Can we have a sticky on what the ethics and principles of permaculture are please.

Discussion in 'General chat' started by mischief, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    "Design from patterns to details"

    I had alot of trouble working this one out.

    But it boils down again to stepping back and watching how things are in nature including human nature.
    Then using those or similar patterns to best effect then filling in the details once you have the 'bones' of the system in place.

    Working things out like the different guilds to go with different trees or water edges, for example.
    If you look at how nature organises things you get abetter idea of how to get a system that is more in balance with itself and you with it.
    This would then mean not having to fight/ constantly have to repair(weed?) the area you are working on.

    I like how these principles dovetail in with each other.
    In order to get this one right you find yourself doing alot of the others.
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    It is the "interconnectedness" of the mandala system that is most attractive to me. The patten we draw from can be seen in fungus and banananas but the relationships between fruit trees and beds is beautiful. I still get amazed with patterns that present themselves as the garden grows such as trees linning up and circle centers being determined by the angle of the paths and more. Tesselations appear in the compost sites and in the junctions of the paths and beds. - beautiful.
     
  3. kimbo.parker

    kimbo.parker Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,441
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    patterns in the garden

    i have noticed a pattern.......all my trees leaves turned brown.....as did the understorey....as it all died in the drought. My failing to design for a zero water record caused this.

    the biggest lack of rain ever, the hottest summer ever.........a 3,500 year long cylce of drying that has not even began to turn,,,,

    there was thick mulch; plump beds with hand made soil; years of compost.....a designers baby.
    7 years old, over 50 exotic fruit trees, guilds and stacked........
    dead.

    got no water to irrigate; 2 big dams, empty
    2 soaks, ditto....3 big water tanks,,,and just enough for stock and us if we don't wash much etc.

    you can take pattern language only so far when the trend....is a desert.
     
  4. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    That sort of thing could drive you insane Kimbo (friend)
     
  5. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    I'm really shocked and sorry to hear about your trees dying!!
    That must be heart breaking.
    Cant see how you could design for this.
    I hope you didnt lose everything!?

    Maybe abit crass but this did bring to mind another principle.

    "Use and value diversity"

    (quote)' Diversity reduces the vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides'

    You certainly have a unique environment.
    To be honest I cant imagine living somewhere where it doesnt rain to that extreme.
    My environment is completely tame by comparison and even I have troubles with it.

    When did this happen?
    Did you come up with a solution for this?
    Different tree types that would be more suited to the environment?

    One threat I can see with my area is human impact in that cutting down the forests has changed the soil.
    I thought the amount of mulch I have been putting on the garden would be an overkill but this is not the case.
    Really free draining soil seems to need tons of humus to get it to the point that it will retain moisture.
    I'm starting to wonder if really close planting is such a good idea and am thinking less plants with more mulch so the plants that are there dont fight each other for the amount of water that is available.

    I think I got it right on the diversity side though.
    For example,the cherry and Amish paste tomatoes havent suffered from the blossom end rot at all where as the Oxheart tomatoes did
     
  6. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Principle 8 - Integrate rather than segregate. Each element performs many functions, and each function is supported by many elements.

    I'm in the midst of a plumbing crisis. A friend backed down my driveway last night, missing the edge badly (Charter boat? What charter boat? - the QLD'ers will get it). He managed to take out 2 star pickets, my mail box, and my backflow prevention device, thereby ripping open the main water supply. The water had to be turned off at the main. This was just after dinner, before washing up, and evening showers of kids, and washing school uniforms....

    But! For the first time in my life I have a rain water supply and a grey water supply and they still worked. A few buckets had to be carried from the taps outside but we had enough to brush teeth, wash hands etc etc. I had a lovely bucket shower this morning. It was good to be reminded that you can get nicely clean on about 5 L of water if you put your mind to it. But Kimbo already knows that.... I can just hear him saying 5 LITRES! I could shower in 50 ml!

    So - I'm very pleased that my water requirement is supported by many elements. I'll be even more pleased when the friend offers to pay for the plumbing costs and the new mail box....
     
  7. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    I think of all them this has to be my favourite principle.
    You can do so much with it.
    Again tho it starts with observing.
    I feel like I keep pointing that out but thats because I have learnt long and hard to do so before starting anything.
    I love that word... intergrate.
    No more separate flower and veg garden or herb gardens.You can join them all up so they flow into each other.
    Imgination is the key I think.
    No more smelly chook pen stuck in the middle of nowhere.
    No more separate orchard or native plants area.

    Working out what would go with what so they support each other is quite eye opening.
    I think I'd like to try out different combinations,I cant wait to start all over again next spring and try some combo's I've thought might work together.
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And the friend HAS offered to pay the plumbing costs and for the new mail box. And the plumber is a nice bloke, who was happy when I gave him one of my surplus pumpkins.

    So there's a happy ending....
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    Another one is 'Apply self regulation and accept feedback.'

    The idea is to discourage actions that arent workable so that the systems you put in place can continue to evolve.
    Easier said than done.
    Not sure if the feedback is from other people or by a willingness to observe things taking shape and accept those observations.
    I have differculty on the self regulation bit. Its too easy to interfere/tweak when I perhaps shouldnt.
     
  10. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    This is where intuition needs to be used,I think. I trust my thoughts (mind) only when it "feels" right. Feedback comes regularly from students who are always going to have greater intelligence than myself. I marvel at the ability for a group of people to achieve more then the individuals - is that called synergy?
     
  11. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "...is that called synergy?"

    Maybe, Mark.

    But I prefer to use the term, 'communalism'.

    Hooroo, Markus.
     
  12. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    "Use and value renewable resources and services"

    By making the best use of what nature has to offer we can cut back on our comsumption and hopefully our dependance of non renewable resources.

    Personally I think this should also include cutting back on consuming renewable resources as well.

    Afterall, it takes a long time for a tree to grow to a decent size for use as timber, for one example.
    It takes a long time for rain to seep down to the water table to become the ground water we have for so long taken for granted, for another.

    Not too sure what is meant by services though, unless its things like water and power supplies to our house and work places.

    Perhaps there should be an addition that suggests to look at what resources you are actually using and which you can include when you are designing a system which I would imagine would be based on your requirements as you see them.
    Perhaps these will change over time though.
     
  13. geoff

    geoff Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hopefully if we truly value renewable resources then we'll want to cut back on the profligate consumption of them?

    I think of services as covering environmental services, things like the forests cleaning our air and water for us, trees providing us shelter from the sun and cooling our homes, soil microcosm assisting our plants to grow etc.

    "Use and value" implies to me that we need to make judgements about the best and most sustainable use. If it was just "use renewable resources and services" that would be open to exploitation, but by saying "use and value" we are being asked to place a value on those resources, and as permaculturally minded people hopefully that value is at least "triple bottom line" guided by the ethics, so we give due consideration to the rate of renewal of renewables, as well as other factors like overall demand from the wider community and ethical considerations such as equitable access for all creatures.
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    Thank you that makes alot of sense.
     
  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    'Use edges and value the marginal'

    I have been avoiding this one.
    I can understand that the edges of things like ponds or streams have a greater diversity than the middles of these.
    The edges of say a forest and a field create a habitat for a greater number of plants and animals than either of them on their own.

    But marginal?
    Really, what is marginal?
     
  16. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We are. We not quite mainstream types who think differently to the masses.
     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Messages:
    2,922
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Holmgren (2002) provides many examples under 'The Value of Marginal Systems', including: Wild foods as marginal systems; Rundown neighbourhoods as marginal systems; The city and the hinterland as centre and margin; Origins of permaculture at the margin, and; Ideas and science at the fringe (pp. 233-237).

    Source: Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability

    For me, 'the marginal' is played out as a social construct. I like living on 'the fringe'. It is where one gets to 'push the envelope', occasionally punching holes through it, and thus opening up the comfortable, but largely ignorant and stagnant majority to the wider diversity that exists beyond the dominant cultural core.

    The fringe is the traditional domain of 'the different', and is usually representative of 'the minority' . Often 'fringe dwellers' are pushed to the margins of the dominant culture by 'the majority' residing within its core. Take for example Indigenous Australians, often derided in their own land, and then forced to relocate to the fringe where social exclusion and its inherent inequalities has become, for most of those living within the dominant cultural paradigm, a case of 'out of site, out of mind' (for example, see: The Fringe Dwellers).

    The marginal, in a socio-ecological sense, is for me an exciting place to live. It is where one is often brought face-to-face with 'the other'. I like being 'abnormal'. I like meeting other 'abnormal' people, and together confronting the 'normal' elements of society. Of course, this often means that tensions are created when the safe, comfortable existence of the 'normal' (the status quo) is upset by our actions. Ultimately though, I believe that if the aforementioned actions are directed against those who subscribe to the notion of individualism, and are undertaken with a view to solicit positive reactions for the benefit of the community as a whole, then 'living at the margin' and 'pushing the boundaries' can provide one with a meaningful existence.

    Further reading:

    For an interesting look at bringing the marginal back to the centre, see St John's thesis on the ConFest movement of the 70s, 80s & 90s: Alternative Cultural Heterotopia: ConFest as Australia’s Marginal Centre.

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Precisely what I meant - but so much more eloquently stated. Thank you Marko!
     
  19. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,457
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Creatively use and respond to change.

    This principle is vibrant now. The Transition Town movement is the vehicle for communities to enact this principle. Climate change and peak oil are joined by industral decline and financial unsteadiness to provide the trigger to look at a creative response. Here is an opportunity to design for a future we love. A collective vision for the future and a plan (design) to achieve it opens an optimistic path to a great future.
     
  20. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,665
    Likes Received:
    94
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    s/e
    Location:
    South Waikato New ZeLeand
    Climate:
    Cool mountain
    I got the book 'The Transition Handbook' some time ago, but couldnt see how this was ever going to work.
    Since I've been coming to this forum, I am starting to think that perhaps its not just a pipe dream, or at least a pipe dream that has a chance to become reality.
    Time to re read it.

    It never occurred to me that this principle could be applied in this manner,... but why not!!

    I have been looking at it in the light of my garden only....
    trying to have a positive impact on inevitable change,
    trying to observe and decide if intervention is needed... when is the right time ??

    You're tweaking my braincells again.
    Now I'm having to look at a larger scale than just me and mine, thats quite a scary concept.
     

Share This Page

-->