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Permaculture Principles

Permaculture Principle #11: Use Edges and Value the Marginal

"Don’t think you are on the right track just because it is a well beaten path"

Commentary by Tim Sonder, Edible Evanston (November, 2019)

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.

Think of the ocean, and then look at tide pools and marshes. Where do you see a greater diversity and density of life? Look at a forest, and then study the area where it transitions to meadow or lake or stream, and you will, once again, find a greater diversity.

Permaculture Principle #9: Use Small and Slow Solutions

Make the least change for the greatest possible effect. – Bill Mollison 

Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, make better use of local resources, and produce more sustainable outcomes. 
– David Holmgren

Systems should be designed to perform functions at the smallest scale that is practical and energy-efficient for that function. Human scale and capacity should be the yardstick for a humane, democratic and sustainable society.

Permaculture Principle #8: Integrate Rather Than Segregate

David Holmgren’s Summary

In every aspect of nature, from the internal workings of organisms to whole ecosystems, we find the connections between things are as important as the things themselves. Thus the purpose of a functional and self-regulating design is to place elements in such a way that each serves the needs and accepts the products of other elements.

Permaculture Principle 4: Apply self-regulation & accept feedback

By Tim Sonder, Education Chair

This principle requires us to be open, to see and accept both the reality of the result of our actions (or inactions) and listen to and consider criticism from others.

It requires us to go back to Principle 1— and once again really observe and interact.

Self-regulation is something natural systems do without “thinking.” They must change to match the reality around them, and we can model our behavior on that natural feedback loop.

Permaculture Principle #2: Catch and Store Energy

By Tim Sonder, Education Chair

"Make hay while the sun shines"

This principle deals with the capture and storage of energy, within the environment, buildings and even society.

Energy is fleeting and essential for life systems and society. Capture it now, so you can use it (or have it) later.

This is the true meaning of conservation.

It’s harvest time. When we pick fruit or vegetables we are catching energy. And possibly storing it for later.