Zone planning in permaculture design means placing elements according to how often we need to visit them. Areas that need to be visited every day (e.g. the glasshouse, chicken pen, herb garden) are located nearby, while places visited less frequently (grazing area, orchard, woodlot) are located further away.
In Bill Mollison’s book ‘Introduction to Permaculture’, zone zero is defined as being the centre of activity in a design. This may be the house, or in the case of a large scale design may be a village centre.
However some permaculturists have used the term ‘zone zero’ to describe the human element in permaculture design, claiming that the most important part of a design, the people, often receive little attention during the design process.
So how do we define zone zero in permaculture design?