A Quick Guide To Permaculture Design
Permaculture Design from Regenerative Leadership Institute
In years gone by, it seems as though nothing was really designed or built to last. It was all too easy to construct, tear down, and redesign as needed, but that is a plan that has proven to be a failure. Our planet is falling into a state of disrepair that is reaching a point that will be hard to recover from, but there are those that have plans in place to start the healing process. What that means is adopting what is referred to as permaculture design. Simply put, it’s an organic approach to design that is sustainable and self-maintaining, using what nature provides to create a living, breathing space.
As much as a permaculture designed space looks completely natural, there is actually much thought that goes into where each element should be placed for maximum effect. That said, the placement of each of those elements must also have a positive effect on all the others, so that there is a natural flow to the entire piece. If one part fails, then it will have a domino effect on all the others and will put an end to the sustainability that was initially intended.
When entering into permaculture design, it is essential to follow the 12 design principles that have been widely accepted as the norm. These principles, such as “produce no waste” and “observe and interact,” may seem somewhat basic at first glance, but they actually serve to promote a design process that is in fact a little more complex. For example, patterns play a major part in the design, with mathematical theory and naturally existing shapes and patterns used in the design process. An example of the patterns we are talking about can be found in the way in which the planets revolve around the sun; consistent, yet essential to our life.
Another important aspect of permaculture and ecological design is the use of layers. The accepted number here is seven, although there are some permaculturists that opt for an eighth layer of fungi over and above the other seven. The top layer consists of the canopy and moves all the way down through the likes of smaller trees, shrubs, and the soil surface. Each layer plays its own role in the sustainability of the space, but all of them have to work in harmony in order for the entire thing to work and grow.
Zones are another part of the permaculture design process, adding an intelligent touch to the way in which each element interacts with the other. That said, the edge effect is where the real synergy between the elements can be found, which means placing seeming opposite elements side by side in order to create a stunning contrast, yet one that still serves the overall purpose. Think of how the water and land meet out by the ocean and you get the perfect idea of what the edge effect looks like in a setting created by Mother Nature.
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