A permanent culture; welcome to Permaculture

Day 91

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

As we move away from the culture of destruction, we must move towards something else.

A new culture based on sound ecological principles, regenerative land practices, and care for the earth.

Many people, including myself, believe permaculture can provide us with the blueprint we need to create a  new earth-connected culture.

Based on indigenous knowledge, natural systems and native science, the design methodology is made up of 3 ethics and 12 principles. When these tenets are applied to the world around us it is possible to design landscapes, ecosystems, towns, cities, communities, and whole cultures in a way that is harmonious with nature, people, and life itself.

I am challenging myself to work with these principles over the next several months.

I want to study them, play with them, experiment with them, apply them.

Critique them, connect to them, learn them by heart.

And I’d like to invite you to learn along with me.

Below are the 3 ethics, and the 12 principles.

Let’s throw our selves into them with great abandon,

Learn from experts, each other, books, online, and in the field,

And see if we can use permaculture as a jumping off point to build a new world.

And as usual, we’ll start small, and do it together.

Welcome to the permaculture principles.


Here we go.


The Ethics:

  • Care for the earth: Provision for all life systems to continue and multiply. This is the first principle, because without a healthy earth, humans cannot flourish.
  • Care for the people: Provision for people to access those resources necessary for their existence.
  • Fair share: Setting limits and redistributing surplus. 

Here are the twelve Permaculture design principles articulated by David Holmgren in his Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability:[9]

  1. Observe and interact: By taking time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and store energy: By developing systems that collect resources at peak abundance, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield: Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the work that you are doing.
  4. Apply self-regulation and accept feedback: We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well.
  5. Use and value renewable resources and services: Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce no waste: By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design from patterns to details: By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate rather than segregate: By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use small and slow solutions: Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and producing more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and value diversity: Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use edges and value the marginal: The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively use and respond to change: We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing, and then intervening at the right time.


Thank you for listening,




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