Category Archives for "Permaculture"

Permaculture Principle 12: Creatively Use and Respond to Change

Image of cyclone destroying a house

Evolutionary or Unforeseen
All systems, whether natural or man-made are subject to change either through an evolutionary process or an unforeseen event. Some changes are predictable, and we can plan for them – in nature we have seasons and patterns of succession, in life, we experience rites of passage as we age and in business, market disrupters require businesses to evolve in order to remain competitive.

We Can Use It to Our Advantage
The changes we can anticipate should be accounted for in any system we design. This takes us full circle to the first design principle – the purpose of Observing and Interacting is to take stock of the shifts that are happening.

Anticipating it can help us create productive ecosystems faster, better meet the needs of population growth, assist us in successfully ridding our economic booms and busts…

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Permaculture Principle 11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Living on the edge
In a society, the edge is where free thinkers go to live – innovative ideas thrive there. In nature, it’s also a wonderful place to reside. This permaculture principle takes us there.

You’re so Edgy
An edge is where two systems butt up against each other – water meets land and an estuary is born, two companies merge their similar experimental cutting-edge technologies to develop a new better product or a Ska band moves in next door to an investment banker and new friendships are made at their shared fence – Introducing new plants and animal species, inspiring technological breakthroughs and sparking new conversations that may not have ever have happened otherwise.

Edges are easier to see in nature than in other more abstract forms such as friendships and technology. I love to wander the edges of…

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Permaculture Principle 10: Use & Value Diversity

Did You Backup Your System?

A healthy Ecosystem is characterized by biodiversity. In nature, a variety of animal and plant species co-exist to create a stable environment. In a system designed with Permaculture principles, every function should be covered by other elements, a backup or duplicate.

Compost, Rainwater, a Woodpile & Preserves

For example, compost can be produced in a compost heap or by a worm farm, water harvesting is great insurance against drought, and a woodpile sits at the ready as an alternative form of heat for warmth and cooking. The energy we store in the form of preserves will provide an alternative food supply in case of emergency.

Diversity and A Healthy Society

A diverse skill set develops transferable abilities into similar but unfamiliar roles that can open new career opportunities. Financial investors are encouraged to have diverse portfolios. In the same way that a healthy diet consists…

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Permaculture Principle 9: Use Small & Slow Solutions

Get Small & Slow

Permaculture favours small scale solutions that are applicable in many ways.

Building a system slowly is advantageous because it allows you to adjust to changes and make corrections on a small scale. 

This will ultimately be less of a drain on your time and budget. While meeting its objectives, once established, a well-designed system should be as small as possible thus making it more efficient and easier to maintain. Slow systems are easier.

Garden Example – Perennials

Perennial plants are a good example of a slow solution. Initially, they are characterized by slow producing yields but over time once they establish themselves…

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Permaculture Principle 8: Integrate Rather than Segregate

Segregation vs Diversity

Nothing is random in nature, and in a Permaculture design, the choice of elements should also be meaningful. In designing a system, an analysis of how individual elements work is essential but the relationship between these items is just as important. Modern life is typically characterized by segregation – everyone is separated along religious, political, and economic lines.

People’s work lives tend to be kept very separate from their home lives. The young and old are estranged from one another. However, where there is cultural diversity, communities grow in surprising ways.


Like plants, people thrive best in supportive environments where they are fulfilling their purpose but also contributing to the greater whole. Attaining self-sufficiency…

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