Contractual Ethics & Principles of Permaculture
1. Care for the Earth
2. Care for People
3. Return the Surplus/Limit Consumption
Principles for Functional Design
1. Observe. Use thoughtful observation, conferences and supplied information. Observe the site and its elements in all seasons. Design for site specific, client needs, and climate.
Deliver and Present: Site Sector Maps of resource assets, micro-climates, wildlife corridors, soil zones and energy flow.
2. Connect. Use relative location. Place elements in ways that create useful relationships and timesaving connections. The number of connections among elements creates a healthy, diverse ecosystem, not the numbers of elements
Deliver: A strategy and placement of design elements achieving the goals.
3. Catch and store energy and materials.
Identify, collect, and hold the useful flows moving through the site. By saving and re-investing resources, we maintain the system and capture still more resources.
Deliver: Strategy for collecting and storing resources on site.
4. Each element performs multiple functions. Choose and place each element in a system to perform as many functions as possible. Increasing beneficial connections between diverse components creates a stable whole. Stack elements in both space and time.
Deliver: Integrated system designs of Polycultures, support, and nutrient cycling.
5. Each function is supported by multiple elements. Use multiple methods to achieve important functions and to create synergies. Redundancy protects when one or more elements fail.
Deliver: Designs with redundant features supporting the eco-system design.
6. Make the least change for the greatest effect. Find the “leverage points” in the system and intervene there, where the least work accomplishes the most change.
Deliver: The least change for the most effective solutions.
7. Use small scale, intensive systems. Start at your doorstep with the smallest systems that will do the job, and build on your successes, with variations. Grow by chunking.
Deliver: A long-range five-year plan for establishing perennial gardens, livestock and increased soil resources.
Principles for Living and Energy Systems
8. Use the edge effect. The edge—the intersection of two environments—is the most diverse place in a system, and is where energies and materials accumulate. Optimize the amount of edge.
Value: the marginal areas as prolific sources of energy and resources.
9. Accelerate succession. Mature ecosystems are more diverse and productive than young ones, so use design to jump-start succession.
Deliver: Strategy for securing plant guilds through out the property, diminishing stress.
10. Use biological and renewable resources. Renewable resources (usually plants and animals) reproduce and build up over time, store energy, assist yield, and interact with other elements.
Enlist, livestock within the rotation of soil harvesting. All waste is food.
11. Recycle energy. Supply local and on-site needs with energy from the system, and reuse this energy as many times as possible. Every cycle is an opportunity for yield.
Research, autonomous energy options for heat, electricity and water.
12. Turn problems into solutions. Constraints can inspire creative design. “We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.”
Accept, problems as solutions through creative group problem solving.
13. Get a yield. Get both immediate and long-term returns from your efforts: “You can’t work on an empty stomach.” Set up positive feedback loops to build the system and repay your investment.
Focus, on human needs within the program for healing the land, for we are the land.
14. Yields are unlimited. The biggest limit to the total yield of a system is the designer’s imagination.
Expand the yield to self, heart, and soul. Build a future.
15. Disperse yield over time: Principal of seven generations. We can use energy to construct these systems, if during their lifetimes they store or conserve more energy than the amount of energy we use to construct or maintain them.
Honor, the child as grantor of the land, make all systems future proof. Build natural capital, protect assets and limit consumption
16. Mistakes are tools for learning. Evaluate your trials. Making mistakes is a sign you’re trying to do things better.
Observe failure and expect correction. Work within the Niche
Paraphrased from Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison, Tagari Publications, 1980
Definitions of Permaculture
Permaculture is “the conscious design and maintenance of productive ecosystems that have the diversity, stability and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.”
—Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison, 1980
Sustainable in this context means "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
—The United Nation's Brundtlund Commission
of Environment and Development, 1987