Permaculture: Designs for a Thriving World


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Presentation delivered to the Flagstaff chapter of the Arizona Native Plant Society on 5/18/2010.

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Permaculture: Designs for a Thriving World

  1. 1. Permaculture <ul><li>Designs for a Thriving World </li></ul>Ben Kessler Laughing Crow Permaculture
  2. 2. What is Permaculture? <ul><li>“ A new buzz-word for an old way of living.” – Jude Hobbs </li></ul><ul><li>“ [A] design system for creating sustainable human environments. On one level, permaculture deals with plants, animals, buildings, and infrastructures (water, energy, communications). However, permaculture is not about these elements themselves, but rather about the relationships we can create between them by the way we place them in the landscape.” – Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay </li></ul><ul><li>“ A system only becomes permaculture when its design is shown over time to produce no harm to any other system and touches every aspect of our lives.” – Graham Bell </li></ul><ul><li>Enduring and Resilient rather than Permanent </li></ul>
  3. 3. Permaculture!
  4. 4. <ul><li>Urban Forest Garden, Holyoak, MA </li></ul>Permaculture in Action photos by Jonathan Bates Year 1 Year 3 Year 0
  5. 5. Beyond Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainable : Capable of being sustained. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain </li></ul><ul><li>1. to support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure. </li></ul><ul><li>2. to bear (a burden, charge, etc.). </li></ul><ul><li>3. to undergo, experience, or suffer (injury, loss, etc.); endure without giving way or yielding. </li></ul><ul><li>4. to keep (a person, the mind, the spirits, etc.) from giving way, as under trial or affliction. </li></ul><ul><li>5. to keep up or keep going, as an action or process: to sustain a conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>6. to supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life. </li></ul><ul><li>- Random House Dictionary </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatives: </li></ul><ul><li>Thriving, Bountiful, Vibrant, Verdant, Vivacious, Healthy, Abundant, Elegant, Resilient, Complex, Wonderful, Beautiful </li></ul>Yahatidom : “Being a part of the cause of its goodness.”
  6. 6. Design Process <ul><li>1. Observation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is already here? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Interpretation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does it mean? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3. Design </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What can we do with it? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Implementation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Do it! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>5. Assessment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did it work? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Yard Rehabilitation in a Day, Pomona, CA courtesy of Scott Kleinrock
  8. 8. Observe & Replicate Natural Patterns <ul><li>Work with, rather than against nature. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor.” – Bill Mollison </li></ul><ul><li>Design intensive vs. labor intensive </li></ul><ul><li>“ We go to the forest to learn.” – Bill Mollison </li></ul>
  9. 9. Spheres & Domes <ul><li>Balance </li></ul><ul><li>Eggs, Stars, Cherries, Circle Gardens, Geodesic Domes, Radiolarians </li></ul>
  10. 10. Polygons <ul><li>Packing & Cracking </li></ul><ul><li>Honeycombs, Mosaics, Cracked Mud, Corn Kernels, Ice Crystals </li></ul>
  11. 11. Spirals <ul><li>Growth </li></ul><ul><li>Hurricanes, Mollusk Shells, Fiddleheads, Herb Spirals, Spider Webs </li></ul>
  12. 12. Branches <ul><li>Collection & Dispersal </li></ul><ul><li>Feathers, River Deltas, Blood Vessels, Parking Lot Traffic </li></ul>
  13. 13. Waves <ul><li>Rhythm </li></ul><ul><li>Sand Dunes, Hummingbird Flight, Berms & Swales, Heartbeats </li></ul>
  14. 14. Overbeck Jet <ul><li>Flow </li></ul><ul><li>Mushrooms, van Karman Trails, Jellyfish, Wind Turbulence </li></ul>
  15. 15. Utilize Edges <ul><li>“ The edge is where the action is.” – Scott Kleinrock </li></ul><ul><li>Ecotone: The transitional area between two adjacent communities of organisms. Ecotones tend to be the most ecologically diverse places in the landscape. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li> Intestinal Villi Meanders on the Swanson River </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li> B^b^m ’Cha Mangroves </li></ul>
  18. 18. Maximum Edge!
  19. 19. Slow the Flow Catch, store, and use everything before it has degraded to its lowest energetic state Create as complex a path as possible from source to sink Store water high on the landscape Introduction to Permaculture Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay
  20. 20. Yields & Needs <ul><li>Tomato / Tomatl Solanum lycopersicum </li></ul><ul><li> Yields Needs </li></ul>Full Sunlight, Water, NPK, Micronutrients, Warm Soil, Protection from Herbivores, Mycorrhizal Partners, Slightly Acidic Soil pH, Well-drained Soil, Structural Support, Love Delicious Fruit, Spatial Demarcation, Mulch, Dense Verdant Foliage, Pest Protection for Brassicas and Gooseberries, Companionship for Basil and Nettles
  21. 21. Guilds <ul><li>A Guild is made up of a close association of species clustered around a central element, usually a plant or an animal. This assembly acts in relation to the element to assist its health, aid in management, boost yields, or buffer adverse environmental effects. </li></ul>Corn, Beans, Squash & Mullet Mullet remains dug into soil at planting to boost nutrients. Corn provides structural support for the Bean vines. Beans provide Nitrogen for the Corn and Squash. Squash acts as a living mulch for the Corn and Beans. Food waste fed to Mullet.
  22. 22. Groundcover <ul><li>Living Mulch, Walking Surface </li></ul>Shasta Daisy Chrysanthemum superbum Clumping Thyme Thymus vulgaris Creeping Houttuynia Houttuynia cordata Vining
  23. 23. Dynamic Accumulators <ul><li>Soil Aeration, Nutrient Accumulation, Shade Sequestration of Environmental Toxins </li></ul>Comfrey Symphytum officinale Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica Kale Brassica oleraacea
  24. 24. Nitrogen Fixers <ul><li>Nitrogen Fixation </li></ul>Alder Aldus sp. Clover Trifolium sp. Lupines Lupinus sp. Root Nodules on Soybean ( Glycine max ) roots
  25. 25. Insectaries <ul><li>Pollinator Attraction, Aesthetic Prettification </li></ul>Calendula Calendula sp. Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Queen Anne’s Lace Daucus carota
  26. 26. Food Tea/ Medicine/ Insectary Food/Medicine/ Insectary courtesy of Connor Stedman Ground Cover/ Nitrogen Fixer Polyculture Design
  27. 27. Food/ Aromatic Pest Confuser Ground Cover/ Medicine/ Fertilizer/ Insectary/ Beneficial Habitat Food courtesy of Connor Stedman Food/Insectary Food/ Medicine/ Insectary Polyculture Design
  28. 28. Plants in the Landscape Forest Garden Hedgerow Silvopasture Coppice & Standard Alley Cropping
  29. 29. Plants in the Landscape Companion Planting Keyhole Garden Intercropping Herb Spiral
  30. 30. Accelerate Succession Stack functions in time and space To enable a cultivated system to evolve toward a long-term stable state, we can construct a system, carefully planning the succession of plants and animals so that we can receive short, medium, and long-term benefits. “ Place is a verb.” – Jeanette Armstrong Introduction to Permaculture (2004) Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay
  31. 31. Humans are a Keystone Species <ul><li>Like beavers and elephants, humans deform, reform, and transform their environment </li></ul><ul><li>“ There’s a learning curve in all phases of design. There’s an unlearning curve in how we relate to our habitat - cultural views of humans and nature as separate.” </li></ul><ul><li>– Connor Stedman </li></ul><ul><li>“ We must make treaties with the land - and keep them.” – Farrell Cunningham </li></ul><ul><li>As permaculture designers, we are building relationship with our role as major actors in the landscape. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Resource Mapping • Building Materials • Craft Materials • Gleaning • Community Gardens • Food & Bike Co-ops • Food Not Bombs • Feral Edibles • Vacant Lots • Town Dump • Knowledgeable Folks • Elders • Firewood
  33. 33. Print Resources <ul><ul><li>Introduction to Permaculture - Bill Mollison & Reny Mia Slay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Permaculture: Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- David Holmgren </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Toby Hemenway </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains - Lisa Rayner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tending the Wild - M. Kat Anderson </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering the Desert - Gary Paul Nabhan </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Thanks to <ul><li>Tyrone LaFay </li></ul><ul><li>Connor Stedman </li></ul><ul><li>& </li></ul><ul><li>Scott Kleinrock </li></ul><ul><li>for words and pictures </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Information </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>