Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.
Permaculture is sustainable land use design. This is based on ecological and biological principles, often using patterns that occur in nature to maximise effect and minimise work. Permaculture aims to create stable, productive systems that provide for human needs, harmoniously integrating the land with its inhabitants. The ecological processes of plants, animals, their nutrient cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all part of the picture. Inhabitants’ needs are provided for using proven technologies for food, energy, shelter and infrastructure. Elements in a system are viewed in relationship to other elements, where the outputs of one element become the inputs of another. Within a Permaculture system, work is minimised, "wastes" become resources, productivity and yields increase, and environments are restored. Permaculture principles can be applied to any environment, at any scale from dense urban settlements to individual homes, from farms to entire regions.
This is why we want this site to be far more than a gardening site. In order to build successful human settlement we need to address all the inputs and outputs of our system. These include not just soil, rain, fertilizer and plants, but everything in your environment, clean air, power, equipment, yes absolutely everything. We must understand that everything we do in life has an effect. Understand too that just because you can't see it doesn't mean it can't or won't hurt you. So I encourage you to apply the following Permaculture Principles to your whole life just not your garden or farm.
Permaculture Core Values
Earthcare recognising that Earth is the source of all life
Peoplecare helping each other to change and develop a·healthy society.
Fairshare ensuring that Earth's limited resources are used wisely.
The core of permaculture is in supplying a design toolkit for human habitation. This toolkit helps the designer to model a final design based on an observation of how ecosystems interact. These designs are them modified using feedback to ensure the solution always meets the 3 core values.
- Observe and interact
- Catch and store energy
- Obtain a yield
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
- Use and value renewable resources and services
- Produce no waste
- .Design from patterns to details
- Integrate rather than segregate
- Use small and slow solutions
- Use and value diversity
- Use edges and value the marginal
- Creatively use and respond to change
Zones are a way of organising design elements in our environment on the basis of the frequency of human use and plant and animal needs. Frequently used elements of the design are located close to the house in zones 1 and 2. Less frequently used elements that benefit from isolation are further out. Zones is about positioning things appropriately. Zones are numbered from 0 to 5.
Zone 0 The house. Here permaculture principles would be applied in terms of aiming to reduce energy and physical needs including harnessing natural resources such as sunlight and rain water.
Zone 1 The zone nearest to the house, the location for those elements in the system that require frequent attention, such as vegetables, worm farms and chickens. Raised beds can be used in zone 1.
Zone 2 This area is used for siting perennial plants that require less frequent maintenance. Orchards, ·beehives and large scale composting.
Zone 3 This is the zone where large crops are grown. Care and maintenance required is far less frequent. This includes pastures for livestock.
Zone 4·The semi-wild area. This zone is mainly used for forage and collecting wild food, i.e. berries mushrooms, as well as timber and firewood production.
Zone 5 The wild area. There is no human involvement in zone 5 apart from the observation of natural ecosystems and cycles.
To be continued....