Permaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable architecture and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.
Nature has been doing that for thousands of years. It is built into the Law of Nature.
The term permaculture was first coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in 1978. The word permaculture originally referred to "permanent agriculture" but was expanded to stand also for "permanent culture," as it was seen that social aspects were integral to a truly sustainable system as inspired by Masanobu Fukuoka's natural farming philosophy.
Nature is a system of systems. While the earth is composed of elements like atoms particles and molecules their arrangements in ecosystems forms units within Nature. Every creature is a unite composed of systems but even units may gather and form systems we call communities.
While we may remove elements from a system for observation when the removal takes place an element of that unit that was once a part of the whole is altered by that separation because the removal severs an essential part of the units identity found in its "relationship" with other elements.
The adage of one man's trash is another man's treasure applies to nature. There is no waste in Nature. One system in nature often forms relationships by sharing its what some call its waste. Waste is merely a byproduct. While byproducts can some times not be used by the producer directly it may be of extreme use and importance to another unit or units in nature.
Without proper sharing their is no balance in nature and nature treats imbalance like it treats a vacuum.
Principles and Function of Permaculture:
- Observation of the rhythms and reason of nature. The earth is composed of elements formed in shapes, patterns or cycles and layers but also with in the motion of seasons. Design for specific sites within the purpose of the ethics.
- Connect the related cycles and layers so that they share their surplus creating useful relationships overlapping elements establishing balanced diverse ecosystem.
- Allow the natural storing of energy and materials within the structural elements and cycles. Every store of energy within elements whether living or inert contains potential energy. If energy does not flow, is not used in designed cycles, it will attempt to change. The "flow of resources" is essential to build a capacity for life.
- Each element has function but in its relationships it may provide secondary functions to enhance other elements of the whole system. Location, location, location in a system establishes symbiotic relations and functions stabilizing and storing elements.
- Separate elements function become multiple parts of a whole system to create synergies. Some redundancy not only protects against failure but may add bot competition and variety. Without variety toxins may become imbalanced.
- Work is shared by complimentary systems which require less external management. Nature is always looking for the easiest way to accomplishes the most change.
- Manageable systems have beginnings and ends at first and are eventually strong together into larger systems. All systems are within larger systems but size is an illusion, The smallest cell is a complex system.
Principles for Living and Energy Systems
- Optimize the intersection of environmental elements because systems will compete. Competition is good without altering the elementary needs of an eco-unit to the point of extinction or non-sustainability.
- Collaborate systems so that as they evolve to a climax state new systems can be mapped into a larger or more diverse system cycling with new productivity.
- Renewable resources within our reach. All resources are renewable over time but as finite managers we must reproduce and build within our time or within a few generations.
- There are no problems only challenges and opportunities.
- Yield production passing it on to other elements. Share with others within your systems of systems.
- You are the giver of life and the hand of the creator.
- There are no mistakes if we learn their lessons. He who does nothing makes only one mistake.
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- Elements refers to both living and inert structures. There are no true s=inert structures since they all will breakdown over time.
- the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.