The Foundations of Permaculture Design

Music The Permaculture design process itself is
regenerative, like a tree. The process starts by studying the workings of the natural world.
This part of the design process is like the tree’s root system. We want to see how the
water flows, how the wind blows, how the soils are deposited, how fire moves through the
landscape and how the plants arrange themselves. We want to observe the norms and extremes
of weather and climate. This is the study of ecology, botany, hydrology, climatology
and many others. We also want to observe the patterns of humans. How did indigenous people
inhabit a place? Where did they plant their crops? Where did they set up their villages? After long and protracted observation, we
conduct a site analysis. This is where we map the forces and flows of the site. If we
have taken the time to do a thorough site analysis, the design becomes obvious.
I always caution students about trying too hard on the design. If it’s not coming easily,
then perhaps you need to do more observation and study. Design is the trunk of the tree. Permaculture
has principles and methods to guide this process, which we’ll be getting into later in the
course. The Permaculture design system is where we get into the details of how to arrange
systems for different climate types, from drylands to tropics to the temperate zones,
mountains to valleys, coastal to inland regions. The design becomes an interconnection of systems,
including water, roads, trees, buildings, gardens, fences and more. After design comes implementation, building
the systems. The system can be anything from a small balcony garden to a sprawling farm
or ranch. The techniques will differ but the basic design system remains the same and that’s
what we’ll be looking at in this course. And finally feedback. This is where Permaculture
stands out among other design systems in that the feedback loop is built in. Just as the roots of a tree pull water and
nutrients from far and near, deep and shallow, Permaculture design pulls knowledge from many
areas. With permaculture design, we look at every
aspect of human settlements and the environment. Permaculture addresses political, economic
and social systems as part of the design. Non-physical structures like commerce, governance,
finance and access to land make the physical structures like ponds, orchards, homes and
villages possible. So the roots of the Permaculture design tree
are fed by the fields of Energy, Finances, Economics, Ecology, Anthropology, Architecture,
Geography, Horticulture, Agriculture, Biology, Botany, Engineering, urban planning, hydrology,
forestry, marine science and many more. Those nutrients are taken up into the wood
of the trunk of the Permaculture design system tree, which is based on ethics and principles.
That tree then grows leaves, and the fruits are harvested through the design and development
of farms, homes, villages, towns, communities, businesses, gardens, plantations, aquaculture
systems, and others. Permaculture is a way to steer our society
towards a just, abundant and enduring future. The Permaculture tree grows in a spiral, and
has 7 major branches. As you learn the Permaculture design system, you follow the spiral through
each of these branches, beginning at a personal and local level by putting your own house
in order, and then moving into the collective and global level, as you expand out into your
community and beyond. The seven branches are the Built Environment, Tools and Technology,
Culture and Education, Health and Spiritual Well-being, Finance and Economics, Land Tenure
and Community, and Land and Nature Stewardship.

  1. that 7 rooted rules looks so inviting that it makes me wanna tattoo it…just to have it as a mindmap

  2. I'm sorry, but this video just isn't useful.. There is no context given for the things you are explaining and some of the time it sounds more like poetry than something I can practically understand and eventually implement.. (Coming from a hippie that understands hippie mumbo jumbo, normally..)

  3. Indigenous Wisdom is so important, we are all indigenous people! Come join the Eco Summit in Ashland Oregon June 4-5th to network with like-minds and learn more about the indigenous ceremonial process and participate in creating an Eco City!

  4. Congrats for all your videos on permaculture design. Please consider to open it so that we can add subtitles in other languages.

  5. i like the video but I can see why some people may think it is too hippie , which is okay because hippies love peace and nature , what is wrong with that?

  6. It’s such a shame, the indigenous people were killed off, after thousands of years of being settled in the land- a lot of knowledge has been lost but most importantly precious lives have been killed. I hope we learn from this.

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