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Permaculture Design Course Outline

Permaculture Design Course Outline

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Published by Mindy101Smith
Permaculture Design Course Outline
Permaculture Design Course Outline

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Published by: Mindy101Smith on Apr 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Section 1: Introduction
Permaculture Ethics:
“Care of the Earth”
includes all living and non-living things, such as animals, plants, land, water, andair.“Care of People”
promotes self-reliance and community responsibility.“Give Away Surplus”
pass on anything surplus to our needs (labor, money, information) for the aboveaims.Implicit in the above is the “Life Ethic”: all living organisms are not only means but ends. In addition totheir instrumental value to humans and other living organisms, they have an
worth.Permaculture is an ethical system, stressing positivism and cooperation.
Section 2: Principles of Natural Systems and Design
Guiding principles of permaculture design:
Everything is connected to everything else
Every function is supported by many elements
Every element should serve many functionsWhat is design? It is composed of two elements: aesthetics and function. Permaculture design concen-trates on
.Functional design is:1. Sustainable
it provides for its own needs2. Provides good product yield, or even surplus yield. This happens when elements have no prod-uct unused by other elements, and they have their own needs supplied by other elements inthe system.If these criteria are not met, then
result. Pollution is a product not used by some-thing else; it is an over-abundance of a resource. Work results when there is a deficiency of resourcesand when an element in the system does not aid another element. Any system will become chaotic if itreceives more resources then it can
use (e.g. too much fertilizer can result in pollution).A resource is any energy storage which assists yield. The work of the permaculture designer is to maxi-mize useful energy storages in any system on which they are working, be it house, urban property, rural
lands, or gardens. A successful design contains enough useful storages to serve the needs of people.Diversity is related to stability. It is not, however, the number of diverse elements you can pack into asystem, but rather the
useful connections
you can make between these elements.From source to sink:
Diversity increases
Energy stores increase
Organizational complexity increases
Chaos or Disorder Principle:
If resources are added beyond the capacity of the system to productivelyuse them, then that system becomes disordered (goes into chaos).Chaos or disorder is the opposite of harmony, as competition is the opposite of cooperation. In disordermuch useful energy is canceled out by the use of opposing energy, thus creating entropy or bound en-ergy.Society, gardens, whole systems and human lives are wasted in disorder and opposition. The aim ofthe designer is therefore two-fold:
To use only that amount of energy that can be productively absorbed by the system.
To build harmony, as cooperation, into the functional organization of the system.
Methodologies of Design
Permaculture design emphasizes
of landscape, function, and species assemblies. It asksthe question, “
does this (element) go? How is it placed for maximum benefit in the system?Permaculture is made up of techniques and strategies:
Techniques: concerned with
to do things (one dimensional) e.g. organic gardening
Strategies: concerned with
(two dimensional) e.g. Fukuoka system
Design: concerned with
(multi-dimensional) e.g. permaculture
Approaches to Design:
1. Maps (“Where is everything?”)2. Analysis of elements (“How do these things connect?”)3. Sector planning (“Where do we put things?”)4. Observational5. Experiential
1) Maps
(be careful- the “map” is not the territory”)
Must make observations
.Sequence of maps valuable to see clearly where to place many elements. Clear overlays to plan: Ac-cess, Water, Buildings, Topology.
2) Analysis of Elements
An analytical approach: list the needs, products, and the intrinsic characteristics of each element. This isdone on paper. Lists are made to try to supply (by some other element in the system) the needs of any

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