Bill Mollison, co-founder of the modern permaculture movement, passed away on September 24th at the age of 88. Countless people whose lives he enriched are mourning his loss, but there is great comfort to be found in the incredible legacy that he has left behind.
Just about every person who has explored permaculture is familiar with Mollison’s name. Alongside David Holmgren, Bill shared holistic food cultivation philosophies and techniques that have reshaped the way many of us view the natural world and how we interact with it.
He encouraged us to approach gardening in a holistic fashion—one that nurtures the land around us even as we cultivate it for our own use. He taught us how to live in symbiosis with plants and animals, how to work with nature rather than trying to subjugate it, and how to truly be the change we want to see in the world.
One of the basic tenets of permaculture is for us to act as stewards for the land that feeds us. Every time we pluck a root from the soil and replace what we took with compost, we do exactly that. When we plant native wildflowers to feed pollinators, or encourage our chickens to eat beetles and slugs, we draw upon the principles Bill shared with us over the years.
So many of us hope to leave our little corners of the world a little better than how we found them. Bill Mollison achieved this goal, and his teachings will undoubtedly inspire future generations to do the same.
From all of us: an immense and sincere “thank you” to Bill for the wisdom and passion that he shared with so many.
May he journey well.
Photo credit: nicolas.boullosa via Foter.com / CC BY
I have always considered Bill Mollison a friend, and a compatriot in the sense that my mother’s family are also Tasmanian. I first met him in 1985 at a Permaculture gathering on Whidbey Island in Washington State. He gifted our world with his insightful wit and wisdom – may God bless his good soul and console his family.