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PowerPlay Centers - Permaculture
Extracts sourced from Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia
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.
The intent is that, by training individuals in a core set of design
principles, those individuals can design their own environments
and build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements —
ones that reduce society's reliance on industrial systems of production
and distribution that Mollison identified as fundamentally and systematically
destroying Earth's ecosystems.
While originating as an agro-ecological design theory, permaculture
has developed a large international following. This "permaculture
community" continues to expand on the original ideas, integrating
a range of ideas of alternative culture, through a network of publications,
permaculture gardens, intentional communities, training programs,
and internet forums. In this way, permaculture has become a form
of architecture of nature and ecology as well as an informal institution
of alternative social ideals.
Holmgren's 12 design principles
These restatements of the principles of permaculture
appear in Holmgren's Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond
Sustainability; Visit the website permacultureprinciples.com;
- Observe and interact - By taking time to engage
with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
- Catch and store energy - By developing systems
that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times
- Obtain a yield - Ensure that you are getting
truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
- Apply self-regulation and accept feedback - We
need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems
can continue to function well.
- Use and value renewable resources and services
- Make the best use of nature's abundance to reduce our consumptive
behaviour and dependence on non-renewable resources.
- Produce no waste - By valuing and making use
of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to
- Design from patterns to details - By stepping
back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can
form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as
- Integrate rather than segregate - By putting
the right things in the right place, relationships develop between
those things and they work together to support each other.
- Use small and slow solutions - Small and slow
systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use
of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
- Use and value diversity - Diversity reduces vulnerability
to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature
of the environment in which it resides.
- Use edges and value the marginal - The interface
between things is where the most interesting events take place.
These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements
in the system.
- Creatively use and respond to change - We can
have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing,
and then intervening at the right time.