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‘What is the difference between permaculture design and landscape design?’. This is a common question when people are first developing an understanding of permaculture design. It’s a good question!

Permaculture design goes deeper than landscape design. While both seek to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment, permaculture design thinks beyond the boundaries of your block. It aims to create connections that will sustain the design well beyond a lifestyle trend. The result is natural and urban elements that are better able to co-exist.

Permaculture design is systems thinking that can be applied to many situations beyond landscape garden design. This depth contributes to conditions that support permanent culture or as we know it, permaculture.

Let’s explore the difference between permaculture design and landscape design. Here are three points that make permaculture design stand out for us…

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Patterns in Nature

THIS IS PART OF: Patterns and Processes in Ecology

Regular spatial patterns abound in natural systems. Understanding how patterns arise in ecosystems provides insights into how these ecosystems function.

Spatial patterns occur in different ecosystems at various scales. In semi-arid ecosystems patterns in vegetation reflect the amount of water stress and how the ecosystem might respond to future changes. Another striking pattern in the African savanna is the regular arrangement of termite mounds across the landscape. The pattern arises from competition and conflict and results in optimal packing of termite mounds across the landscape. Mathematical modeling suggests that the spatial arrangement of the mounds makes the entire ecosystem more likely to withstand and recover from periods of drought.

Watch the lecture here

permacultureapprentice.com writes…

“Now that I have seven acres of countryside to steward, I’m feeling somewhat overwhelmed about where to begin. I’ve done my PDC and designed my property, but now I have all these pieces that I somehow need to fit together and I need to prioritise my tasks.

The problem is that permaculture is a set of principles, not a framework. While it is certainly a process, it lacks a set of linear steps to follow. Clearly, what permaculture lacks  is a clear decision-making process.

Taking a PDC doesn’t solve the issue, while it helps with the design phase and developing a site plan, what is frequently ignored is “how to install the design”.

It is most manageable when the design is implemented in stages which build upon each other. That’s why, having taken some time to read up more on the subject, I have created a multi-stage plan based upon the components of the ‘keyline scale of permanence’

This helps me develop my design incrementally, envisage the ‘big picture’ and, most importantly, I have an order in which to establish my farm.

In this post, I’ll share some advice on beginning your farm’s development and on how to implement your design in stages. Even if you haven’t yet designed your property you can still follow the process. Let’s dive in…”

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“Turning waste into gas and fertilizer, creating an in-house cycle of energy.

HomeBiogas is a family-sized affordable biogas system. It converts any organic waste into clean cooking gas and a high-quality liquid fertilizer for the garden. Your kitchen leftovers can turn into 3 hours of cooking per day. You’ll be cooking dinner with the gas produced from lunch’s leftovers. Pretty amazing, right?

HomeBiogas maintains a closed-loop eco-cycle: organic waste turns into energy and a liquid fertilizer byproduct which enables us to produce more food thus maintaining the critical cycle of life. Know exactly where your energy is coming from and where it’s going.”

Read more here.

permaculturevoices.com writes…

“There’s a book… a book that is 576 pages long.

It was first published in 1988.

Some of you may have read it, some of you maybe haven’t.

“This book is about designing sustainable human settlements, and preserving and extending natural systems. It covers aspects of designing and maintaining a cultivated ecology in any climate: the principles of design; design methods; understanding patterns in nature; climatic factor; water; soils; earthworks; techniques and strategies in the difference climatic types; aquaculture; and the social, legal, and economic design of human settlement.

It calls into question not only the current methods of agriculture, but also the very need for a formal food agriculture if wastelands and the excessive lawn culture within towns and cities are devoted to food production and small livestock suited to local needs.

The world can no longer sustain the damage caused by modern agriculture, monocultural forestry, and thoughtless settlement design, and in the near future we will see the end of wasted energy, or the end of civilization as we know it, due to human-caused pollution and climate changes.

Strategies for the necessary changes in social investment policy, politics itself, and towards regional or village self-reliance are now desperately needed, and examples of these strategies are given. It is hoped that this manual will open the global debate that must never end, and so give a guide to the form of a future in which our children have at least a chance of reasonable existence.” Bill Mollison: Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual.

This book is Permaculture, A Designers’ Manual.

And this show is Geoff Lawton covering the whole Permaculture Designers’ Manual in about an hour at PV1 in March 2014…”

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