As I work through the steps of transforming my garden from the ornamental, labour intensive, resource consuming, minimum production garden that existed when we moved in, to the permaculture garden that I envisage for the future, I will document each step in the hope that it will benefit others out there. In doing so I hope that this will enable those who would like to implement permaculture systems for themselves, but don’t know where to start, what to do, and can’t afford or don’t have access to a permaculture course.
I am keeping a notebook of information and exercises and will reproduce it here as my permaculture journal. I am working through Rosemary Morrow’s (1993) book the Earth Users Guide to Permaculture which I purchased from a secondhand book shop. I have also read Bill Mollison’s (1991) work Introduction to Permaculture which I borrowed from my local library and then made copious notes.
On the front page of my journal I have recorded the ethics, principles and characteristics of permaculture, as a reminder of what permaculture is all about, and of what, why and how I am trying to achieve my goal.
So, to start:
Ethics of Permaculture
* Care for the earth
* Care for people
* Distribute surplus
* Reduce consumption
Techniques and strategies of permaculture should always be carried out in accordance with the ethics and principles.
Principles of Permaculture
* Everything works at least two ways
* See solutions not problems
* Use everything to its highest capacity, work where it counts
* Co-operation not competition
* Minimise maintenance and energy inputs to achieve maximum yields
* Recycle everything possible
* Help make people self-reliant
* Bring back food production
Permaculture Principles for Ecological Design
* Preserve genetic diversity
* Respect the right to life of all species
– Allow ecosystems to evolve under changing conditions
* Use species and habitats sustainably so that essential life sustaining processes are maintained
– Clean air, water, atmospheric regulation, soil building
Characteristics of Permaculture
* Small scale, intensive landuse patterns
– Arable land is preserved or returned to natural ecosystems
– Landscapes are varied and interesting
– Most work is close to home, easy to manage
– of species, cultivars, yields, niches, functions, social roles and work
* Integration of many disciplines
– including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, aquaculture, wilderness management, sociology and economics
* Long term sustainability
– Designed to adjust to environmental catastrophes
* Use of wild and domestic animals and plant species
– Animals are an integral part of the system
– Indigenous and endangered species included in the system
* Use of naturally inherent traits of land, plants and animals
– Energy and biological resources, including water and soil, are conserved, rebuilt, self-regulating and self-repairing.
(Morrow, R., 1993)
Morrow, R., (1993) Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture, Kangaroo Press, Australia.
Mollinson, B., (1991) Introduction to Permaculture, Tagari Publications, Australia