An introduction to permaculture

December 31, 2015

Sheldon Frith has put together a fantastic blog post: ‘Introduction to permaculture for the uninitiated’. It’s not too long and brings the essentials together. Click here.

What is particularly interesting is his section on ‘The value of permaculture’, where he talks about four major design principles:

  • Stacking functions: Each element performs more than one function, and each function is fulfilled by multiple elements.
  • The problem is the solution: Training ourselves to see “every problem is also an opportunity.” 
  • Zones of production: “The good designer will position elements on the property based on the amount of time that will be spent in them. Elements which require daily attention should be close to the living area.
  • The Edge Effect: Edges are the most productive areas of landscapes. The good designer will maximize the amount of edge in the landscape.

These permaculture principles are just the tip of the iceberg, and are a big part of the reason I see regenerative design as so inspirational – the implications are far reaching, and not just for ecological systems. Think governance, think social questions. It’s a question of mindset.

I’m also attracted to the fact that if things are designed intelligently enough, the [ecological] system is left to its own devices and we can just sit back and harvest the benefits.

Frith also goes into a few specific agriculture techniques which are relevant for permaculture.

For more on the different techniques of holistic land management to emerge out of permaculture design, you can see this highly informative keynote by Paul Wheaton of permies.com.  Be warned, he uses, as he says, ‘the  full beauty of the English language’. Content starts at 2.50 ish. Specific techniques starts at 7 min ish.

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