"We reap what we sow"
This principle deals with the self-regulatory aspects of permaculture that limit or discourage inappropriate actions and behaviours. An obvious example of this is that permaculture has a set of ethics that aim to regulate how permaculture designers and practitioners behave, in particular that we accept limits to our consumption so that we do not take more than the earth is able to provide.
Self-maintaining systems are the 'holy grail' of permaculture, and can be seen in designs for forest gardens, in which work is minimised by planting ground covers to reduce weeds, nitrogen fixers to replace fertilisers and perennial and self-seeding plants to reduce annual plantings.
This is a work in progress and we are very keen to hear about your designs and systems.