12 Permaculture Principles
Observe and interact
Take it slow, don't rush into anything. observe your surroundings and the people around you. Interact with the people, take notes on what grows well, weather patterns etc.
Catch and store energy
First focus on yourself, make sure you are well, in the right mindset and healthy. Capture as much energy as you can be it solar, wind, gravity or water. Not only electricity but storing water for plants is also providing them energy. Using tires packed with dirt like the earthship design stores heat energy from the sun.. the list goes on...
Obtain a yield
This can mean a number of things but nearly always is some kind of reward, planting in a certain way to grow the most food in the most efficient way, growing cover crops to protect the soil, chop and drop plants like bananas, letting some plants go to seed to harvest the seed for next season. It could mean helping your neighbour or donating extra produce.
Apply self-regulation and accept feedback
Self regulation helps you to be accountable and empowers us, if something isn’t going right being able to take a step back and breathe always helps. Feedback is critical for improvement and listening to other people and taking notes is key, be that your neighbour, other practitioners of permaculture or people online.
Use and value renewable resources and services and produce no waste
These two principles go hand in hand and kind of explain themself. By no waste this doesn’t just mean trying to produce no plastic waste but to go the extra step further and it actually benefits you. For example using your grass cutting as mulch, food scraps in compost or even better vermiculture compost, composting toilets and lots of other ways you can complete the circle instead of resorting to landfill.
Design from patterns to details
Permaculture is about working smart and not hard (when you don’t need to) for example; if you have a piece of land you’ve been thinking about turning into a fruit forest before digging everything up look what “weeds” are growing they can tell you a lot about the soil type, if its hard or if its nitrogen rich. Use this information to your advantage and plant accordingly.
Integrate rather than segregate and use and value diversity
This can mean integrating communities and living in harmony with one another and the planet just like plants do when you think about companion planting. Basil helps tomatoes grow and taste better and the tomato makes the basil taste better, Marigolds love the soil and help deter pests. I Believe this is the only way we will ever get through this climate crisis and think its the only way forward for the human race.
Use small and slow solutions
Slow and steady wins the race, start small and get that under control. Then slowly expand the perimeter. Use local materials and shop local, small and local is better than big and global.
Use edges and value the marginal
The edges are sometimes where the most interesting things happen, where two different systems become one. You should always respect your edges and leave pathways for nature and integrate your work into the edges, this is where life will regenerate as more biodiversity comes into your property from the outside world.
Creatively use and respond to change
The world is always changing so you have to be ready to change too, from planting seasonal crops to building a greenhouse/polytunnel for the colder months. If you’re in a tropical climate you’ll have seasons where it rains more so harvest that water and use the energy efficiently.
We are the new generation and by using these principles in our daily life we will reduce our carbon footprint and be rewarded with delicious fresh food. As a community we can make a big impact and create a greener planet for our future generations!