What does Permaculture mean to you?

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by -, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. Guest

    For me it is a holistic design approach for human habitats, connecting subsystems in a way that the output of one subsystem is the input for another and the system as a whole keeps itself functioning without needing much input from outside.

    What does the word Permaculture mean to you?
     
  2. Jim Bob

    Jim Bob Junior Member

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    I didn't even understand what you said.

    To me, it's like this. Naturally living things adapt to their environments, but humans change the environment to suit themselves. Permaculture has us do both.

    Evolution is the process of animals adapting themselves to their environment. Animals and plants find a little place where nothing else lives, and some food that nothing else eats, and live in that niche. Other animals and plants work with others. For example, bees come and eat nectar from flowers. You might think the plants would try to evolve defences to scare the bees away. Instead, they make use of the bees - they make more nectar to attract the bees, and make their pollen sticky - so that as the bee takes the nectar, it also picks up pollen and spreads it. Both the bee and the plant win, they each get what they want. They complement rather than clash.

    Humans are an animal that's unique in that instead of adapting to the environment, we can adapt the environment to us. Instead of looking for a cave we can build a house, instead of eating whatever wild food there is we can grow our own. At the extreme this leads to immense glass, steel and concrete towers using lots of energy to stay cool or warm, powered by burning stuff dug from a mile underground.

    So, animals and plants normally adapt to their environment and work with others to survive and flourish. Humans adapt the environment to themselves, and force others to work for them so they can survive and flourish.

    To me, permaculture means designing things in such a way that we find a balance between adapting to the environment, and changing the environment for ourselves. So we build a house (changing the environment) but we use passive solar features (adapting to the environment). We grow food of our own choice (changing the environment), but suited to the local conditions (adapting to the environment), rather than using heaps of irrigation and chemicals (that'd be changing the environment).

    Permaculture's the sensible middle ground between living in a miserable wet cave and living in a grand power-sucking mansion.
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    well put jim bob,

    i may add it is about working with whatever natural system you have with minimal man made design for the appearance of doing something. how i feel about the subject is broached in my essay.

    len
     
  4. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Using nature-inspired methods for Mankind's greater good, decreasing or eliminating abuses to the earth, air and water.

    Sue
     
  5. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    so the theory goes - - and the theory works extremely well in many parts of the world

    In suburbia australis I do what I can with the tiny piece of land I've got. The importation of straw and animal feeds is essential for me to live, in a theoretically perfect system I would provide my own for my own use. I also can't provide a lot of my own food needs - cereal crops are not done because of lack of space: milk is not produced on my land because councils ban cattle in town; ditto for pork and any meat I want to eat.

    I do have chooks, grow some of my vegies and fruit and provide a happy lifestyle for myself and family - part of theory works.
     
  6. SueinWA

    SueinWA Junior Member

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    Paradisi, there will always be a certain amount of importation of goods. No one can do everything. There will usually be gap between theory and actualization.

    You do the best you can with what you've got, and you're probably way ahead of most of the rest of the world.

    Sue
     
  7. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    so where are you at in the theory of things SueinWA ( got confused with WA as in Western Australia as opposed to Washington LOL)
     
  8. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes the ideal system where you need bring nothing in and nothing goes out is probably unachievable if only in the rarest cicrcumstances, when we lived in rural (70 acres) we could pretty much generate all our own mulch, but we still needed to bring stuff in ie manures and mushroom compost as we had no way of generating our own in those areas.

    here in suburbia now in the past 18 months we have managed to use some 180+ bales of hay and about the same amount of bags of mushroom compost, amazing what gets used setting up a 700 sq/mtr yard that app 50% is taken up by house.

    and this will be on going the need to bring in organic material as we have no way of ever generating what we need to use.

    len
     
  9. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day All :)

    Care for the earth, care for the people and share the wealth.

    The above does it for me.

    Hooroo, Mark.
     
  10. rhancock

    rhancock Junior Member

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    If you count your environment as the whole globe, then nothing goes in or out. Our (the human race) aim then is to ensure that whatever we produce becomes a resource to be used, rather than 'waste', so our aim is to (re)turn the globe to one big permaculture garden.

    One garden at a time, I suppose!
     
  11. Jez

    Jez Junior Member

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    A system of design based on observation, knowledge and common sense, applied with the aim of living sustainably in harmony with the earth and all its creatures.



    :lol:
     
  12. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    Permaculture to me is all about taking personal responsibility for the good of all
     
  13. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    i hope the original poster is impressed with the many great responses and along the keeping it simple lines some in few words. this si the way we should go i fell to encourage the grass roots of society to view permaculture as some thing they can all use in their own little pictures.

    if this were to snowball we may make a difference?

    len
     
  14. Guest

    Our planet is not a closed system. At the Earth, generally, an average of 40 tons per day of extraterrestrial material falls to the Earth.

    Not to mention the sun’s energy reaching the earth surface, which is 15,000 times more than our energy demanded. In each fully sunlit hour, about 1kW of power is available to each m2 of surface.

    Before reaching the earth surface, about 30% of the 177x1012 kW is reflected back to outer-space. 47% out of the 70% reaching the earth converts to heat. It keeps our earth warm. The rest absorbs by water.

    In the environment, about 0.2% of the energy transforms and carries by winds and currents, while photosynthesis absorbs about 0.02%.

    On the other hand we are losing light elements, mostly hydrogen, from the atmosphere all the time. Gone, disappeared in space forever.

    Another way the Earth loses mass is through radioactive decay. The Earth's interior is peppered with radioactive elements such as uranium, thorium and potassium 40. Radioactivity is the decay, or gradual disintegration, of the nuclei of radioactive isotopes. Isotopes are versions of elements that have the same number of protons as the regular element, but different numbers of neutrons.

    These radioactive elements are mixed in with other rock. Granite, for example, can contain as much as four grams per ton of uranium and 13 grams per ton of thorium.

    As these radioactive elements decay, they give off heat (called Radigenic heat). In fact, about four percent of the heat at the Earth's surface comes from inside it! In the process of releasing this energy, the elements also lose mass.
     
  15. grease

    grease Junior Member

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    What does the word Permaculture mean to you? Permaculture. :D
     
  16. M a x

    M a x Junior Member

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    permaculture: the art of good living
     
  17. dylanz

    dylanz Junior Member

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    :lol:

    But it is so true. I think living a good, simple, non-wasting, "almost all the sh*t I use comes from my neighbors and I", type of life can balance itself with technology and scientific progression (at a sensible pace... and you can't and shouldn't ignore mathematics and the sciences.)

    OMG sAv3 teh intern3tz !
     
  18. gnol

    gnol Junior Member

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    Not really sure what it means to me as I am new to the whole thing.

    To be honest I had to look at the meaning on the home page :shock: .

    In hindsight I do come from a line of people that practised something like this out of neccessity. My dad is a keen gardner but I never really got into it very much, apart from eating the end product/s. Since he went overseas to retire I realised how much I enjoyed the stuff he grew. So much better than anything else available.

    I moved into a new place a year ago. I immediately set about composting, installing a water tank, installing a low flush toilet cistern, changing all globes to low watt etc .

    Subconciously I was preparing myself for a bit of self sustainability without even realising it. By the time the kids convinced me to plant some veggies earlier this year I was much more aware of things.

    Maybe I am a closet permaculturer , just starting to come out.

    Time will tell I suppose.

    gnol
     
  19. Tezza

    Tezza Junior Member

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    Quite a few years ago there was a sort of catch phrase of "Theres nothing Like Having A System To Beat The System"

    Just after that my life changed, when i first heard Bill Molison on tv..

    Here is a sytem that "SHOULD be the SYSTEM"

    Bills SYSTEM is a natural self working system..

    The other system works using corruption,fear,wars,money and human kinds greed.


    Tezza
     
  20. Louis

    Louis Junior Member

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    permaculture - a design that spirals outwards

    i think permaculture -

    a harmonious adaptation to nature's cycles,
    a strong communal sense, social connectivity.
    Nurturing fruitful relationships (with nature and people)...
    - should be seen as the core of a design that we hope to extend:
    community to community, socially, economically and politically -
    always keeping the whole design (vital natural life globally) in mind.

    It should extend through all spheres of human interaction, like a spiraling, growing THING that grows and grows and grows...

    But I think working with people is almost the most important right now.
     

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