Why the sudden interest? Some of it may have to do with the fact that spring is coming and I have been trying to do something about the yard (front and back). But there is more to it. Permaculture isn't your typical backyard gardening. It's much more intriguing.
1) The thinking that goes into it, the design thinking part of it is critical;
2) You don't wait for a perfect design. Clearly, a lot of thought goes into where to plant what, but it's really a matter of learning over time what works best for the unique characteristics of the site you're working on and starting small;
3) It's simple, trying to mimic nature, and yet very complex (just like nature) because of all the interactions among the different elements of the system.
I signed up for a hands-on permaculture design class that will take place over 6 weekends through the spring, summer and into early fall. Some things you can learn with books and YouTube videos, but this requires playing with dirt (and compost).
My favorite YouTube videos so far on this topic are the collection from the Bec Helloin farm in France (mostly in French). This is a great little piece of paradise but the permaculture principles have been applied on a large scale in other countries, including China (see the experience of the Loess Plateau).
Here's a little map synthesizing what I've retained so far at a very high level.
|Map #24 - Understanding Permaculture - A Beginner's Map|