Introduction to Permaculture gives you a good grounding in permaculture. It covers the basic principles, strategies and techniques used for good permaculture design. If you’re curious about permaculture this is a great place to start. You can then flow on study the remaining modules of the full permaculture design course.
Introduction to the guiding principles of permaculture design:
Care of People, Care of Earth and Fair Share (the balancing Principle).
“Care of People” promotes self-reliance and community responsibility. Self reliance is distinct from self sufficiency.
“Care of the Earth” includes all living and non-living things, such as animals, plants, land, water and air.
“Life ethic” that we view all living creatures as ‘not only a means but an end’. Living things have both instrumental value to humans and other living organisms as well as an intrinsic worth. Permaculture is an ethical system, stressing positive approaches to problems and cooperation.
This module covers the 12 R’s including Re-design, Reduce, Re-use, Re-use by Modifying, Repair then Recycle, Making a No-Dig garden, Biological cleansers, Filters, Bioremediation, Bacteria as industrial cleansers, Blue-Green Algae.
Waste disposal covers
Toxins: Dealing with Heavy Metals, Use of waste water, Greywater systems, Social and Physical Energy Management (housework and co-living strategies). [Community banking and trade systems are discussed in Module 3]
It is the use of design that makes permaculture unique. This chapter awakens your design thinking.
Here are the topics in this fundamental chapter. We will examine: Biomimicry, System Stabilisers, System Enhancers, Flows. Every Function is Supported by many Elements. How Every Element is Supported by many Functions.
Information and Observation replaces Energy. Natural Energy Flows. Use of Zoning and Sectors planning. Energy Efficiency. Use of edge effect. Relative location. Use of patterns. Elevational Planning. Context. Stacking. Biological resources. Natural Succession. Stress-free Yield. Energy Recycling. We shall also look at David Holmgren’s Design Principles.
What are the design elements?
Examine your home system elements and set targets for increasing diversity. Some designs start simple and grow into scores of designed and used elements, including microclimates through to energy production, or mico-organisms through to protein production.
The Value of Functional Design – functional and aesthetic. Work results from a deficiency of resources, when an element in the system does not aid another element. Any system will become chaotic if it receives more resources than it can productively use. (E.g. too much fertilizer can result in pollution, or too much cultivation can result in erosion.) A resource is an energy storage which assists yield. Maximise useful energy stores in any system (home, urban property, rural lands, workplace or forest). The Web of Life is the relationship of diversity to stability and the importance of connecting elements in your design.
Methodologies of design: Patterns, functions and species assemblies. Techniques, Strategies and Design in Permaculture. Approaches to Design, Maps, reading, making and obtaining maps. Analysis of elements. “How do these things connect?” Sector planning.”Where do we put things?” Observational. Experimental design.
In this chapter we get to apply the design technique of using Zones and Sectors for planning an integrated permaculture system. Zones ensure that the user can easily manage the design.
Everything is placed within easy reach of its needs and waste-use. Permaculture also uses guilds. Elements with similar needs are grouped. The functions of each need is matched to the needs and natural energy to enable exchanges.
We shall also investigate companion planting, insect attractants, deterrent plantings, disguised plants. Comparative nutritional value of different vegetable and fruit species and varieties, animals, (native and domestic) in the system and integrated pest control.
You can study the Introductory module with us online or through our hybrid training sessions. The introductory module is the first module of 3 modules of our full permaculture design course [PDC] approved by Bill Mollison.