12 Guiding Principals of Permaculture
Courtesy of John D. Ivanko
The power of permaculture rests in its easy-to-understand foundations. Understanding them and our relationship to Earth’s ecology is where the work begins.
- Take cues from nature: The goal of permaculture is to mimic a natural landscape, and to make it more productive for human needs as well.
- Put up your own food; preserving a garden’s harvest is like capturing sunlight.
- Grow perennials that produce food; plant an edible landscape, not a lawn.
- Use less energy, feed the soil and harvest rainwater. On a finite planet, only renewable resources are sustainable.
- Enable the surplus of one design element to supply the need of another: Garden scraps feed chickens, which produce manure, which makes compost to nourish the garden.
- Strive for self-reliance and resiliency, not self-sufficiency, and engage with the community; permaculture is an integrated system.
- Avoid big and fast solutions that can have unintended consequences; make the least change necessary and see if it works. As E.F. Schumacher famously stated: “Small is beautiful.”
- There’s strength in diversity; value it by avoiding a monoculture of anything.
- Remember that living on the edge can be a very productive place; not all good ideas come from the mainstream.