AUSTRALIA FELIX PERMACULTUREAUSTRALIA FELIX PERMACULTURE
All Your Land Needs®All Your Land Needs®
PERMACULTURE DESIGNPERMACULTURE DESIGN
Integrated Design Applications for HumanIntegrated Design Applications for Human
Landscape Development & ManagementLandscape Development & Management
Darren J. Doherty, Permaculture DesignerDarren J. Doherty, Permaculture Designer
@ Oberlin College, OH, USA, 2007@ Oberlin College, OH, USA, 2007
Australia Felix Permaculture is a family-owned international land-planning &Australia Felix Permaculture is a family-owned international land-planning &
development enterprise based in Bendigo, Central Victoria, Australia. It isdevelopment enterprise based in Bendigo, Central Victoria, Australia. It is
owned & operated by Darren J. Doherty & Lisa Heenan. Darren Doherty is theowned & operated by Darren J. Doherty & Lisa Heenan. Darren Doherty is the
Principle Designer & Project Manager of Australia Felix Permaculture.Principle Designer & Project Manager of Australia Felix Permaculture.
Since 1993 we have been involved on 5 continents with the design &Since 1993 we have been involved on 5 continents with the design &
development of over 1200 properties including everything from apartmentdevelopment of over 1200 properties including everything from apartment
balconies to 110 000 acre ranches to multinational R&D projects all applyingbalconies to 110 000 acre ranches to multinational R&D projects all applying
the ethics & principles of Permaculture Design.the ethics & principles of Permaculture Design.
Our purpose has always been to raise the profile of permaculture design to theOur purpose has always been to raise the profile of permaculture design to the
point where it becomes an unconscious practice as opposed to a marginalpoint where it becomes an unconscious practice as opposed to a marginal
““We are doing this for Life”We are doing this for Life”
In business we deliver cost effective best practice permaculture-basedIn business we deliver cost effective best practice permaculture-based
regenerative property design, education, and consulting services to people,regenerative property design, education, and consulting services to people,
businesses, corporations, governments & communities around the worldbusinesses, corporations, governments & communities around the world
Darren J. DohertyDarren J. Doherty
1967 -1967 -
Lisa HeenanLisa Heenan
1966 -1966 -
Australia Felix Permaculture – Who We Are….Australia Felix Permaculture – Who We Are….
Our Part of the WorldOur Part of the World
37.2°S, 28°-125°F,37.2°S, 28°-125°F,
8-18” precipitation,8-18” precipitation,
30-60 frosts/year,30-60 frosts/year,
1800+ day degrees1800+ day degrees
Family Farm – 1853-2002, Mixed Farm – Sheep (Merino), Beef (Angus), Cereals, Grain Legumes,Family Farm – 1853-2002, Mixed Farm – Sheep (Merino), Beef (Angus), Cereals, Grain Legumes,
Fodder, Forestry – all irrigated by Keyline System since 1950’sFodder, Forestry – all irrigated by Keyline System since 1950’s
My 1My 1stst
Pond - 1981Pond - 1981
Australia Felix Permaculture – World Teaching/Consulting/Study Tour 2007/8Australia Felix Permaculture – World Teaching/Consulting/Study Tour 2007/8
World Tour Purpose:World Tour Purpose:
1. To consult with the landscapes & communities of the world1. To consult with the landscapes & communities of the world
2. To facilitate an increase in the awareness, knowledge & practice of2. To facilitate an increase in the awareness, knowledge & practice of
Broadacre Permaculture Design within traditional Agricultural communities &Broadacre Permaculture Design within traditional Agricultural communities &
Permaculture itselfPermaculture itself
3. To inform people of the most cost effective and efficient means of3. To inform people of the most cost effective and efficient means of
sequestering atmospheric CO2 thru Carbon Farmingsequestering atmospheric CO2 thru Carbon Farming
“……What permaculturalists are doing is the
most important activity that any group is
doing on the planet…….”
Dr. David Suzuki
Permaculture (permanent agriculture or
permanent culture) is the conscious design
& maintenance of agriculturally productive
systems. Sustainable human settlement
design is its prime focus, where the concept
strings the disciplines into a web of
appropriate & productive development.
Originally developed as a methodology in the
early 1970’s it is now practiced and applied
in nearly every country, and works to
sustainably promote low energy and solid
state food and resource security.
Darren J. Doherty
Perma To persist throughout - Latin
Culture Those activities that support humanity
Permaculture A persistent conscious approach to
Ethics Enlightened self-interest - looking after
yourself and the interests of others
‘…is a limitation on freedom of action in
the struggle for existance…’
Aldo Leopold, The Land Ethic, 1949
ETHICS OF PERMACULTURE
CARE OF THE EARTH
The primary ethic
The earth is the primary
CARE OF THE PEOPLE (CARE
If we can provide for our
own basic needs, then we
can care for the earth
RETURN OF SURPLUS -
CONTRIBUTE TIME, MONEY &
ENERGY TO ACHIEVE ETHICS
And setting limits to
population and consumption
mollisonian permaculture principles
The following principles of design where developed by Bill
Mollison and are intended to be universally applicable,
while practices may vary from place to place.
Let us look at the sets of principles that govern these systems.
These principles, rules and directives are based on the
study of natural systems. Axioms are established principles or
self-evident truths. A principle is a basic truth, a rule of conduct,
a way to proceed. A law is a statement of fact backed up by a
set of hypotheses which have proved to be correct or tenable.
Theses and hypotheses are ideas offered up for proof or
discussion. There are also rules and laws laid down which are
neither rules or laws. They do not pay much attention to defining
how they got there. Now I have evolved a set of directives which
say: "Here is a good way to proceed." It doesn't have anything
to do with laws or rules, just principles.
Bill Mollison 1981
Efficient function is achieved by careful
placement of elements in relation to
Observe. Use protracted and thoughtful
observation rather than prolonged and
thoughtless action. Observe the site and its
elements in all seasons. Design for specific sites,
clients, and climates.
Connect. Use relative location: Place elements in
ways that create useful relationships and time-
saving connections among all parts. The number of
connections among elements creates a healthy,
diverse ecosystem, not the number of elements.
EACH ELEMENT PERFORMS MANY FUNCTIONS...
Elements are chosen and placed to perform as
many functions as possible.
Each element performs multiple functions.
Choose and place each element in a system to
perform as many functions as possible.
Increasing beneficial connections between
diverse components creates a stable whole. Stack
elements in both space and time.
EACH IMPORTANT FUNCTION IS SUPPORTED BY
Important basic functions (such as water
supply, fire protection and energy) are
provided in more than one way
Each function is supported by multiple
elements. Use multiple methods to achieve
important functions and to create synergies.
Redundancy protects when one or more
ENERGY EFFICIENT PLANNING...
Energy efficiency is achieved through zoning
(to conserve human energy), sector planning
(to manage wild energies), slope planning (to
utilise gravity) and by making the least
change for the greatest possible effect.
Make the least change for the greatest effect.
Find the “leverage points” in the system and
intervene there, where the least work
accomplishes the most change.
USING BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES...
Use biological resources (5 Kingdoms of
Nature) wherever possible to save energy
and do the work of the site.
Nutrients and energies are stored, used close to their source
and used repeatedly to avoid wastage before flowing off-site
or to sinks.
Catch and store energy and materials. Identify,
collect, and hold the useful flows moving through
the site. By saving and re-investing resources, we
maintain the system and capture still more
Recycle energy. Supply local and on-site needs
with energy from the system, and reuse this
energy as many times as possible. Every cycle is
an opportunity for yield.
SMALL SCALE INTENSIVE SYSTEMS...
Good design makes maximum use of
minimal land; using productive human
labour, hand tools and animals, rather
than large machines and fossil fuels;
and is multi-dimensional - utilising
vertical space (plant stacking &
trellising) and overlapping successional
crops (time stacking).
Use small scale, intensive systems. Start at
your doorstep with the smallest systems
that will do the job, and build on your
successes, with variations. Grow by
Accelerate succession. Mature ecosystems are
more diverse and productive than young ones,
so use design to jump-start succession.
ACCELERATING SUCCESSION & EVOLUTION.
Mature ecosystems are more diverse and
productive than young ones, so use design to
Diversity increases productivity and stability,
with polycultures, not monocultures; orderliness
rather than tidiness; and guilds of elements that
work harmoniously together.
Use biological and renewable resources.
Renewable resources (usually plants and animals)
reproduce and build up over time, store energy,
assist yield, and interact with other elements.
Extending and exaggerating the boundaries
between adjoining systems provides additional
contributions from the resources of both
systems, increasing productivity.
Use the edge effect. The edge—the intersection
of two environments—is the most diverse place
in a system, and is where energies and materials
accumulate. Optimize the amount of edge.
Positivism is what drives Permaculture and the
relationships that we develop as people working
together toward our collective future.
Mistakes are tools for learning. Evaluate your
trials. Making mistakes is a sign you’re trying to
do things better.
EVERYTHING WORKS BOTH WAYS...
Good design turns disadvantages into
advantages; sees solutions not problems.
Turn problems into solutions. Constraints can
inspire creative design. “We are surrounded by
insurmountable opportunities.”— Bill Mollison
YIELDS ARE LIMITED ONLY BY INFORMATION
Permaculture uses creative design, rather than
energy or capital, to increase productivity.
Get a yield. Design for both immediate and long-
term returns from your efforts: “You can’t work on
an empty stomach.” Set up positive feedback loops
to build the system and repay your investment.
Abundance is unlimited. The designer’s imagination and
skill is a bigger limit to yield than any physical limit.
The following principles of
design where developed by
David Holmgren and outlined in
his book: Permaculture –
Principles & Pathways Beyond
OBSERVE AND INTERACT
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
CATCH AND STORE ENERGY
Make hay while the sun shines
OBTAIN A YIELD
You can’t work on an empty stomach.
APPLY SELF- REGULATION AND ACCEPT FEEDBACK
The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the
USE AND VALUE RENEWABLE RESOURCES AND SERVICES
Let nature take its course
PRODUCE NO WASTE
Waste not, want not
A stitch in time saves nine
DESIGN FROM PATTERNS TO DETAILS
Can’t see the wood for the trees
INTEGRATE RATHER THAN SEGREGATE
Many hands make light work.
USE SMALL AND SLOW SOLUTIONS
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Slow and steady wins the race.
USE AND VALUE DIVERSITY
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
USE EDGES AND VALUE THE MARGINAL
Don’t think you are on the right track just because it
is a well-beaten path
CREATIVELY USE AND RESPOND TO CHANGE
Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be
Five Kingdoms of Nature
The concept of the 5 Kingdoms of Nature is inspired by the work of Prof. Dr. Lynn Margulis in her
milestone reference work "The 5 Kingdoms of Nature."
This symbol shows bacteria, or monera for the scientists. It are many creatures
living intensively together taking care of all possible niches. All bacterial are
characterized by the lack of a nucleus.
The protoctista, as the scientists like to call this domain, is a mix of slime moulds
and algae. We have over-simplified this and call these species algae, knowing
that scientifically it is not 100% correct. These are the first ones to have a
The fungi include moulds and mushrooms and have a rich biodiversity that is
largely unknown. We do not even know in about 95% of the cases how to
distinguish a male from a female.
Plants are the most recent arrival on Earth. There are millions unknown, but their
beauty has inspired poetry and they know how to procreate in cooperation with
Animals, yes the largest number of species are the worms. We are most likely
descendents of worms, and not of the chimpanzee. It is not a pleasant thought,
but it is a recent discovery. Actually, if we have to believe the scientific
hypothesesof Lynn Margulis, then we are descendents of bacteria, or better
stated, descendentsof symbiosis of bacteria! After all about 10% of our body
weight are still bacteria.
ZERI (Zero Emissions Research Institute) Five Design Principles
There are five kingdoms of nature: bacteria, algae, fungi, plants and
animals - and for billions of years these five kingdoms have worked
together to be a highly productive and adaptive system. Along with the five
kingdoms, there are five key design principles that each kingdom (except
man!) generally adheres to:
•Whatever is waste for one is a nutrient or food for another species
belonging to another kingdom;
•What is a toxin for one organism, is a nutrient or neutral for another
belonging to another kingdom;
•Whenever highly complex ecosystems operate, viruses to remain inactive
and even disappear without causing harm passing through at least 2 other
•The more local, the more diverse a system, the more productive, the more
•Whenever species of 5 different kingdoms live and interact in an
autopoetic system, they can integrate and separate all matter at ambient
temperature and pressure.
1. Whatever is Waste for One is a Nutrient or Food for
Another Species Belonging to Another Kingdom
If one species is fed its own waste, it will degenerate.
When cattle farmers started to feed cows with waste from other cows
they violated this principal - and it led to the mad cow disease outbreak.
Shrimp farmers made the same mistake when they started to feed
shrimp with their own waste - which led to white shrimp virus.
A lion will eat an antelope, but never ever will he consider the manure of
the antelope. There are exceptions which confirm the rule, a dog may be
spotted eating occasionally its own waste, though this is a matter of
strengthening its immune system, challenging it so once in a while. If an
animal were only eating its own waste, and behave as a cannibal, it
would never survive.
Industry and society should apply the same logic. Waste from one
industry should not be forced back into the same system searching for a
"closed loop". This will increase cost, jeopardize quality and hardly ever
generate the best possible value. Industries should cluster together,
cascade their waste streams and generate more income, more jobs,
thus increasing productivity while eliminating waste.
2. Whatever is a Toxin for One, is a Nutrient or Neutral for at
Least One Species Belonging to Another Kingdom
If a species eliminates toxins within its own system, it will degenerate.
As human's we tend to classify things that are toxic only from a human point
of view. We assume that anything that is toxic for humans must also be
toxic for every other species in every kingdom. Cyanide, is a well known
toxin for animals, but several plant species produce it and use it effectively
as a defence against predators. Apples are rich in cyanide, and so are
peaches, though none have to be labeled "dangerous - cyanide inside."
The elimination of toxins by passing through the other kingdoms does not
mean you have to die first. If you (member of the animal kingdom) are ill,
then balance your system with the presence of algae, fungi, plants and
bacteria. The illness that affects you, will dissapate in the wake of
abundance from nutrients and anti-bodies provided by spirulina algae, reishi
mushrooms, acidophylus, bifidus, garlic and avocados.
3. Whenever there is a Virus, It Will be Eliminated Passing
Through at Least Two Other Kingdoms
If we reduce the number of species, and recycle nutrients and energy within
a kingdom, when viruses will thrive and the system will degenerate.
Viruses are species and kingdom specific. A virus that can attack a plant
cannot attack an animal. This is the reason why the constant cycling of
nutrients and energy from one species to the other is making life for
viruses impossible. This is why viruses are made life impossible since the
environment of one species evolves into a new species belonging to
another kingdom. But there are exceptions. Several species are a
symbiosis. Human beings are 10% bacteria, and therefore a virus that lives
in one, could also live in another kingdom. Lichens are a symbiosis of
mushrooms and algae, and therefore viruses could navigate within the two
kingdoms. That is why the cycling through all five kingdoms is that
important since no virus is known to survive in three different species
belonging to three different kingdoms.
4. Systems are More Efficient and More Resilient the More
Diverse and the More Local They Are Operating
If non-native species are forced to become part of the local ecosystem, it
Plants and trees, in co-existance and in co-evolution with species belonging to the
other four kingdoms will create the best, most effective system from within the
boundaries of its own micro system. The more variety, the more fun. No one on
earth has ever witnessed a situation in which a group of plants and trees in a
temperate climate feel the need to bring over some fungi from the tropics. This
does not mean that there is no cross-over as migratory birds demonstrate. Though
the core of production of consumption, regeneration of left-overs of one, as a food
and value for another, is local. Transportation is kept to the absolute minimum.
In our global economy we want everything from everywhere at any place and time.
This leads to a massive transportation system which contaminates our environment
and causes massive introduction of non-native species. At the core are only a few
local species left, which evolved together over millions of years. We have increased
the fragility of our own system because if a few of the remaining links break, the
whole system could collapse. The more local the activities, the stronger they are -
and there will be much more flexibility as diversity increases. A system that is local
will be more efficient and resilient.
5. Whenever Species of Five Different Kingdoms Live and Interact,
It Is Possible to Integrate and Separate All Matter at Ambient
Temperature and Pressure
When matter is integrated or separated without involvement of all kingdoms,
then the process will cause entropy beyond the energy provided for by the sun.
A spider makes its fiber at ambient temperature and pressure, from diverse raw
materials. The moment tension is removed from the web, it starts disintegrating. No
spider applies the closed loop concept, and tries to eat its own web in order to increase
its production. Though the spider succeeds in this endeavor through a tightly knit
cooperation with the other kingdoms.
Industry has arranged for an intensive supply chain management, which requires precise
and uniform raw materials which are converted at high temperature and pressure,
causing a massive amount of entropy. Whenever matter and energy is solely produced by
and consumed for the benefit of only one species (core business), then it will remain
highly wasteful and can only achieve its goals causing noise, nuisance, waste and a
If industry were to emulate the "all inclusive approach" by nature, which will continuously
search for the participation of as many representatives of the 5 Kingdoms as possible,
then we would be able to respond to the basic needs of all with the energy supplied by
the sun. And, if for some reason, one species would be missing and as such waste (and
entropy) would be generated, the ecosystem will spontaneously create a new species
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