david holmgren

david holmgren.png

intro’d to David here:

Jay (@thejaymo) tweeted at 7:28 AM – 31 Dec 2016 :

Land Cultures: Aboriginal economies and permaculture futures Land Cultures tells the story of the day… https://t.co/Xbno2hqsI1(http://twitter.com/thejaymo/status/815203041892769792?s=17)


ways to perform economy outside the banker’s realm..

bruce pascoe (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Pascoe)

9 min – it was an incredible bit of science and agriculture.. and yet this country knows nothing about it.. 220 yrs of academic research.. and no one can say what that grass was that they were growing.. great grass..here’s a grass.. no one knows of..

..this is an absence of scholarship

12 min – sir thomas mitchel.. in his journals.. rode thru villages.. remarked on how 1000 diff houses and everyone diff.. grace of their design and the bounty of food growing on food/walls..  he had also though aboriginals.. were hunters gatherers.. yet kept finding villages..  growing grains.. et al..

iwan baan ness..

14 min – he (sir thomas) req’d for this land for what it was.. but no one else..did..

15 min – i read about .. bread.. 3 yrs ago.. and i wondered who else had made bread before that.. wikipedia acknowledged egyptians as first people on earth to make bread.. 17 000 ago.. 15 000 yrs after.. one of our women…  and it’s probably older than 32 000 yrs.. so the chances at finding oldest in australia in first try..

16 min – so.. the profs that told me i could mention agriculture and aborigine in the same sentence.. had set me a challenge.. and as i turn the pages of these history books.. i had tears in my eyes.. because i was finding aborigine tools to fight this argument.. there’s nothing wrong with being a hunter/gatherer.. but the truth is.. we were not mere h & g’s..so i was thrilled to find these references.. thrilled to debunk idea as hapless wanderers..

17 min – that insistence on our country in perpetrating this lie is to justify possession of the land.. if you can argue back to your own people in england.. back to own govt in australia.. that aborigine people aren’t doing anything with the land.. they’re not sophisticated enough to use it.. .. then they don’t deserve it.. and nothing.. is further from the truth..

21 min – we flog all our streams.. we think it’s justified by farming… but surely.. there’s a % has to be left in the river.. this is not plato..you don’t have to be plato to work this one out.. you don’t have to be terribly smart to realize that rivers should have water in them.. we owe it to the land to be a bit more gentle.. and aboriginal people had the tools for that.. we’ve still got them.. and they can still be applied..

david holmgren (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Holmgren):

25 min – dates to first discussions with Bill in 1974… but when i read Bruce’s book .. it still was a bit of shock.. the manipulation of bio materials.. landscape.. et al.. rediscovering what was known from the beginning..

27 min – of course it was the legal fact.. under our common law.. that those who worked the land.. did have some rights.. under our law.. so the denial that people were working the land.. was a very deliberate and necessary process for legal dispossession..

31 min – on selection disappearing..

32 min – on aboriginal ecosystem in top layer.. when that’s gone.. left with what’s called the bush

33 min – so .. the landscapes we have are nothing like they were.. the redevelopment of some of the indigenous food plants.. to sustain.. is a long term project.. we’ve got to rediscover the strains.. and do that selection… important tasks.. but won’t be done by the avg farmer.. this year..

35 min – ie: the vision of how we would select trees … a very slow project

37 min – is it cultural appropriation for me to be planting these plants.. everywhere in the world.. permaculture acknowledges indigenous and traditional people as the big source for what we need to do in the future.. *but not in the way that we need to exactly copy it in exactly the same place because the world has changed.. those soils are diff.. **all the cultures of the planet have been scrambled.. we are dealing w/1000 broken jigsaw puzzles.. of which we need to take pieces that we think might be useful.. and ***head over the horizon to a future we don’t know..

*chaos ness from Jim‘s doc..

**the need to listen deeply to every voice.. now.. to now..

***begs we leap.. (for (blank)’s sake…) ..to a nother way.. where we can listen to all the voices

38 min – where we have to again.. become indigenous

like the apple tree.. becoming indigenous

39 min – we all need to become indigenous.. and help with the process of rediscovering of what’s been lost…


indigenous peoples

holmgren indigenous law:



on Permaculture and Reading Landscape – interview for deep listening film- 2015

on meeting up with Bill

Bill: if mostly nature produces a forest as most productive/sustainable.. why doesn’t our agriculture look something like a forest

and that was exactly what i was interested in.. relationship led to permaculture one in 1978.. it emerged between two of us during a huge wave of interest in what we might call .. sustainable solutions.. before the word sustainability was actually in the lexicon.. before any serious discussion of climate change.. but an intense discussion about the limits to growth.. not just oppositional environmental solutions..

while Bill was taking this to the world.. i wanted to do the practical.. so put myself thru intense learning… able to do this locally.. and still stay connected to world thru all inventions of modern media..

6 min – we are what we always ever have been.. understanding our social nature… very clearly social.. 99.98 % of history thru our collective structures..

7 min – understanding how those collective structures worked.. how people lived in traditional/indigenous societies is core to permaculture..

8 min – coming about by seeing how much we needed to learn by direct observation.. rather than books.. being open to what is around… today.. and what was here yesterday/10 yrs ago.. et al.. to be aware of all that.. not in just some intellectual way.. but a patterned way of the world around you..

10 min – i think that is an opening/stepping stone to intuitive/spiritual connection.. although that’s not my beginnings.. i come from background of rationalist..

11 min – being able to see by a contemplative awareness.. just curious.. to understand nature.. then start to see all the patterns/connections.. signs from past.. where it’s going..

12 min – understanding the landscape.. then overflowing to other people..

if we are in a rush to achieve some goal.. doesn’t really work.. we have to just be open.. and then we accumulate understanding..

13 min – if not going to be open.. better to just go and do what you’re told… the answer is that deeper awareness…

14 min – i remain this scientific skeptic about insights that come.. because not like the transparency of science.. could be fluff/emotion… but i do think it’s working.. it works when we slow down.. when we attune ourselves more..

15 min – our senses are all turned down.. because of heavy sensory input from industrial world.. need to turn up the volume/sensitivity to see the subtle/small/slow-moving things.. and maybe that’s the same with people.. what’s the really underlying thing that’s behind what people are saying… what pain are they carrying.. what hidden powers.. history/lineage… capabilities.. people can be completely surprising in same way that nature can be


how you can change the world with permaculture – 2014

rather than just trying to stop the world you don’t want..

new way of changing world..  by changing yourself.. and what you do yourself.. the most powerful thing you can do

permaculture.. doing something for self.. and reducing adverse affects… the doing something for self is attractive to others..

simple low key things that other people can copy.. often don’t need permission/funding..

a lot of this is really subversive.. ie: if large scale tech .. easy for those in control to say no… and stamp it out.. but if something you can do at home…

the part of copying.. the small scale replication.. rather than large scale projects.. is a good learning process.. and allows people to adapt..

then end up with a power base thru autonomy… rather than thru shouting

find/follow David:

his site:


permaculture principles:

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Illustrating the 12 Design Principles – thinking tools for an era of change


About this website

The original concepts outlined in this website were developed by permaculture co-originator David Holmgren and were first published in the Essence of Permaculture in 2002, the precursor to his full length book Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability published later that same year. The icons used in the book, and featured in this website, were a collaborative design effort by David and graphic artist Richard Telford – that’s me on the right.

wikipedia small

David Holmgren (born 1955) is an Australian environmental designer, ecological educator and writer. He is best known as one of the co-originators of the permaculture concept with Bill Mollison.

Holmgren initially concentrated his efforts on testing and refining his theories, first on his mother’s property in southern New South Wales (Permaculture in the Bush, 1985; 1993), then at his own property, Melliodora, Hepburn Permaculture Gardens, at Hepburn Springs, Victoria, which he developed with his partner, Su Dennett.

David Holmgren is regularly involved in teaching Permaculture design and principles organised by VEG, Milkwood, Food Forest, Castelmaine Community House, CERES and Good Life.


In 2007 Adam Grubb, founding editor of Energy Bulletin.net (now Resilience.org) published Holmgren’s extended essay Future Scenarios; mapping the cultural implications of Peak Oil and Climate Change that established Holmgren as a significant futurist articulating and clarifying the Energy Descent concept.