible for everyone. If you live in or around Central Victoria, and you are looking to learn more about living the ethics and principles of permaculture, you might like to book into the Castlemaine Permaculture Hub PDC. David is not the lead teacher, but a guided tour of Melliodora with David and Su is certainly part of the program.

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