Permaculture Explained

“Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”

This principle is like an order. Make sure that every time you design a house, garden, park, or school, it includes elements that will provide real tangible yields, whether they are food, fibres, timber, fuel, education, or enjoyment. Wade Muggleton from the Station Road Permaculture Garden, tells us more...

In permaculture we design landscapes to maximise this energy capture. The vast majority of energy is supplied by the sun. Some of this is captured by plants who have learnt the clever trick of how to turn photons from the sun into complex carbohydrates. This basic trick powers every ecosystem on the planet. Using a combination of plant based systems and intelligent design approaches we can rebuild 'natural capital' in order to create the basis for a long-term sustainable society.

This principle is perhaps one of the least obvious, but also one of the most helpful in terms of design. We intuitively design like this all the time. When we cook a meal we work from a pattern – meat and two veg or for us vegetarians, carbohydrate, veggies and sauce – and determine the details from our preferences and available ingredients.

With this issue’s principle Produce no Waste, it brings to mind one of my favourite Mollison principles 'waste (pollution) = unused resource'. This can be turned around to make an unused resource = waste (pollution).

Apply this to time, unemployment, food, energy, water… any resource and it is clear to see that there really is no such thing as waste as we define it.

Permaculture design aims to make best use of renewable resources to create, manage and maintain high yielding systems, even if some non-renewable resources are needed to establish the system in the first place. Klaudia van Gool from LAND Learning Centre Trevecca Home Garden gives her viewpoint:

This principle is like an order. Make sure that every time you design a house, garden, park, or school, it includes elements that will provide real tangible yields, whether they are food, fibres, timber, fuel, education, or enjoyment. Wade Muggleton from the Station Road Permaculture Garden, tells us more.

“You can’t work on an empty stomach”