Lately I’ve been thinking about the ethics of permaculture. I became aware that there are now whole branches of permaculture using ‘future care’ as a third ethic, and revisiting David Holmgren’s Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability reminded me of his very specific definition of ‘fair share’ and how that definition seems to have been softened … Continue reading Wait…Are there three ethics? Or four? Or five?
I have known people describe their first permaculture design course (PDC) as a life-changing event. I've known others that found it practically useful for designing their own garden, or a foundation for what ultimately became a professional career in permaculture. Occasionally I meet someone that thought it was a waste of time or money, but … Continue reading Where to now? Life after a PDC
I am not the first person to use and teach SWOT analysis within the permaculture context. I've seen it incorporated into a number of different design processes either as a tool for designers to improve their work, or as a method for students to learn better design methods. SWOT is easy to use and simple … Continue reading You say SWOT and I say TOWS
It's the day after the Federal election in Australia. It's the same year that school children have taken to the streets to protest inaction on climate change and the United Nations report on extinction advised that over one million species are now at risk, with many of them likely to disappear within decades. Our country … Continue reading Why fear wins elections
I'm a fan of the concept plan. Complete your sector and site analysis, establish your clients' goals, priorities and vision, and play with all that information using design tools until you've come up with some broad brushstrokes across the site. These are sometimes called 'bubble plans' because you outline areas where different things will … Continue reading Concept plans vs detailed plans
One of the best things about teaching permaculture is that it motivates me to create resources for students and that gives me the opportunity to reflect upon my own processes. Here's something I put together today about using the ethics and the principles in an integrated way, as both a design tool and a self-assessment … Continue reading Integrating ethics and principles
We're in the middle of teaching a PDC which always inspires fresh thought on established thinking. This is one of the great benefits of teaching; the opportunity to apply permaculture design methods to teaching permaculture. As a consequence, there's been a shift in the way I teach systems thinking. (To be honest, every time … Continue reading Systems thinking in permaculture
Sourdough is a useful analogy for teaching permaculture. You can't just follow a recipe and make bread. You need to spend time understanding the process and all of the variables. You need to move beyond a list and understand the principles behind the way that sourdough behaves, and when it fails you need the ability … Continue reading Sourdough!
Someone asked a question recently on a Facebook site. How organised is the permaculture community/movement in Australia? Having a bit of time on my hands, and being in a thoughtful mood, I took some time to reply. I thought I'd preserve that response here for future reference. Here's my answer to the question: That depends … Continue reading The Permaculture Network
Yesterday we started teaching a PDC. All PDC's have some shared DNA but each one is also a unique expression of the designer, just like permaculture. Ours is designed using permaculture ethics and principles. Earth Care We teach local people. We can appreciate that there's money to be made providing training to overseas students but … Continue reading Some reflections on teaching permaculture