Resilience in Permaculture

Resilience in permaculture refers to the ability of your system to produce consistent yield, even under adverse environmental conditions. Once you design your permaculture farm, it should be able to withstand pressure from external forces and hold its internal structure together.

Essentially, permaculture will mimic forest ecosystems that have adapted to thrive in tough climatic conditions and the influence of human activity. The founders of permaculture, Bill Mollisson and David Holmgren, aimed to combine pragmatism and philosophy to develop a sustainable farming approach. 

Designing resilient permaculture systems

Permaculture is based on three ethics, namely: care for the earth, care for the people and share abundance. Therefore, a permaculture system has to be resilient both in terms of environmental conservation and economic productivity.

advantages and disadvantages of permaculture

Share abundance posits that there is only one earth and the current generation is obligated to preserve it for all future generations. Sustainability should be applied uniformly across the globe to ensure a brighter future for the earth. The farming systems should be resilient so that our future offspring can enjoy the benefits.

It makes no sense to design a sustainable community or nation while leaving the rest of the world to suffer water and food shortages. Therefore, permaculture designs have to prioritize resilience to ensure that social contact and employment are available to all. 

Natural patterns of permaculture systems

Permaculture is designed to oppose the industrial growth of the global agricultural system. At the core of its ethics, permaculture aims to design fairer and more equitable systems that take into account the limits of the planet’s resources and the needs of all living things.

James Preston/Flickr

The principles can be applied at any climate in any scale, derived from thoughtful observation of nature and landscape design. Consequently, your permaculture design has to survive through tough climatic conditions and ensure sustainable economic returns.

Conventional farming practices are cyclical and often affected by changing weather patterns and economic transitions. Permaculture is built on natural patterns that have evolved for years and are adapted to suit different weather conditions. Essentially, permaculture farms are better positioned to thrive amid tough weather conditions. They are therefore a safer bet for a more consistent yield and maintenance of biodiversity in your locality. 

Consistent food production

Natural ecosystems are resilient because plants grow and interact with each other. Permaculture mimics nature by integrating multifunctional plants in vegetable gardens, food forests, and fruit tree orchards.

You can include plants that attract pollinators, other beneficial small organisms, and those that provide mulch. Diversity allows plants to perform many functions that support a thriving ecology. Organisms in the soil are key to providing resilience to your ecosystem. Each component in your system will serve multiple functions that will ensure the sustainability of your farm. 

Diverse permaculture farm
Photo by Tom Fisk

Resilient agricultural systems are more beneficial for food production in the long term. Permaculture can lead to self-sufficiency and the preservation of depleted ecosystems. It has the capacity to integrate knowledge, ethics, and practice to recreate the beneficial relationships between elements in nature.

Permaculture also encourages farmers to reduce their ecological footprint by sharing and distributing resources in the community. Caring for people is a core tenet of permaculture and makes sure that future generations enjoy the benefits of the natural ecosystems. Permaculture is an agricultural as well as social movement, whose output will not only serve you, but your offspring, and the surrounding community for many years. 


Permaculture enables the creation of resilient ecosystems that can ensure consistent food production for the farmer and community. The preservation of soil, promotion of diversity and reduction of waste make permaculture a preferred farming alternative. It integrates philosophy and practice to encourage the efficient use of natural resources for a sustainable yield.