“All the world’s problems can be solved in a garden” Geoff Lawton 

Developed in Australia in the 70’s by Bill Mollison and Dave Holmgren, “Permaculture (Permanent Agriculture) is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems which have the diversity, stability & resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape, people and appropriate technologies, providing food, shelter, energy and other needs in a sustainable way.

Permaculture is a philosophy and an approach to land use which works with natural rhythms and patterns, weaving together the elements of microclimate, annual and perennial plants, animals, water and soil management, and human needs into intricately connected and productive communities.”

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Calabash partnered with permaculture consultant Alhyrian Laue from TRY Ecosystems (Terrain Resilience Yield) to pilot a process combining ABCD and permaculture principles and methods at two primary schools in KwaZakhele, WB Tshume and Emzomncane. African Bank and Tribes Foundation funded the initial phases of the project, after which Hella AutomotiveWickersley School and Sport CollegeLions International and the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality contributed towards subsequent phases.

After involving the community through applying an ABCD process, a group of parents formed the Milani Group (meaning to hold one another), who now help maintain the two permaculture designed gardens that are established and expanding. The gardens supply fresh and nutritious organically grown produce for the school’s daily feeding scheme, and surplus are sold to the community by the Milani Group.

We found that ABCD and Permaculture Design methodologies naturally complement each other, that Permaculture Design ethics also hold for ABCD, and the process have subsequently been replicated, based on lessons learnt at other partner schools.

The process involves the following:

  • Collecting information – stakeholder engagement, interviews, observations;
  • Design and mapping;
  • Workshops, environmental education and implementation;
  • Developing context specific learning resources;
  • Detailed process reports.


  • To support a permaculture initiative, visit our Donate page

  • For more information and progress of existing projects, visit Resources

  • If you would like to visit the existing permaculture sites, use the sites for educational purposes, or require permaculture consultation, please Contact Us