Module 1: Introduction to Permaculture Topic Outlines

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Module 1 contains 4 key topics:
Ethics.
Recycling,
Natural Systems,
Cultivated Ecology.

Permaculture Ethics

seed pod_edited-1“Care of the Earth” including all living and non-living things, such as animals, plants, land, water and air.
“Care of People” promoting self-reliance and community responsibility. Self reliance is distinct from self sufficiency.
‘Dispersal of surplus’ ensures that our surpluses (labour, money, information) are shared with others. Our relationship with others becomes the basis of community caring.
“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.

Recycling and Waste disposal (Domestic)

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12R’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
Toxins: 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]

Natural System And Design Principles

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Introduction and Application of theory about the guiding principles of permaculture design: Care of People, Care of Earth and Fair Share: the balancing Principle. Everything is Connected to Everything Else. System Stabilisers. System Enhancers. Flows. Every Function is Supported by many Elements. Every Element is Supported by many Functions. Information and Observation replaces Energy. Natural Energy Flows. Use 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. 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 – Design has two components – 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. The work of the permaculture designer is to maximise useful energy stores in any system on which they are working, be it house, urban property, rural lands, or gardens. A successful design contains enough useful stores to serve the needs of people.  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.

Cultivated Ecology

winter harvest_croppedUse of Zones and Sectors for planning a system. Zones ensure that the user can easily manage the design.
Everything is placed within easy reach of its needs and waste-use.
Permaculture uses guilds. Similar needs help to group plants, animals and services.
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.

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