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About Michael Cooley

Michael obtained his Permaculture Design Certification via Geoff Lawton, Permaculture Research Institute, in 2013 , and had been a student of Permaculture Design independently for many years prior to obtaining the PDC. In addition to being formerly trained in teaching Permaculture, Michael is a Graduate student in Agroforestry at the University of Missouri. His interest in Permaculture came through an interest in sustainable food production and a desire for nutrient rich foods. He is particularly interested in the value of food forests and non timber forest products, perennial food production, and medicinal plants and herbs.

Michael’s experience as a licensed Financial Advisor and prior career in hospital administration and Human Resources have given him unique perspectives on the economics of Permaculture Design and the management of inputs. Michael is presently creating a demonstration site on acreage in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia (temperate climate). He is also looking to work in Aid work situations worldwide to further his experience in varied climates. His ultimate goal is to teach the PDC and Agroforestry domestically as well as abroad in developing countries where quality nutrition is not readily available. He is available as a permaculture design consultant and lecturer. Additional biographical information can be found here.

Michael Cooley

So….What’s this Permaculture thing all about?

Let’s look and the “What” and “Why” of Permaculture first, before getting into any “How’s”
What is Permaculture?

Permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. Permaculture is about designing sustainable human settlements. It is a philosophy and an approach to land use which weaves together microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, soil, water management, and human needs into intricately connected, productive communities”
– Bill Mollison 

“The word Permaculture was coined by Bill Mollison and myself in the mid-1970’s to describe an integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man.
A more current definition of Permaculture, which reflects the expansion of focus implicit in Permaculture One, is ‘Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for provision of local needs.’ People, their buildings and the ways in which they organise themselves are central to Permaculture. Thus the Permaculture vision of permanent or sustainable agriculture has evolved to one of permanent or sustainable culture.”
– David Holmgren 

David Holmgren and Bill Mollison cofounded the concepts of permaculture.

Put in my own words,


“Permaculture is an ethics based design system that uses natural patterns and processes of God’s creative design as a guide for developing productive and permanent high quality food production and communities, emphasizing water management, sustainability, and the use of natural agricultural systems that require little inputs once established, except to harvest the abundance!”

Michael Cooley

So what I will attempt to do going forward is give some of the “Why’s” and How’s” of Permaculture. I am hoping to also discuss topics in preparedness from a practical point of view… (like what if we have a major ice storm this coming winter and you cannot leave your electricity-less home for a week for example). I believe those trying to be prepared for hard times would be well served to learn and follow the resilience giving principals provided by Permaculture design.

Blog Posts

Hosta for dinner?!

  Hosta,  that ornamental planted in the shaded area of the yard by your spouse, mother, grandmother, aunt, neighbor, etc.etc. is a regular source of food in Asia. Known as Plantain Lillies in Britain and Giboshi and [...]

By | November 14th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Hosta for dinner?!

Permaculture Plant Favorites : Chestnut

Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire Any plant that can be planted and then , once established , is productive, especially as food, and requires little or no inputs, qualifies as a Permaculture [...]

By | October 17th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Permaculture Plant Favorites : Chestnut

Permaculture Plant Favorites: Sunchokes

Sunchokes   Sunchokes (Helianthus tuberosus) are an amazing Permaculture favorite that, once established, produces an abundance of food perennially and can produce hundreds of pounds of food with little or no effort. Sunchokes, also [...]

By | October 5th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Permaculture Plant Favorites: Sunchokes

Urban and Small Space Permaculture

  In September 2014 I had the privilege to speak to a wonderful community group in the inner city of Washington DC regarding “Urban Permaculture for Food Security”. Permaculture as a design science is applicable no [...]

By | September 26th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Urban and Small Space Permaculture

Food Security Part Two

So a few weeks ago I posted about food security and how its important to know how you get your food when systems break down. […]

By | August 30th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Food Security Part Two

The Problem is the Solution

One of the principals of Permaculture is the idea of utilizing the strategies that God has already set in place as a pattern for growing and building productive, resilient structures and food producing systems. This [...]

By | August 18th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Problem is the Solution

Permaculture Ethics

Permaculture Ethics From Webster’s 1828 dictionary: ETH’ICS, n. The doctrines of morality or social manners; the science of moral philosophy, which teaches men their duty and the reasons of it. A system of moral principles; [...]

By | July 29th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Permaculture Ethics