Do what you can, where you are, with what you have

In the world we live in now, space can be at a premium. Cities around the world are more and more crowded. Apartment dwellers want to ‘do’ permaculture, but feel their hands are tied. They can’t have a garden, or put in a rocket mass heater, or put a wind turbine on their roof, or use a composting toilet, or keep chickens, or so many things that are advocated in the permaculture design literature and videos we see online. Continue reading “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have”

Permaculture Principle #12 – Creatively use and respond to change

Change can be fun and exciting! A new city, a new school, a new job – the possibilities for fun and adventure are endless. Unfortunately, so are the possibilities for yuckiness.

Change can be hard. And when things go differently than we expected them to, it can throw us for a loop. But we can learn to treasure these changes as learning experiences – and we might be amazed by what we learn, and how adaptable we can be. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #12 – Creatively use and respond to change”

Permaculture Principle #10 – Use and value diversity

Diversity isn’t involved so much with the number of elements in a system as it is with the number of functional connections between these elements. Diversity is not the number of things, but the number of ways in which things work.

~ Bill Mollison

Diversity is the party planner of a permaculture system. She makes sure that no matter what happens, that party is going to be a hit. “The more the merrier!” is her motto. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #10 – Use and value diversity”

Permaculture Principle #8 – Integrate rather than segregate

Integration is so important. Nothing is more productive than two systems working together – unless it’s two or three or four systems working together. The more support a component of a permaculture design has, the greater the success it will have.

Having systems that support each other is one of the mainframes of permaculture design. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #8 – Integrate rather than segregate”

Permaculture Principle #7 – Design from patterns to details

This concept can sometimes be difficult to grasp. What is a pattern, and how can we use it in our designs? We think of patterns as symmetrical, repeating designs that we can print on cloth, wall paper or sheets. That is just one kind of pattern.

The patterns we will be concerned with in our permaculture design plans are generally the patterns of the natural world. The patterns that are followed by the wind, the rain, the sun, etc. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #7 – Design from patterns to details”

Permaculture Principle #6 – Produce no waste

To some, this principle might sound impossible. I mean, there’s always going to be some waste, right? Well, yes. Zero waste has more to do with your choices, rather than some magical way of making waste disappear into thin air.

The ideal situation in a permaculture system is that the waste produced by one area or aspect of a permaculture system can be reused in another area. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #6 – Produce no waste”

Permaculture Principle #4 – Apply self-regulation and accept feedback

permaculture design
I leap . . . then I look.

If you’re anything like me, you have done a considerable amount of leaping without looking, and jumping in with both feet. It’s how I roll. But, as I have learned from experience, that is quite often not so brilliant. By applying self-regulation, we just might save ourselves from making painful mistakes when setting up our permaculture systems. Continue reading “Permaculture Principle #4 – Apply self-regulation and accept feedback”